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Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 4:28am

Why Fewer Wild Turkeys?

Rocket-powered nets and radio transmitters are among the tools University of Georgia researchers are using to determine what's behind the decline in the wild turkeys population of the southeast.

Wildlife agencies have seen a regional decline in wild turkeys, and there are about 7 million of the birds left. Encroaching development, chemical herbicide and natural predators could be factors in the population shift. Researchers said wildfires do not appear to be a leading cause in the decline.

The wild turkey population dropped in the late 1800s and early 1900s, then rebounded in the second half of the 20th century as forests that were cut down in the 1900s grew back.

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