Wild Turkey

Bruce Dugger

Latin name: Meleagris gallopavo

Wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) were first successfully introduced into Oregon and Washington in the 1960s. The population has grown in size and expanded in distribution to a point where it provides an important recreational hunting opportunity in both states that generates significant funds for habitat conservation and contributes financially to local economies. Wild turkeys are not native to Oregon or Washington leading some to question if turkeys should be actively managed as a game bird. While no detrimental effects of turkeys have been documented in either state, there has been virtually no research on the biology and ecology of turkeys in Oregon and Washington to contribute information that aids in managing the species and informing the debate about managing for the persistence of a non-native species.