Today the range of the
wild turkey is larger than in pre-colonial days, and
populations (6 million total) exist in every state
except Alaska. Five races or subspecies of the wild
turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) exist in the United States.
Merriam's, Rio Grande, and Gould's are western races,
and have whiter feather markings and shorter legs
than do eastern subspecies. The eastern subspecies
occur in most of the eastern United States while the
Florida or Osceola subspecies occurs only in central
and southern Florida.