Kimberley City Council has received a letter from the senior wildlife biologist for the Kootenay Boundary Region of the Ministry of Forests.
Patrick Stent asked for a letter of support from council to live trap and translocate wild turkeys from Kimberley to southern Alberta as part of a population augmentation program. The Ministry has also made a similar request to Radium, Invermere, Edgewater, Castelgar and other West Kootenay communities.
The plan is to begin capturing the birds when they are concentrated in wintering areas. The target is to move up to 100 turkeys per year for five to 10 years.
Turkeys will be captured by experienced biologists using box traps and drop nets. The turkeys will beheld in temporary facilities while health tests are processed, then they will be transported to release sites in custom boxes within horse trailers. Land owners will shepherd birds at release sites to increase chances of survival.
Council agreed to support the program with Coun. Kent Goodwin joking that he’d like to add the rider that for every turkey removed, two deer would be taken as well.
A spokesperson for the Ministry says that the Ministry of Forests was recently approached by biologists from the Alberta Conservation Association with a proposal to move wild turkeys from southeast BC to augment existing populations in Alberta.
“The current proposal is to trap up to 100 turkeys per winter from multiple East and West Kootenay communities for up to 10 years. It is estimated that there is sufficient population of turkeys to meet this request and maintain viable populations throughout the Kootenays.
“This project would be led by Alberta biologists with support from the Province of BC, and public volunteers if there is interest. Capture efforts will concentrate on turkey populations within communities.”