Katherine Miller, Ph.D. from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, will be speaking with Kevin Vella, National Wild Turkey Federation California. The conversation will center on wild turkeys, the history of how they were introduced to California, how they flourished, and on existing research and turkey habitat projects. If you’d like to attend the Zoom meeting, fill in the form below and submit it. You will receive an invitation soon.
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The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), is recognizable to both wildlife enthusiasts and hunters. Introduced as a game bird for hunting, the species’ range now extends throughout most of the state. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is responsible for managing the diverse flora and fauna of California, including our gamebird species. CDFW approaches this through resource assessment and habitat management.
CDFW also partners with other entities on habitat improvement projects. Many of these projects benefit wild turkey but have the added benefit of improving conditions for other game and nongame bird species. One of these entities will be represented by Kevin Vella, district biologist for the National Wild Turkey Federation, during our Q&A panel at the end of the talk.
After growing up in Arizona and completing her undergraduate education in California, Katherine pursued graduate studies at Texas A&M culminating in a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science with work on grassland/shrubland bird ecology, She has worked for 20 years in avian research and conservation including the last four years as an Upland Game Bird Biologist at CDFW.
Fishing and hunting were central in Kevin’s life growing up the Napa Valley and led to his lifelong passion for conservation and a desire to work within the natural resource field. While getting his Bachelor of Science degree from Humboldt State University, he worked with timber companies to conduct Northern Spotted Owl occupancy surveys over 600,000 acres of private lands and, subsequently, worked with the California Waterfowl Association to restore wetland habitat in the Sacramento Delta. He joined the NWTF as District Biologist for California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington in 2014.