Happy Turkey Day! What a great day to be thankful for the turkey and all it does for us. The wild turkey is a keystone within the ecosystem of North America. As we recall every year, wild turkeys and other native fowl helped countless generations survive famine after famine. They’re also an important food source for nearly every natural predator in the U.S., from foxes to bears!
While most humans don’t depend on wild turkeys as a life-saving food source anymore, they still save human lives. Turkeys eat even more ticks than opossums and lizards, sometimes consuming 200 or more in a single day. This helps to prevent tickborne illnesses including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Lyme disease, and countless others.
While you’re enjoying your Thanksgiving— preferably safely!— please take a moment to be thankful for our magnificent native animals. We’re all part of the same world, and depend on them without even realizing it!