Meleagris gallopavo - Linnaeus, 1758
Wild Turkey
Other English Common Names: wild turkey
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Meleagris gallopavo Linnaeus, 1758 (TSN 176136)
French Common Names: dindon sauvage
Spanish Common Names: Guajolote Norteño
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.104229
Element Code: ABNLC14010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 11460

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Galliformes Phasianidae Meleagris
Genus Size: A - Monotypic genus
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Meleagris gallopavo
Taxonomic Comments: Fragmented distributions and population bottlenecks due to human activities appear to have increased genetic differentiation among populations (Leberg 1991).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (03Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arizona (S5), Arkansas (S4), California (SNA), Colorado (S5), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S4), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Hawaii (SNA), Idaho (SNA), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5B), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S4), Louisiana (S4), Maine (S5), Maryland (S4), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNA), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), Montana (SNA), Navajo Nation (S5), Nebraska (S4), Nevada (SNA), New Hampshire (S4), New Jersey (S5), New Mexico (S5B,S5N), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S3B), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (SNA), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S5), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5B), Utah (SNA), Vermont (S4), Virginia (S5), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (S5B,S5N), Wisconsin (S5B), Wyoming (SNA)
Canada Alberta (SNA), British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNA), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Ontario (S5), Quebec (S3S4), Saskatchewan (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Native to the eastern and southwestern U.S., Mexico; southern Ontario. Extirpated or reduced in much of former range but introduced widely within, and outside of, former range. Established in Hawaiian Islands (Niihau, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Native to the eastern and southwestern U.S., Mexico; southern Ontario. Extirpated or reduced in much of former range but introduced widely within, and outside of, former range. Established in Hawaiian Islands (Niihau, Lanai, Maui, Hawaii).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, AZ, CAexotic, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HIexotic, IA, IDexotic, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MNexotic, MO, MS, MTexotic, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NN, NVexotic, NY, OH, OK, ORexotic, PA, RIexotic, SC, SD, TN, TX, UTexotic, VA, VT, WAexotic, WI, WV, WYexotic
Canada ABexotic, BCexotic, MBexotic, NBexotic, NF, ON, QC, SKexotic

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AZ Apache (04001)
NM San Juan (35045)
WA Asotin (53003), Chelan (53007), Clark (53011), Columbia (53013), Cowlitz (53015), Ferry (53019), Garfield (53023), Grays Harbor (53027), Kittitas (53037), Klickitat (53039), Lewis (53041), Lincoln (53043), Okanogan (53047), Pacific (53049), San Juan (53055), Stevens (53065), Thurston (53067), Walla Walla (53071), Whitman (53075), Yakima (53077)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
14 Chaco (14080106)+, Chinle (14080204)+
17 Lower Spokane (17010307)+, Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (17020001)+, Kettle (17020002)+, Colville (17020003)+, Chief Joseph (17020005)+, Okanogan (17020006)+, Lake Chelan (17020009)+, Upper Columbia-Entiat (17020010)+, Wenatchee (17020011)+, Upper Crab (17020013)+, Upper Yakima (17030001)+, Lower Yakima, Washington (17030003)+, Lower Snake-Asotin (17060103)+, Lower Grande Ronde (17060106)+, Lower Snake-Tucannon (17060107)+, Palouse (17060108)+, Rock (17060109)+, Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula (17070101)+, Walla Walla (17070102)+, Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)+, Klickitat (17070106)+, Lewis (17080002)+, Lower Columbia-Clatskanie (17080003)+, Lower Cowlitz (17080005)+, Upper Chehalis (17100103)+, Lower Chehalis (17100104)+, Willapa Bay (17100106)+, San Juan Islands (17110003)+, Deschutes (17110016)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Female incubates average of 10-12 eggs for 27-28 days, beginning ning late April-early May in Alabama, Florida, New York, early May in Minnesota; most nests initiated mid-April to mid-May in northeastern Colorado. Hatching begins in May in south, usually early June in north. Young are tended by female; brood stays together until winter. Females first breed as yearlings.
Ecology Comments: Sexes usually form separate flocks in winter. In Massachusetts, predation exerted greatest influence on productivity; in Minnesota, winter conditions and resulting pre-breeding female condition were important factor in productivity (Vander Haegen et al. 1988). In southeastern Oklahoma, mean seasonal home range sizes for adult females were 225 ha (winter), 865 ha (spring), 780 ha (summer), and 459 ha (fall) (Bidwell et al. 1989). Home range in Montana was 260 to 520 hectares (Jonas 1966). In Colorado, adult males moved an average distance of 5.3 km from winter ranges to spring breeding areas; subadult males moved an average distance of 8.7 km; in spring males moved about 1000 m between morning and evening roosts used on the same day (Hoffman 1991). In north, deep snow restrict movements.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Old field, Shrubland/chaparral, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Habitat Comments: Forest and open woodland, scrub oak, deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous areas, especially in mountainous regions (Subtropical and Temperate zones) (AOU 1983). Also agricultural areas in some regions, which may provide important food resources in winter (e.g., in Massachusetts, Vander Haegen et al. 1989). Roosts in trees at night. Severe winters and/or lack of winter habitat are important limiting factors in many northern areas. In a South Dakota ponderosa pine ecosystem, females with young selected mainly large meadows (Rumble and Anderson 1993).

Nests normally on the ground, usually in open areas at the edge of woods; rarely nests in trees (Fletcher, 1994, Wilson Bull. 106:562-563). In South Dakota, almost all nests initiated in April were in woodland communities whereas nests started after the first week of May were primarily in grassland communities; selected nest sites with concealing vegetation immediately above the nest; nests were placed in habitats associated with high interspersion; shrubs were strongly selected for as nesting cover in grassland; grassland nest sites had a high degree of visual obstruction immediately around the nest site (Day et al. 1991). Sites with good concealment also were selected in Arkansas (Badyaev 1995).

Adult Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Feeds on seeds, nuts, acorns, fruits, and grains, buds, and young grass blades. During summer eats many insects; may also eat some small vertebrates (frogs, toads, snakes, etc). Principal winter foods in the northeastern part of the range include acorns, fruits of multiflora rose and barberry, apples, field corn, fertile fronds of sensitive fern and various other ferns, mosses, and hardwood seeds and buds. In Massachusetts, manure spread on fields was an important source of food in winter (Vander Haegen et al. 1989). Usually forages on the ground.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Phenology Comments: Most active in early morning and late afternoon.
Length: 117 centimeters
Weight: 7400 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Management Requirements: Selective thinning of riverfront hardwoods in Louisiana resulted in increased use by females (Zwank et al. 1988). See Pack et al. (1988) for information on the use of prescribed burning and thinning to increase brood habitat in oak-hickory forests.

In South Dakota, grazing by livestock reduced herbaceous biomass necessary for invertebrate food items and cover for young (Rumble and Anderson 1993).

See Rumble and Anderson (1992) for information on methods for stratification of habitats in a way that is useful for forest management (habitat selection was best described by stratifying by dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover; Black Hills, South Dakota). See Sanderson and Shultz (1973), Ligon (1946), Willians and Austin (1988), and Williamson (no date) for additional management information.

Miller (1990) discussed factors affecting survival of transplanted turkeys.

Monitoring Requirements: Lost-poult call can be used to lure females with young into view for productivity assessment (Kimmel and Tzilkowski 1986).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Winter range, Breeding range
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of breeding (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 15 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 15 km
Separation Justification: Home ranges rather large. Separation distance based on large seasonal home ranges and interseasonal movements. Females in Oklahoma had large spring home ranges, averaging 865 hectares (Bidwell et al. 1989). In Colorado, adult males moved an average of 5.3 kilometers from winter to spring ranges (Hoffman 1991).
Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 3.3 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a spring female home range of 865 hectares (Bidwell et al. 1989).
Date: 03Oct2001
Author: Cannings, S. G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Apr1996
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
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