Once on the brink of extinction – they are reclaiming lost territory and how did they move across the harbor

Brush turkeys, which had been extinct for decades, have made an unexpected return to Sydney’s inner-city and southern suburbs.

But not everyone is overjoyed.

Once on the brink of extinction - they are reclaiming lost territory and how did they move across the harbor

Matthew Hall, a research ecologist, told ABC Radio Sydney that it was just a matter of time until the almost extinct species returned to the locations.

Where they had resided before hunting, land clearance, and imported predators nearly wiped them off.

Brush turkeys, which were nearly extinct by the 1930s, now live in national parks to the north and northwest of Sydney.

Because hunting is no longer permitted, the once-rare bird’s population has begun to grow.

What was unusual was their first emergence south of the Sydney Harbor Bridge in residents’ backyards and small parks.

Once on the brink of extinction - they are reclaiming lost territory and how did they move across the harbor

But did they simply walk across the harbor bridge?

One hypothesis is that residents in the north wanted to get rid of the nuisance bird.

And drove them over the harbor bridge to release them.

Alternatively, existing people may have relocated down from the Blue Mountains or up from Wollongong.

One thing is undeniably clear: they are now prospering after making it across the harbor.

Once on the brink of extinction - they are reclaiming lost territory and how did they move across the harbor

Another problem is that they are causing havoc in residential gardens.

Brush turkeys may rake up to three tons of dirt and leaf litter to create an egg pile.

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