Knowledgeable: Declining wild turkey inhabitants in Georgia and nationwide

ATLANTA – For the Thanksgiving fowl, the phrase in nature is “woe.” There are lots of of hundreds of untamed turkeys statewide, however biologists say their inhabitants is declining dramatically.

For many years, wild turkeys have thrived primarily in rural Georgia. UGA biologist David Chamberlain stated their decline extends throughout the area.

“Whenever you have a look at the final 20 years, the pattern is downward. It is precipitous in some areas greater than others, however within the Southeastern states, the developments are the identical,” Chamberlain stated.

When the state Division of Pure Assets produced a video predicting turkey season in 2015, a state turkey biologist was fairly optimistic concerning the numbers of untamed turkeys in Georgia.

However since then, Georgia has needed to shorten its turkey searching season and the variety of turkeys hunters can take from the vary referred to as the bag restrict.

That is as a result of Chamberlain stated wild turkey populations have declined 16 p.c throughout the nation, with Georgia among the many states main the decline.

“We do not produce as many birds as we did a couple of many years in the past, but demand is at an all-time excessive. Turkey searching may be very standard,” stated Chamberlain, who can also be a turkey hunter.

Wildlife has lengthy been in battle with city and suburban sprawl. The town of Atlanta has needed to drive flocks of Canada geese out of the town’s water therapy vegetation. In residential areas, deer are sometimes sighted and typically inadvertently trapped between fences and homes. Even wild turkeys, which might get a little bit aggressive, have had awkward encounters in areas dominated by individuals increased up the meals chain.

As cities unfold, wild turkeys, like different wildlife, additionally discover themselves sharing smaller areas.

“We’re creating landscapes which are higher predator habitat than they’re turkey habitat,” Chamberlain stated, referring to linear landscapes like roads, rights-of-way and concrete trails.

Wild turkeys practically went extinct within the early twentieth century, however have made a comeback with the assistance of conservationists. Chamberlain stated it is nonetheless doable turkeys might make one other comeback this century.