How's your turkey season going so far? What I am hearing from a lot of hunters is that they are not seeing the amount of birds they usually do. Some have blamed winter, although it was not that bad this year. Some blame the early mating season, due in part because of the lack of winter. Some blame the wet and cold spring of 2011 for killing off the hatch. There is another potential problem in the mix, a new disease in wild turkeys. The DEC needs your help in identifying whether an emerging disease called Lymphoproliferative Disease Virus (LPDV) is present in New York State's wild turkeys. Skin lesions sometimes caused by LPDV resemble those caused by avian pox, another viral disease that has frequently been recorded in wild turkeys in New York. Because of the similarity in lesions, there are concerns that the presence of LPDV may be overlooked or dismissed as avian pox. The DEC's Wildlife Health Unit would like to obtain samples of birds you harvest or encounter with these lesions. For instructions on how to provide a sample, please contact your regional DEC office or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. TheDEC advises against eating any wild animals that appear sick. You can read more about LPDV in turkeys in the January issue of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Briefs (www.vet.uga.edu/scwds/briefs/January-2012-Briefs.pdf) and more about avian pox in the National Wild Turkey Federation article, Avian Pox: a Disease that Can Affect Any Bird (www.nwtf.org/conservation/bulletins/bulletin_24.pdf).
DEC Renews Partnership Agreement with National Wild Turkey Federation
Continuing more than two decades of a productive conservation alliance, DEC and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) recently renewed their partnership to conserve wild turkeys in New York State. To successfully meet conservation challenges, both DEC and NWTF agreed that working together in planning, developing, implementing and promoting efforts to improve the wild turkey resource will provide benefits exceeding those achieved through separate initiatives. You can check out whats going on with the NWTF in New York State by visiting their website at www.nwtf.org/new_york/