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Wild Turkey
Wild Turkey
​​​​Wild turkey hen and poults​​​


Turkey populations were once decimated due to poaching and habitat destruction. In fact, during the period of the Great Depression, only 30,000 of them existed on the continent! However, thanks to successful conservation efforts by a variety of groups, the United States is now home to over seven million wild turkeys. 

Why Are Wild Turkeys Important?

The turkey is a species that is deeply rooted in American tradition and symbolism, and one that faced an uncertain future in the 1900s. The successful reintroduction of the bird to Colorado, and the collaboration between partners including various sportspeople groups and state and federal governments, is emblematic of the importance and success of CPW’s conservation efforts.

What Are The Associated Challenges?​​​

​​​Climate Change and Severe Weather​​​Balancing Recreation and Natural ResourcesNatural Factors​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Energy Development and Land Use


​What Are Some Of The Things CPW Is ​Doing?

wild turkey hen and poult​CPW and its partners launched an aggressive reintroduction program in the 1980s and since then Colorado's turkey population has surged to more than 35,000. The abundant birds are now found in the majority of Colorado counties.

Colorado has two subspecies of wild turkeys: The native Merriam's, which are found in the foothills and mountain meadows west of I-25, and the Rio Grande, which were introduced to riparian corridors on the Eastern Plains. The reintroduction of wild turkeys in Colorado has proven so successful that CPW has increased hunting licenses to help manage turkey populations in areas where the birds have become overabundant.​​​​


​How Can You Help?

Find ideas of how you can make a difference. Every action, no matter how small, can make a positive impact. See Your Help.

​​​Take A ​Closer Look

Watch this great video of a Rio Grande Wild Turkey!​​​​​​​​