DEEP: Volunteer Opportunities - CT Wildlife Division

Volunteer Opportunities

Many of Connecticut's wildlife conservation programs are dependent on the assistance of volunteers. Please browse the descriptions below and contact us if you would like more information on getting involved.

Wild Turkey Brood Survey

{Wild Turkey Poult}
The Wildlife Division conducts the annual Wild Turkey Brood Survey to estimate the average number of turkey poults (young-of-the-year) per hen statewide and to assess annual fluctuations in the turkey population. This index allows the Division to gauge reproductive success each year and to evaluate recruitment of new birds into the fall population. Weather, predation, and habitat conditions during the breeding and brood-rearing seasons can all significantly impact nest success, hen survival, and poult survival.
What's Involved?
From June 1 to August 31, volunteers and Department staff record all of the hens and poults observed during normal travel. Each observation is categorized by total number of hens observed, total poults, and total number of hens with poults. Observations of male (tom) turkeys are not requested for this survey.
If you would like to participate, you can download a Wild Turkey Observation Form (pdf) to record your observations. Instructions can be found on the data sheet. This is a great way to partner with the Wildlife Division to help monitor the state's wild turkey population.

{Wild Turkey Hen} Who to Contact:
Completed surveys should be returned to:
Michael Gregonis
DEEP Wildlife Division
Franklin WMA
391 Route 32
North Franklin, CT 06254

For More Information:
To learn more about the Wild Turkey Brood Survey, read the following articles from the Wildlife Division's bimonthly magazine, Connecticut Wildlife.
2009 Turkey Brood Survey  Connecticut Wildlife


Master Wildlife Conservationist Program

{Master Wildlife Conservationist emblem} The Master Wildlife Conservationist Program (MWCP) is an adult education program based in Burlington, Connecticut, that trains participants in the fields of wildlife management, natural history and interpretation. The purpose of the program is to develop a volunteer corps capable of providing education, outreach, and service for state agencies, environmental organizations, libraries, schools, and the general public.
What’s Involved?
Participants receive 40 hours of intensive classroom and field training and have one year, following completion of the training, to provide 40 hours of volunteer service. To maintain certification in the program, a minimum of 8 hours of advanced training and 20 hours of volunteer service each year must be completed.
How Can You Get Involved?
The MWCP is a very popular program. Only 20 people are chosen to participate each year. Classes are usually held each spring. The next program series will be held in spring 2019. Application packets will be available at the end of November 2018. To request an application packet or for more information about the program, contact: Laura Rogers-Castro, DEEP Wildlife Division, Sessions Woods WMA, PO Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013; 860-424-3011;

{Chimney Swift}

Chimney Swift Watch

Chimney Swift Watch is a regional initiative to more thoroughly assess the chimney swift population in Connecticut.

What’s Involved?
Volunteers are needed to monitor chimney swift roosting and nesting chimneys located throughout the state. The Wildlife Division also is requesting reports from property owners who have chimney swifts in their chimneys. (Learn more)

The Chimney Swift Watch webpage also provides general information about chimney swifts and a curriculum program developed for students in grades 1-2, as well as a Chimney Swift Ambassador program for high school students.

Woodland Raptor Survey

Woodland raptor surveys were conducted with the assistance of volunteers. The resulting information will help the Wildlife Division determine the population status and habitat requirements of six species of breeding raptors in Connecticut. The surveys have been completed and a project summary is currently in progress.


Woodland Raptor Nest Monitoring

Although volunteers are no longer being requested for the survey, they are still needed to report and help monitor raptor and owl nests. If you know of a nest location, please report it to the Wildlife Division.

Who to Contact:
Shannon Kearney, DEEP Wildlife Division, Sessions Woods WMA, PO Box 1550, Burlington, CT 06013; 860-424-3011;

For More Information:
To learn more about the Woodland Raptor Survey or Raptor Nest Monitoring, read the following articles from the Wildlife Division's bimonthly magazine, Connecticut Wildlife.
Woodland Raptor Monitoring  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)
The Red-tailed Hawk  Connecticut Wildlife (PDF)

Content last updated on March 29, 2017.