Post-capture Survival of Wild Turkeys: Effects of Age, Sex and Environment

Effects of capture on study animals requires thorough examination. We investigated effects of age, sex, and environmental conditions on probability of eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) post-capture survival in central Mississippi during winter and summer capture periods, 1984-1995. Females were more likely to die from capture-induced stress than males during winter capture; adult hens were more likely to die than subadult hens during summer. Survival rates of hens captured versus those not captured in a given period were similar. Environmental conditions did not affect probability of death from capture stress. We recommend researchers and managers, when possible, curtail trapping during periods of extreme cold or heat and that researchers quantify human-induced mortalities of research animals.

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