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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director

News Release
For release:
February 25, 2005


Hoy Murphy , Public Information Officer (304) 558-3380

Contact: Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Section Chief (304) 558-2771


National Wild Turkey Federation Honors West Virginia

DNR Wildlife Resources Chief Curtis I. Taylor


  Years of service to wildlife conservation and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) has earned Curtis I. Taylor the highly coveted Mosby Award. The award is the highest honor presented by the Federation, recognizing outstanding wildlife biologists who have made exceptional contributions to the research and management of the wild turkey. Taylor is the Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.


  "Curtis Taylor has shown unequaled dedication to conservation and wild turkeys throughout his career," said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs. "He is a major reason why West Virginians enjoy wild turkeys today."


  Taylor was presented the Mosby Award during an awards dinner at the NWTF's 29th annual Convention and Sport Show held in Nashville , Tennessee , February 17-20, 2005 . The award is named for Dr. Henry S. Mosby, whose research became the foundation for much of the Eastern wild turkey restoration and management principles for the Southeast. Dr. Mosby was an educator, mentor and role model for many members of the wildlife profession.

  “In 1980 there were an estimated 14,000 turkeys in West Virginia . Today there are nearly 140,000 turkeys in our state and it took people like Curtis to make that happen,” said Frank Jezioro, Director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. “His receiving the Mosby Award is a great honor for Curtis, for our agency, and for our state.”


  Taylor is a West Virginia native who grew up in Welch and attended West Virginia University , where he received a B.S. Degree in Wildlife Management. He went on to graduate school at the University of Tennessee where he earned a M.S. Degree in Fish and Wildlife Science. Taylor is a 26-year veteran of the Division of Natural Resources, where he began his career as a biologist aid and has worked through the ranks to become Chief of the Wildlife Resources Section.

  Starting in 1979 when Taylor first went to work for Wildlife Resources, he became involved with wild turkey restoration projects throughout the southern part of West Virginia . This included identifying potential release sites, trapping, and releasing wild turkeys in numerous southern counties. This project was concluded when the last release of wild turkeys occurred in 1989.

  After the completion of the wild turkey restoration program he served as co-project leader for the Wild Turkey Populations Dynamics Study, which represented one of the largest, most intensive studies on wild turkeys in the nation. Due to his interest and reputation with wild turkey management, he was recruited by Wildlife Conservation International and the Hornocker Wildlife Institute to lead the first research efforts on the ocellated turkey in the rain forests of Guatemala , Central America . While still working for WRS, Taylor used his vacation time to become the first biologist to successfully capture and place radio transmitters on the only other species of wild turkey in the world.

  During his career as a wildlife biologist, Taylor has served on numerous professional boards and committees. He remains an 18-year veteran of the NWTF state and national Technical Committee, an advisory board of wild turkey biologists from every state except Alaska . The group makes recommendations on research, management, restoration and educational programs. Taylor serves on the advisory board for the Three Rivers Avian Center and is a past president of the West Virginia Chapter of the Wildlife Society, the professional organization for wildlife biologists. He was recognized as DNR Employee of the Year by the West Virginia Wildlife Federation in 1995.


Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF Senior Vice President for Conservation Programs (left), presents the 2005 Henry S. Mosby award to WVDNR Wildlife Resources Section Chief Curtis Taylor in recogniton of his many years of success in reintroducting and studying

the wild turkey in West Virginia and elsewhere.


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