Dispersal and Adjustment to Habitat of Restocked Wild Turkeys in Georgia

Range parameters of 16 wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) restocked in a Georgia Piedmont habitat were evaluated folloWing early spring releases. Turkeys were tracked by radio telemetry. On 152 occasions, they were radio-located every two hours all day; other radio and visual locations were determined randomly for a total of 1,850. Turkeys were released in what was considered to be the best habitat; their activities remained oriented around that area throughout the study. Ranges increased throughout the study and turkeys had adjusted to their environment within five weeks after release. Maximum distances traveled from the release point averaged 2.82km (1. 76 mi) and varied from 1.17km to 4.62km (0.73 to 2.89 mil with gobblers generally moving farther than hens. Ranges varied from 90.4 ha to 952.4 ha (226 to 2381 acres) with an average of 376 ha (940 acres). There was a continuous shifting of social groupings during the study.

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