Brood Habitat Use and Preference by Wild Turkeys in Central Mississippi

Brood habitat use and preference by eastern wild turkey hens (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) were studied by radio telemetry in central Mississippi in 1984 and 1985. Habitat use and preference were determined for 11 broods in the 1-14 days age group and 8 broods in the 1-84 days age group. Mature bottomland hardwood forests with a continuous canopy, sparse shrub and understory, and moderate herbaceous (grasses, forbs, vines, sedges) ground cover were highly perferred (P ≤ 0.05) brood habitat for both age periods. Mature pine (Pinus spp.) stands and pine or hardwood regeneration areas > 1 year were avoided. Use of fields or burned pine stands was low and was influenced by their location in reference to preferred habitat.

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ID
17507