Injured, dead wild turkeys now reportable in Quebec

To track wild turkey populations and their effects on farms and rural areas, the Quebec government will now require that dead or injured wild turkeys be reported.

The province on Friday announced it has added wild turkey to its regulatory list of notifiable animals, which requires that a finding of any dead or injured animal on the list be reported to a wildlife protection official.

The province’s regulatory amendment is part of its wild turkey management plan for the period from 2016 to 2023, which is meant to ensure the populations remain viable in areas where climate and habitat are favourable. The management model, the province said, is similar to that for large wild game.

The regulation makes it mandatory that members of the public report wild turkeys found dead or injured, whether the cause is accidental or is deliberate in cases where the birds are damaging property or posing a hazard to people.

The regulation also requires that wild turkeys or other affected animals be handed over to a wildlife protection official if so requested.

Reports are expected to allow the province to more effectively monitor the birds’ populations, and to better evaluate the birds’ impacts in agricultural and rural environments, the government said.

Canadian farm groups in the past have expressed concern over wild turkey damage to crops such as corn, soybeans, fruits and wrapped forage. Some observers contend that the birds, because of their visibility, are also blamed for damage caused instead by other, smaller wildlife.

To report dead or injured wild turkeys — or any other such notifiable animals — the province on Friday asked the public to call its toll-free SOS Braconnage (Poaching) hotline at 1-800-463-2191 or contact hotline staff by email. — Network

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