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Title:Final Report for W-183-R-2: Wild Turkey Responses to Forest Management
Author(s):Hoover, Jeffrey P.; Parker, Christine M.; Schelsky, Wendy M.; Benson, Thomas J.
Subject(s):wild turkey
habitat selection
black fly
microGPS telemetry
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Abstract:We continued to document locations and fates of Wild Turkey hens captured in the winter of 2015 whose radios continued to function into the fall/winter of 2015 and winter spring of 2016. During the winter/spring of 2016 we captured and banded 46 Wild Turkeys across two study locations and fitted every hen (n=38; 21 at Forbes and 17 at Lake Shelbyville) with a μGPS transmitter. On average each transmitter has recorded over a thousand locations to date that are accurate enough to allow us to know where and when hens were nesting, the fates of those nests, and seasonal habitat use at finer- and larger-scales. This will allow us to model how land use and habitat (i.e. forest) management affect the nesting success, survival, and habitat selection of hen turkeys. Of the 2016 cohort of new hens, 8 of the 9 known mortality events resulted from predation following the onset of incubation because the carcasses were found near nest locations. This pattern has repeated for 2 consecutive years and demonstrates that hen turkeys are particularly vulnerable to predation during the incubation phase of the nesting period. We still do not know what predators are responsible. Accelerometer data (index of hen turkey motion collected every 5 minutes) from the radios on hens allowed us to determine that of 19 hen mortality events, 7 occurred during overnight hours and 12 during daylight hours. Six of 25 nests successfully made it to the poult stage and we now need to determine the predator(s) responsible for predation of hens and/or nests during the incubation phase.Preliminary results indicate that turkeys may select nest locations based on stand-level characteristics, rather than local-scale factors (i.e. there was little difference between all of the various measures of vegetation associated with nests compared to paired random non-nest locations 80 m away from nests). Additional analyses will be forthcoming. Finally, the programming and database structure are now in place to allow us to begin using the data that we get from the μGPS transmitters to create Brownian Bridge Movement Models to assess the effects of land-cover and burn/management history on seasonal and annual home range sizes and habitat use.
Issue Date:2016-08-31
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey
Series/Report:Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration W-183-R-2
Genre:Technical Report
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife
Rights Information:This document is a product of the Illinois Natural History Survey, and has been selected and made available by the Illinois Natural History Survey and the University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It is intended solely for noncommercial research and educational use, and proper attribution is requested.
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-10-08

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