What is driving wild turkey declines?

As their numbers fall in several states, biologists are looking for answers

Wild turkeys were once considered a conservation success story, but as their numbers plummet in many states, biologists are trying to stem the losses and figure out what is driving them. Kansas and Mississippi suspended fall turkey hunting seasons, Oklahoma legislators held a hearing on their decline, and biologists in several states are investigating why turkey numbers are falling in much of the U.S.

Theories have centered around habitat loss, changes in predator behavior, disease and climate change, but, the New York Times reports, it’s hard to find a definitive answer.

“It’s kind of like a death by 1,000 cuts,” TWS member Andrew Little, a professor of landscape and habitat management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told the Times. “There’s a lot of different things, and there are a lot of different factors.”

Read more from the New York Times.

Header Image: Wild turkeys are declining in much of the U.S., and researchers are trying to determine why. Credit: Wendy Miller