Rio Grande wild turkey hen survival and habitat selection in south central Kansas
Miller, Michael Shane
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Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) hen survival and habitat selection were studied in south central Kansas using radio-telemetry during the reproductive season (15 March to 15 August) in 1991 and 1992. Dispersal distances did not differ (P > 0.05) between years, but were larger (P < 0.05) for juveniles than adults. Juveniles that dispersed long distances had a higher probability (P = 0.07) of survival than short-dispersing juveniles. The reproductive season survival rate was 0.621. No difference (~ > 0.05) in survival rate was detected for age classes or years. Survival was lowest during the 1 April to 31 May period, and mammalian predators were responsible for 83% of the mortality. Renesting hens had a higher probability (P < 0.01) of survival than hens attempting their first nests of the year. The average reproductive season home range size was 2,879 ha. Home range size did not differ (~ > 0.05) between age classes or years. Adult hens were more consistent than juveniles for their selection of cover-types in 50% and 85% core areas. Adults at the EAST (Bell and Dunn trapsites) and WEST (Haas and Woolfolk trapsites) sites selected against (P < 0.05) cropland and CRP fields. EAST adults selected for (P < 0.05) rangeland in their 50% and 85% core use areas, but WEST adults did not (P > 0.05). Juvenile core area selection was not only variable between years, but also between sites. Nesting hens selected for (P < 0.05) the CRP cover-type for first nesting attempts. Hens shifted cover-type use during renesting attempts. The CRP cover-type was used less frequently, and the rangeland cover-type was used more frequently for renesting attempts. Brood-rearing hens selected for (P < 0.05) riparian and treerow cover-types and against (P > 0.05) cropland and CRP fields at the Woolfolk trapsite. Cover-types were used in proportion to their availability by broods at the Dunn trapsite.