Rise in southeastern B.C. turkey populations is ruffling feathers

Feeding could be contributing to the rise in wild turkeys in the Kootenay region

Wild turkeys have the potential to ruffle a lot of feathers in southeastern British Columbia, and provincial officials say it’s up to humans to solve the problem.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is calling on the City of Kimberly to amend its bylaw restricting the feeding of wild turkeys.

Ministry spokesman Brennan Clarke says the amendment should cover all animals, including a growing number of wild turkeys in the Marysville neighbourhood, south of the city.

He says the number of wild turkeys in the Kootenay region has climbed in the last five years, possibly because they are being fed.

The ministry says the turkeys have produced more noise complaints, property damage and conflicts as the large, flightless and sometimes aggressive birds become habituated to people.

Wild turkeys are not native to the province, but the Atlas of Breeding Birds of British Columbia says populations in the Kootenays have climbed steadily since they were introduced in 1910. (CHBZ)

The Canadian Press