EDGEFIELD, SC — At its National Leadership Conference in Ridgedale, Missouri, the National Wild Turkey Federation unveiled its new Habitat for the Hatch initiative, a landscape-wide effort across the Southeast that will directly combat declining wild turkey populations and It will improve the overall health of the ecosystem.
Habitat for the Hatch will laser focus on creating essential nesting habitat in close proximity to a quality breeding range. This new initiative seeks to create 1 million acres that meet these specific criteria over the next 10 years.
“We will continue our critical work to address the full annual cycle of wild turkey habitat needs,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “However, we must significantly increase the available acreage of quality nesting and rearing habitat that is necessary for year-over-year recruitment of poults. Habitat for the Hatch will do just that and on a scale that makes a measurable difference. This will result in more turkeys throughout the Southeast and will ensure that our beloved bird is preserved in perpetuity.”
Work for Habitat for the Hatch will take place on both public and private land in the initiative’s 18-state region. When NWTF has private land staff in the initiative area, staff will work directly with private land owners to provide education, technical assistance, and programs to help them increase nesting and breeding habitat on their property, while simultaneously that achieves other goals for your property.
Habitat for the Hatch will also support and use cutting-edge research to address the greatest conservation challenges of the Southeast. Working in unison with the NWTF Wild Turkey Technical CommitteeThe initiative will improve nesting and breeding habitat supported by this key research in ways that result in favorable results for wild turkey recruitment and overall landscape health.
In addition, Habitat for the Hatch will bolster wild turkey populations while highlighting how NWTF’s work on wild turkeys amplifies the organization’s interest. Four shared values and many other species. While Habitat for the Hatch is designed to ensure that southeastern states are hatching more turkeys, many other species will be ‘born’ from the initiative’s efforts, including insects, aquatic species, the endangered gopher tortoise, headed woodpeckers red, pollinators and more, all of which are indicators of healthy and resilient habitats.
“The comprehensive approach to our landscape-scale initiatives allows us to remain engaged with our existing partners and supporters while expanding opportunities to work with new and non-traditional partners, both in the conservation and business sectors, to leverage aggressively resources, experience. and have the greatest possible impact on wild turkeys and the places they inhabit,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Jason Burckhalter. “Whether funding research into the ecology of wild turkeys or creating essential habitat for nesting and raising young, the NWTF works with all available capacities to create more wild turkeys and healthier ecosystems.”
The NWTF estimates a need of $40 million, with the collaboration of partners, by 2033 to improve more than 1 million acres of nesting and breeding habitat on public and private lands. The NWTF anticipates leveraging funds for the initiative at a minimum of 5:1. To accomplish this, the federation has an estimated fundraising goal of $8 million over the next 10 years.
Habitat for the Hatch’s announcement comes just after NWTF revealed a $582,374 investment in research on wild turkey ecology by 2023.
Habitat for the Hatch projects will begin in the coming months and will be featured at NWTF.org.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.
2023 is the 50th of the NWTF he anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.