Ecological Factors Affecting Wild Turkey Nest Predation On South Texas Rangelands

During the summers of 1976 and 1977, predation rates were determined for 350 dummy Rio Grande turkey (Meleagris gal!opavo intermedia) nests on the Welder Wildlife Refuge in south Texas. Grazing system, pasture deferment time, plant community, and coyote ( Canis latrans) exclusion significantly affected predation rates. No differences were found for soil type, CQver type, egg type, or the effects of hair-catchers at nests. Based on 'hair sample's, striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Pro(von lotor) were the major nest predators on the Welder Refuge, whereas coyotes and armadillos (Das.vpus novemcinctus) were of minor importance. No patterns of nest predation could be characterized based on predator sign left at the nest.

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