Reproductive ecology of Rio Grande wild turkey in the Edwards Plateau of Texas

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Title: Reproductive ecology of Rio Grande wild turkey in the Edwards Plateau of Texas
Author: Melton, Kyle Brady
Abstract: The abundance of Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia ) in the southeastern Edwards Plateau of Texas has declined since the late 1970s . Because knowledge of reproductive rates is important to understanding the dynamics of a population , radio -tagged hens were monitored during the 2005 ?2007 reproductive seasons to evaluate and compare reproductive parameters from areas with both declining and stable population trends . During January ?March of 2005 ?2007 , turkey hens were captured and radiotagged on 4 study areas ; 2 within a region of stable turkey populations , and 2 within a region of declining populations . Monitoring occurred from January ?July each season to determine nest - site locations . Nesting attempts , nest fate , clutch size , initiation date , and nest age were recorded . Nests were monitored ?3 times weekly in order to estimate production parameters and daily nest survival . Poults were captured by hand and fitted with a 1 .2 glue -on transmitter and monitored daily to estimate daily survival . Estimates show production was greater in stable regions than declining regions of the Edwards Plateau . Eighty -four percent of hens attempted to nest in the stable region and 67 % attempted in the declining region . Eighteen of 102 nests were successful ( ?1 egg hatched ) , in the stable region and 7 of 60 nests were successful in the declining region . Nest -survival analysis showed an influence of temporal variation within years , yet no differences in nest survival were detected between stable and declining regions . Poult survival also showed no difference between regions . The 2 overall objectives of this study were to determine if nesting parameters and nest survival were limiting factors in Rio Grande wild turkey abundance in the Edwards Plateau . Regional differences in production suggest the cause of the decline in the southeastern portion of the Edwards Plateau could be associated with lower reproductive output and consequently , success . Regional differences in nest survival were not detected , thus not likely to cause differences in turkey abundance between regions .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2617
Date: 2009-05-15

Citation

Reproductive ecology of Rio Grande wild turkey in the Edwards Plateau of Texas. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2617 .

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