LANSING--In an effort to monitor wild turkey populations, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking citizens to report all sightings of wild turkeys during the month of January.
Survey information is used to determine the distribution of wild turkeys throughout the state and to assist with wild turkey management. "The request for public reports of turkeys is another effort to monitor the expanding wild turkey population," said Al Stewart, DNR Upland Game Bird Specialist. "Local biologists will follow-up on new sightings to expand their knowledge of bird distribution in their Management Unit."
A variety of methods are utilized to monitor turkey populations: mail surveys, turkey observation surveys by employees and hunter check station surveys. Therefore, the cooperation received from hunters and citizens through observation reports provides enormous support to the management of wild turkeys.
Restoration of the wild turkey in Michigan is a wildlife success story of major importance. At the turn of the 20th century, Michigan did not have wild turkeys; today they can be found in nearly every corner of the state. Currently, there are more than 135,000 wild turkeys in Michigan, and the population continues to expand.