Gould's Turkey
Gould's Turkey23 locationsBird
.: JuanJaimeiii :.
May 20 2015
Old Baldy - Super Trail Loop
Featured Detail Photo mini map Featured Full Photo.: outdoor_lover :.
Nov 16 2015
Santa Rita Autumn I
ID1667409  URL
TypeBird
FamilyPhasianidae - Turkeys
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Meleagris gallopavo mexicana

Description
The largest of the six subspecies of Wild Turkey. More defining features include having the longest legs. It also has white-tipped tail and tail coverts. (Rump feathers) Color is copper and greenish-gold.

Comments
Native from the central valleys to the northern mountains of Mexico and the southernmost parts of Arizona and New Mexico. Gould's wild turkeys are heavily protected and regulated. The subspecies was first described in 1856. They exist in small numbers in the U.S. but are abundant in northwestern portions of Mexico. A small population has been established in southern Arizona. Gould's are the largest of the six subspecies. They have longer legs, larger feet, and longer tail feathers. The main colors of the body feathers are copper and greenish-gold. This subspecies is heavily protected owing to its skittish nature and threatened status.

Gould's Turkeys were native to the Sky Islands of Arizona and New Mexico in the U.S. until heavy hunting decimated the populations, rendering the Gould's Population Extinct north of Mexico. There were only an estimated 600-800 birds left in the wild at that point. With other Subspecies facing similar fates, Theodore Roosevelt enacted hunting regulations to stem the tide. Most subspecies recovered, but it would be decades before the U.S. would see a Gould's Turkey within it's borders. In the 1990's, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with State Agencies and Conservation Groups took a small group of Gould's Turkeys from Mexico and reintroduced them into the Chiricahuas. From that point, they were then reintroducted into the Huachuca, Santa Rita, Pinaleno and Santa Teresa Mountain Ranges. Madera, Gardner and Casa Blanca Canyons in the Santa Ritas have seen reintroductions since 2007, with some of those birds coming from growing populations in the Huachucas. By 2014, the project was deemed a success with over 1200 birds enjoying the rocky mountainous terrains of the Southern Arizona Sky Islands. They are still considered the rarest of the 6 subspecies and continue to have a threatened status.

Sources: Wikipedia, National Park Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department
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