I’ve been reading that wild turkey populations in many areas of the USA have declined in recent years, and there’s lots of speculation as to why. I’d suggest it has a lot to do with expected population dynamics – when a species is introduced to suitable, but unoccupied habitat, the population tends to surge, often overshooting what biologists call ‘carrying capacity’. Given that many, many populations are the result of re-introductions into areas where wild turkeys had been extirpated decades earlier, the rise and subsequent fall of their numbers in recent times shouldn’t be a surprise.
In Ontario, populations are, for the most part, still in the ‘surge’ state. This winter might temporarily halt that, but I think recovery will be quick, and the population growth will continue for a while yet.
Wild turkey restoration across North America is a one of the most spectacular recent, conservation success stories.