Survival and Reproduction of Eastern Wild Turkeys Relocated into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas

Relocated (N = 76) eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) were released into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas in winters 1994 and 1995. Before release, each bird was fitted with a radio transmitter and numbered leg band. Mortality and reproduction were monitored through 1996 to determine survival and reproduction. First-year annual survival rates for gobblers and hens was 0.286 and 0.484, respectively. One of 4 study areas lost all gobblers within the first year. Mammalian predation (63.4%) was the primary cause of mortality. High post-release mortality was attributed to habitat unfamiliarity. Poult survival 2 weeks post-hatch was 0, resulting in the lowest reproductive success reported for this subspecies. Low reproductive success is attributable to unsuitable nesting and brooding habitat.

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