The new golden age of wildlife in New England
In the broadest sense, what we see in our backwoods and backyards today is a result of
something called the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which eliminated
commercial hunting and put states in charge of implementing policies to restore
populations to optimum levels, and then keep them there.
For so-called game animals, this success has been remarkable. In 1900, when commercial
hunting was essentially outlawed nationally, there were only 500,000 white-tailed deer
left in the United States. Today there are 30 million. Massachusetts has an estimated
93,000, despite its small size and the country’s third-highest population density.
That’s far more than we’ve ever had, specialists say, even before European colonization.
Turkeys, which disappeared from the state sometime around the Civil War thanks to a loss
of habitat and overhunting, were re-introduced to Massachusetts in the 1970s, beginning
with 37 birds released in the Berkshires. Today, there are 35,000 of them, so ubiquitous,
even in urban areas, that they dropped off many people’s point-and-shout list, something
that has already happened with hawks and rabbits.
we've had maybe 9 or 10 in the house over the years.
that soft dry flapping sound – unmistakable!