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Diefenbach Receives National Conservation Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Duane Diefenbach, Ph.D., adjunct professor of wildlife ecology at Pennsylvania State University and unit leader at the Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, was awarded the NWTF’s Henry S. Mosby Award for his far-reaching contribution to turkey restoration efforts.

February 16, 20232 min read

“It is an honor to be recognized by NWTF with this award,” Diefenbach said. “Over my career, it has been a pleasure working with the NWTF, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and other northeastern states on projects that further the conservation and management of the wild turkey. For me, it has been particularly rewarding to see research directly benefitting management decisions. My success has been due, in no small part, to the support the NWTF provides for wild turkey research.”

Diefenbach accepted the Henry S. Mosby Award remotely during the NWTF’s 50th anniversary celebration at its 47th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

The award is named for Henry S. Mosby, Ph.D., whose research during the mid-1900s set the standard for wild turkey management. Mosby also helped found The Wildlife Society and won its highest honor, the Aldo Leopold Medal.

Since 2000, Diefenbach has been collaborating with the Pennsylvania Game Commission in the design and analyses of all wild turkey research studies in the state. All of these have received funding from the NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter as well as from NWTF national. These projects have been management oriented, providing results to direct wild turkey hunting season regulations and helping monitor population trends. 

Diefenbach’s ability to synthesize complex models into real-life management allows him to comfortably present his findings to varied audiences of university faculty, wildlife professionals or hunters. His several dozen graduate students to date credit him with his thoughtful guidance and mentoring.

Moreover, Diefenbach and a colleague began a program for graduate students who have never hunted, which included workshops on hunting, its benefits and the opportunity for a mentored hunt. Last hunting season, thanks to the initiative, the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the NWTF Pennsylvania State Chapter provided several fall turkey hunts for students and have plans for future events .

“Duane has contributed significantly to wild turkey research during his career that has spanned more than two decades,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “We are thankful for all his accomplishments in helping conserve wild turkeys especially through his work in the great state of Pennsylvania.  We are proud to present him with the prestigious Henry S. Mosby Award.”

About the National Wild Turkey Federation

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale. 2023 is the NWTF's 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization's mission into the future while honoring its rich history.

For its 50-year celebration, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the NWTF's people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.

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  • Convention and Sport Show