Wild turkeys are in trouble again

The wild turkey population peaked around 2001 at around 6.7 million birds in North America. But in the years since, it has dropped by about 15 percent. The eastern wild turkey—the most abundant subspecies, which reigns east of the Mississippi River—appears to be declining across parts of the Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest. In New York, hunters in the western part of the state were the first to notice the difference.

Under the right circumstances, turkeys can lay plenty of eggs and see many of their progeny survive to adulthood. But wildlife biologists in Pennsylvania are often counting only two young turkeys per hen making it to the fall. The birds are struggling to find the right kinds of shelter and food. Many of the young forests where turkeys like to nest and raise broods are now maturing into open woodlands. For young birds and their mothers, that means less cover from predators and the elements.

Source: Popular Science, Nov 22, 2017