Release: IMMEDIATE Contact:
October 4, 2011 (518) 402-8000
HUNTERS NEEDED TO HELP MONITOR SMALL GAME SPECIES
New York State Department of
Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today encouraged
hunters to participate in two surveys for popular game species during this
fall’s hunting seasons.
“Each fall New York’s dedicated small
game hunters spend thousands of hours afield exploring the state’s landscapes
in pursuit of game,” said Commissioner Martens. “They’re uniquely positioned to
assist DEC’s wildlife managers by providing data on changing wildlife
populations and habitats. Citizen science efforts such as these are a great way
for hunters to partner with DEC while enjoying their hunting heritage.”
New England Cottontail Survey
- The only native cottontail east of the Hudson River in New York is the New
England cottontail; however, its populations are poorly understood. New England
cottontails look nearly identical to Eastern cottontails and are only reliably
identified by genetic testing or examining skull characteristics.
Those that hunt rabbits in
Rensselaer, Columbia, Dutchess, Putnam, or Westchester counties, can submit the
heads of rabbits harvested to help determine the distribution of New England
cottontails. Those interested in participating, or for more information, please
contact DEC by phone at 518-402-8870 or by e-mail at email@example.com
(please type “NE Cottontail” in the subject line).
Participating hunters will receive
instructions and a postage-paid envelope they can use to submit skulls. Hunters
will be asked to provide the location and description of the habitat where each
rabbit was taken. Results of these efforts will be available after the close of
the hunting season.
Ruffed Grouse and American
Woodcock Hunting Log - Ruffed grouse and American woodcock are widely
distributed across New York State. These species prefer habitats in an early
stage of succession such as young forests, shrublands, and old orchards and
fields. As New York’s forests grow older, these preferred habitats are waning,
resulting in a decline in grouse and woodcock numbers since the 1960s.
This survey asks hunters to record
their daily grouse and woodcock hunting activities in a “hunting log”,
including the number of grouse and woodcock flushed and the number of hours
hunted. Grouse and woodcock share many of the same habitats, so the information
provided will help monitor populations of both of these great game birds as
habitats change both locally and on a landscape scale.
Those interested in participating
can download a hunting log from the DEC website. Detailed instructions can be
found with the form. Survey forms can
also be obtained by calling (518) 402-8886 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
(please type “Grouse Log” in the subject line).
Additional information that can be
found on the DEC website includes:
New England Cottontail Survey: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/67017.html
Grouse and Woodcock Hunting Log: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9351.html
Citizen Science Initiatives: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/1155.html