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The bird

3/15/2010

The wild turkey, native to the
North American continent, was
the largest ground-nesting bird
found by the first European immigrants.
But the abundant numbers of
wild turkey written about in early
historical accounts declined with colonization
until its continued existence
was questionable. It wasn't
until the 1960s that the restoration of
the wild turkey was heralded as a
wildlife management comeback
marvel.

Early settlers found the wild
turkey in a variety of habitats as they
pushed westward and felled forests
with the axe and saw. Wild turkey
populations dipped to their lowest
numbers between the end of the 19th
century and the 1930s, surviving
only in the most inaccessible
habitats.

As forest stands regenerated following
the Great Depression, the
stage was set for the return of the
wild turkey to former ranges. After
World War II, active restoration programs
and research efforts by state
agencies eventually led to wild
turkey populations in every state
except Alaska. In 1991, spring wild
turkey hunting seasons were for the
first time open in every one of the 49
states having turkey populations.
Spring hunting seasons are also held
in Ontario and other Canadian
provinces as well as in Mexico.

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