Effects of Winter Capture on Wild Turkey Hen Movement in Mississippi

Analyses of movement patterns of free-ranging animals derived via radiotelemetry assumes that capture has no effect on the parameters of interest. To mitigate against potential biases, many researchers will censor locational data for an arbitrary post-capture duration (e.g., 2 weeks). To investigate validity of this assumption, we compared home range size, average inter-location distance, dispersion, and total distance moved between hens captured in a given interval to those captured in previous intervals. Data were from winter-captured hens in Kemper County, Mississippi, 1986-1992. No significant differences were found in any movement parameter. We concluded that, for hens not suffering acute capture-related stress, no substantial bias in movement data occurred within 30 days post-capture.

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