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Success

3/15/2010

Wild turkey populations have
increased substantially across the
United States since the end of World
War II. Trap-and-transplant programs
of state game agencies have
accelerated this growth since the early
1950s.

The support of the private sector
and state and federal agencies substantially
aided the restoration effort.
Combined population estimates
nationwide in 1990 showed wild
turkey numbers about 3.5 million
birds and today, there are nearly 7
million wild turkeys across North
America.

All states but Alaska have huntable
populations.

The primary limitation on wild
turkey population levels — besides
having all suitable range
occupied — was habitat loss. Also
acting negatively in some areas were
illegal kill, lack of brood and winter
habitat, summer droughts, poor mast
production, severe winters,
predation, and suspected diseases.

Probably no other game bird
has had more of an impact on the
combined cultures of the inhabitants
of North America than the wild
turkey. The species has directly
influenced the lifestyles of Native
Americans as well as immigrants
and their descendants.

Although the
wild turkey once was found only in
isolated pockets and inaccessible
areas, populations now occupy more
square miles of habitat than any
other game bird in North America.
The restoration is truly a modern
conservation marvel that is a credit
to the wild turkey's adaptability to
a variety of climatic and habitat
conditions, as well as to the great
bird's ability to respond well to
modern management.

Amore detailed history can be
found in The Wild Turkey Biology
and Management edited by J. G.
Dickson in 1992 and published by
the National Wild Turkey
Federation, USDA Forest Service
and Stackpole Books.

The bird-----The species-----Post-Colonial-----Demise-----Restoration-----Pitfall-----Success