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Wild Turkeys

Miller, James E.
Wildlife damage management technical series 2018
Like other bird and mammal species whose populations have been restored through conservation efforts, wild turkeys are treasured by many recreationists and outdoor enthusiasts. Wild turkeys have responded positively to wildlife habitat and population management. In some areas, however, their increased populations have led to increased damage to property and agricultural crops, and threats to human health and safety. Turkeys frequent agricultural fields, pastures, vineyards and orchards, as well as some urban and suburban neighborhoods. Because of this, they may cause damage or mistakenly be blamed for damage. Research has found that despite increases in turkey numbers and complaints, damage is often caused by other mammalian or bird species, not turkeys. In the instances where turkeys did cause damage, it was to specialty crops, vineyards, orchards, hay bales or silage pits during the winter. In cultured crops or gardens where wood chips, pine straw or other bedding materials (mulch) are placed around plants, wild turkeys sometimes scratch or dig up the material and damage plants when searching for food. Wild turkeys are a valuable game species, treasured by recreational hunters and wildlife enthusiasts.
1 online resource (12 pages)
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
USDA publications