Wild turkeys, initially introduced to the Bay Area in the 1980s for hunting, are reportedly destroying Marin County and the Bay Area by defecating everywhere, pecking away at homes and their roofs, and tearing up lawns.
The Marin Municipal Water District, which oversees watershed lands on the mountain, tasked with controlling the wild turkey population, cannot continue to do so due to high costs, according to the East Bay Times.
Experts reportedly estimate that California has approximately 18 percent of the 6 million wild turkeys living in 49 of the 50 United States.
The species specific to California is known as Meleagris gallopavo.
According to the Scientific American:
Some 10,000–12,000 years ago, another smaller species with different morphological characteristics, the extinct Meleagris californica, did exist in southern California as evidenced by the more than 11,100 bones from at least 791 different birds found in the Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. In fact, the second most abundant fossils in the Tar Pits belong to M.californica. Exactly why M. californica—originally described as a peacock—became extinct thousands of years ago in California is not known but it has been suggested that decreasing rainfall led to a loss of essential vegetation.
“Hunting was initially delayed to allow the birds to build a population,” according to the East Bay Times. “But with minimal hunting in the county, the birds’ numbers increased and spilled beyond Loma Alta and onto surrounding public lands, where hunting is not allowed.”
Due to limited hunting in the county, the wild turkey population has flourished.
The wild creatures are fast and can weigh up to 20 pounds.
The East Bay Times notes that the wild turkeys can be steered away from humans by making loud noises or using an open umbrella to shoo them away.