On the Brink of Extinction: The Waigeo Brushturkey

Once considered to be Extinct, the Waigeo Brushturkey is alive, but with a small population size, extinction is still a real threat for this species.

Most people wouldn’t expect turkeys to be at risk of extinction, but in the case of Waigeo Brushturkey, also known as the Bruijn’s Brushturkey, most peoples’ impressions are wrong. In fact this endangered species of Turkey was once believed to be Extinct, but was rediscovered in 2002 in the mountains of Waigeo Island, Indonesia.


Drawing of a Waigeo Brushturkey. Credit: Annales des sciences naturelles 1834

The Brushturkey population consists of approximately 1,400 individuals spread throughout the mountains of the island. However, even in this remote part of the world, these turkeys are not safe. The population is under increased threats by a number of factors, including habitat loss, hunting, and predation by invasive feral dogs.

Island restoration can support at-risk species like the Brushturkey–and that is certainly something to be thankful for.

Featured Photo:  A view of Kabui Bay coast in Waigeo. Credit: Lord Mountbatten/Wikipedia Commons
Source: Scientific American

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

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