Game and Fish to release wild turkeys in So. Arizona

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- About 100 wild turkeys are about to start a new life in the Santa Rita Mountains of southern Arizona.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is releasing the game birds Wednesday.

Game and Fish has introduced more than 100 Gould's turkeys into the Santa Rita Mountains, specifically Madera, Gardner and Casa Blanca canyons since 2007.

The Gould's turkey is the largest of five subspecies of turkey in the U.S. and thrive in the rocky, mountainous terrain of southern Arizona, New Mexico, and northern Mexico.

Turkeys are sensitive to climate change, and populations in southern Arizona have been affected by little rainfall as well by increased numbers of predators driven from their habitats by urbanization.

The state said turkey numbers have declined in the Santa Ritas over the years.

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