DEM Seeks Public Help in Reporting Sightings
PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is seeking reports of wild turkeys, deer, reptiles, and amphibians from around the state. Three online wildlife surveys are currently accepting observations from the public through the Survey123 Field App: the herp observer, the wild turkey brood survey, and the summer deer surveys. All three surveys can be accessed through a smartphone or desktop computer. Simply take a photo of the animal, open the app, and follow the steps to submit your sighting. With the help of the community and this app, Rhode Island’s wildlife populations will continue to thrive long into the future.
HERP OBSERVER: (Year-round) Securely submit your sightings of frogs, toads, salamanders, snakes, and turtles to RI’s State Herpetologist (reptile and amphibian biologist). Observations of species both common and rare are welcome. This survey will help biologists identify where these animals are in the state, and in turn, where they should focus conservation efforts for RI’s scaley and slimy critters! Click here for a direct link to report reptile and amphibian sightings.
WILD TURKEY BROOD SURVEY: (July 1 – August 31) Have you seen a turkey over the past few weeks? Your state biologists want to know! The goal of this survey is to collect a total of 300 sightings of turkey hens (females), toms (males), and poults (young). The data gathered from the community will provide insight into the health of RI’s turkey population. Click here for a direct link to report turkey sightings.
SUMMER DEER SURVEY: (August 1 – September 30) Community scientists are needed to help spot does (females), bucks (males), and fawns (young) across Rhode Island. These observations will help provide data on fawn to doe ratios and reproductive success. This information will help ensure that management decisions continue to support a healthy deer herd in the state. Photos are optional but recommended where possible. Click here for a direct link to report deer sightings. Tips while recording deer are as follows:
o Record deer observed from dawn to dusk (when headlights are not used for driving).
o Record all deer you see.
o Do not report multiple observations of the same deer, if you know you have reported it before.
o Do not include trail camera counts in your observations.
o Fawns don’t always have spots in September. They have a short snout compared to adults.
How to download the Survey123 app on your smartphone:
Step One: Navigate to the app store on your smartphone and download Survey123. (You will only need to download the app once).
Step Two: Once the app is installed, open the browser on your smartphone and navigate to www.dem.ri.gov/reportwildlife for further instructions. If viewing this document on your smartphone, you can simply click on the survey links listed below and, when prompted, select the option to “open in the Survey123 Field App”:
o Herp Observer: https://arcg.is/1P1X9r0
o Wild Turkey Brood Survey: http://arcg.is/0r48a50
o Summer Deer Survey: https://arcg.is/1SCKWi0
Step Three: The survey will automatically download and will remain in the Survey123 app from that point on, so you can enter future observations by simply opening the Survey123 app on your phone! Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each of the surveys to download all three into your Survey123 app to easily report all of your wildlife observations. To learn more, visit the DEM website.