Identification of poult mortality agents and associated rates are critical to management of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris), particularly in coastal plain pine forests where reported mortality rates are greater than those documented in other environments. We studied rates and specific causes of mortality for wild turkey poults in south Georgia and north Florida from 1988-1993. During the period, 34 of 344 poults from 39 broods survived to 28 days post hatch and yearly mortality rates averaged 90.8% ± 1.8. Predation accounted for 88% of the 106 identified deaths with raccoons (Procyon lotor) the leading cause of mortality.
Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper