The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has developed a public online component to expand its Wild Turkey Population Survey. In addition to increasing participation in the survey, the online component can also incorporate and track wild turkey sightings throughout the year.
LDWF has tracked wild turkey reproduction since 1994 with a survey conducted by volunteer participants during the summer. It provides important trend data with regard to reproduction and recruitment in Louisiana turkey flocks. However, over the years, the number of observations have declined resulting in less reliable data. The new online reporting component will augment the summer surveys, which will continue.
“This web-based tracking component will allow us to greatly expand our survey,’’ said LDWF Small Game/Wild Turkey Program Manager Cody Cedotal. “Now anyone can assist us in our effort to keep track of Louisiana’s wild turkey populations. Whether you are sitting on your back porch in October, in your deer stand in December, turkey hunting in April or making a round through your property in August and see wild turkeys, we would like to know about it.’’
The data obtained will allow managers to monitor population trends and help make regulatory recommendations as necessary to sustain populations.
The survey can be accessed on the LDWF website (https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/subhome/turkey), with the QR code at the bottom of the story or directly at https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/81c20aa4e4524fbcbecc2c426d9d3e2a
Once you have opened the portal to the survey, simply click the “LA Turkey Survey Data Entry” to review the specific instructions and log each separate wild turkey observation. You will be asked to provide your name, date, location and the number of males (adults or juveniles), females, and/or poults seen.
If you are interested in keeping up with observations as they come in, check out the “Turkey Survey Dashboard” tab. Here you can view updates on how many observations have been reported so far during the year. You will be able to view reported observations by parish and track the number of birds seen by sex and age to an extent (poult, juvenile male, adult male).