declined to as few as 30,000 individuals (hunting and habitat loss were the major culprits). It was the effort to bring the bird back from an endangered status that led to its introduction in the western states. The recovery effort has been successful and there are an estimated 7.8 million of them in the wilds of every state but Alaska.
As you enjoy your domestic version of the bird at the table tomorrow, give some thanks that there were those who made an effort to save the wild ones for posterity. The birds are an American original.
Have a great Thanksgiving!
Just for the fun of it, take a look at the antics of the Turkeys I ran into last year near Morro Bay...