The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is calling on nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers to participate in their Wild Turkey Observation Survey this summer. If you spot a wild turkey during your outdoor adventures, the TWRA is encouraging you to report your sightings by filling out a short online form. This valuable citizen science project aims to gather essential data on turkey populations and their reproductive success in Tennessee.
Participants in the survey will be asked to record wild turkey observations from June 1 to August 31. You can choose between using a digital form accessible on their website or a mobile app for reporting your sightings. To ensure accurate data collection, the TWRA recommends familiarizing yourself with turkey biology and distinguishing characteristics between gobblers, jakes, hens, and poults (baby turkeys). This knowledge will contribute to the survey’s overall effectiveness.
The survey’s significance lies in its role in understanding turkey population trends and factors influencing their numbers, such as nesting success, brood survival, and reproduction productivity. The data collected will shed light on the number of young turkeys produced annually, a crucial aspect of sound turkey management. Moreover, the survey provides insights into the peak hatching dates of turkey broods and the carry-over of males from the spring hunting season.
While TWRA staff has been diligently counting turkeys during their regular work activities, they acknowledge that this statewide approach may not provide enough data for smaller regions within Tennessee. This is where public involvement becomes invaluable. By inviting citizens from across the state to take part in the Wild Turkey Observation Survey, the TWRA aims to fill the data gaps in regions where fewer staff members are available.