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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Jersey(my home state through my college years) is one of the most densely human populated states in the USA.............Despite this, it is,still some 40% wooded(although badly fragmented), rewilding Black Bears Eastern Coyotes, Fishers, Bobcats and Turkeys amidst its suburban sprawl.............It's Turkey Restoration Project is one great wildlife management success story.............. . By the mid-1800s, turkeys had disappeared in the "Garden State" due to habitat changes and killing for food.............. State biologists, in cooperation with the NJ Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, reintroduced wild turkeys in 1977 with the release of 22 birds............... In 1979, biologists and technicians began to live-trap and re-locate birds to establish populations throughout the state................ By 1981, the population was able to support a spring hunting season, and in December, 1997, a limited fall season was initiated................ There is now an abundance of wild turkeys throughout the state with turkeys found wherever there is suitable habitat........................ In South Jersey, where wild turkeys had been struggling just a few years ago, intensive restoration efforts have improved population numbers significantly................... The statewide population is now estimated at 20,000 - 23,000 turkeys with annual hunter kill of approximately 3,000 birds(some 15% pf the total population)

Turkeys, Running Amok, Are a ‘Success Story’ in New Jersey

37 years ago

 22 wild 




in N.J.,

 now there

 are 20,000


Anonymous said...

I was born and raised in Northern NJ. In the 1950s turkeys were flying across the Delaware River from Pennsylvania into Sussex County. Numbers of turkeys were established in Stokes State Forest and High Point Park as well as along the Delaware River north of the Delaware Water Gap

I remember reading about the turkeys in the hunting/ fishing column in the Newark Evening News (now defunct).The writer quoted the NJ Fish and Game Department commenting on the future of turkeys in New Jersey.The state official stated that each male turkey required a territory at least 5 square miles of unbroken woodland and for that reason could never re colonize New Jersey's fragmented small woodlots.

It took them over twenty years to wake up to the facts about turkey biology and now of course they claim full credit for the re establishment of turkeys in NJ.

Rick Meril said...

Interesting and so frustrating that "the experts" place artificial limiting factors on the potential for species to be rewilded..........I grew up in Bergen County,,,,,,,,,and do not remember the articles about Turkey restoration(Bergen Record paper, not defunct).........Glad that the "Gobblers" proved the biologists wrong! Thanks for checking in