NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging New Yorkers to take part in the State’s annual survey of wild turkeys.

The DEC has conducted the Summer Wild Turkey Sighting Survey since 1996, so they can track wild turkey populations and estimate the number of young wild turkeys per hen every year.

According to the DEC weather, predation, and habitat conditions during breeding and brood-rearing seasons can significantly impact nest success as well has the hen and their young’s survival. The survey allows the DEC to gauge reproductive success and predict the harvest potential for the fall.

Survey participants previously recorded the sex and age composition of all flocks of wild turkeys throughout August.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos is requesting the public’s assistance.

“As New Yorkers continue to get outside this summer and reconnect with nature, we ask that they keep an eye out for the State’s most popular game bird, the wild turkey,” Seggos said. “Reporting the turkeys you see this August helps DEC monitor the turkey population and contributes to our ongoing scientific efforts to survey this species.”

Those interested in participating can do so on on the DEC’s website.