Nest site fidelity and dispersal of Rio Grande wild turkey hens in Texas
Authors: S. L. Locke, J. B. Hardin, K. L. Skow, M. J. Peterson, N. J. Silvy, B. A. Collier
Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) nests suffer high predation rates exceeding 65%, which may limit recruitment. We evaluated post-nesting movements of reproductively active female Rio Grande wild turkeys. We monitored 194 nesting attempts between 2005 and 2010 and documented 17% and 32% overall apparent nest success for the Edwards Plateau and Central Rio Grande Plains study regions, respectively. Rio Grande wild turkey hens move approximately 1.2 km (SD = 0.7) between nesting attempts within a nesting season and approximately 1.4 km (SD = 1.6) between initial nesting attempts among years. Rio Grande wild turkey hens selected open areas with moderate woody cover for nesting (x̄ = 37.7%; range = 3.0–88.2%). Patchiness of vegetation in the nesting landscape also was borne out by typically low edge-to-area ratios (x̄ = 0.20; range = 0.040–0.732). We found no clear pattern in movement distance and either landscape composition or edge-to-area ratio for within or between breeding season nest site selection for either the Edwards Plateau or Central Rio Grande Plains study region. Based on our results, movement distances post-nest failure do not seem to influence habitat selection.
Locke, S. L., J. B. Hardin, K. L. Skow, M. J. Peterson, N. J. Silvy, and B. A. Collier. 2012. Nest site fidelity and dispersal of Rio Grande wild turkey hens in Texas. Journal of Wildlife Management, In Press.