Let us now praise the wild turkey, who once was depleted by overhunting & habitat change on this continent.

Gary-Paul-Nabhan-1-85x85To celebrate this day, let us now praise the wild turkey, who once was depleted by overhunting & habitat change on this continent.

But with the care & patience of wildlife ecologists such as Aldo Starker Leopold guiding its recovery, the wild turkey bounced back & is now in nearly every state that was part of its former range.

The Mountain Pima people of the Sierra Madre figured out that if they collected wild turkey eggs in the pine, oak forests & brought them back to the nests of their domestic turkeys, they would hatch & be protected from the initial perils of hatchling-hood.

What’s more, our heritage turkey breeds were in steep decline until about 20 years ago, when Frank Reese Jr. of the Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch teamed up with American Livestock Conservancy & Slow Food USA to generate a remarkable return of heritage turkeys back to our tables.

Extinction may be forever but declines can be reversed through painstaking breeding & recovery programs done with love & respect for our feathered friends. This is a kind of “resurrection ecology” all of us need to understand & support during these dark times of winter!

Brother Coyote, OEF

 

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