K. David Godwin

Short-term Response of Eastern Cottontails to Prescribed Fire in East-central Mississippi

Prescribed burning is an often used and economical management tool to manage for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and eastern cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus floridanus). Although prescribed fire creates and maintains early successional plant communities that benefit cottontails, short-term effects (direct and indirect) of prescribed burning on cottontails are unclear. To document cottontail response to fire, we examined pre- and post-burn home range (HR) and core area (CA) size, post-burn movement rates, and post-burn survival and cause-specific mortality rates for 10 cottontails (...


Delineating Age and Species of Harvested Cottontail and Swamp Rabbits

Age structure of harvested populations is important to wildlife biologists to adequately observe effects of harvest and management regimes. We aged harvested cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) and swamp (S. aquaticus) rabbits by eye lens weight. We developed 2 logistic regression equations based on external morphometrics (mass [N=213] and hind foot length [N=209]) to predict age and species. Our model used to delineate species had high correct classification rates (>89%). Hind foot length and mass were significant predictors of age class for both species and correct classification rates...


Effects of Red-cockaded Woodpecker Management on Vegetative Composition and Structure and Subsequent Impacts on Game Species

To facilitate recovery of the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW), management priorities and practices on >800,000 ha of Forest Service land in the Southeastern United States have been realigned to restore the pine-grassland system to which the RCW is adapted. Management regimes for RCW involve fire and mechanical suppression of hardwood understory and midstory. As such, RCW management practices might be expected to alter plant communities and associated wildlife populations. We examined differences in vegetation composition and structure between mature pine stands managed for red-...


Economic Impact and Associated Values of the Wild Turkey in Mississippi

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) has ecological, aesthetic, recreational, and economic values. Gross expenditures of hunters have been used to estimate economic value of game species. We examined the economic impact and associated values of the wild turkey in Mississippi. Expenditures of wild turkey hunters were obtained from a mail survey (N = 2,143, 69.6% response to economic section) and were used in an input-output model to determine economic impacts for the state. There were 39,775 hunters engaged in 334,856 activity-days in 1993. Wild turkey hunters spent an estimated $14.8...


Characteristics and Attitudes of Wild Turkey Hunters in Mississippi

Wildlife management is the interaction of wildlife populations, habitats, and people. The eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) is an important wildlife resource. However, quantitative data on the human dimensions of wild turkey management are scarce. Therefore, we surveyed 2,143 Mississippi turkey hunters by mail to determine characteristics of this group, examine attitudes towards regulations and management issues, and determine how hunter characteristics influenced attitudes. We received responses from 1,524 participants (71.1%). The average respondent was male, a...


Movements of Wild Turkey Gobblers in Central Mississippi

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is an important game species throughout the Southeast. While many long-term research projects have provided quantitative data on wild turkey ecology, information on daily gobbler movements is lacking. Because data on gobbler mobility may affect habitat and population management, we studied gobbler movements by radio-telemetry (N = 2,775 locations) on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi. Gobblers (N = 48) were monitored from 1 February 1989 through 30 September 1990 hourly from roost to 1200 hours (morning) and 1300 hours to roost (afternoon...


Habitat Use of Wild Turkey Gobblers on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi

Seasonal habitat use was monitored for 130 radio-equipped wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) gobblers on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi, 1986-90. Juvenile and adult gobblers used a variety of habitats within each season and usually exhibited similar trends in habitat use. In summer (Jun-Sep) both age classes used bottomland hardwoods less than expected during most years. However, use of bottomland hardwoods was greater than availability during spring. Use of mature pine (Pinus spp.) stands was usually less than availability in spring and greater than availability during...


Survival Rates of Radio-equipped Wild Turkey Gobblers in East-central Mississippi

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Seasonal and annual survival rates were determined for 130 radio-equipped eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) gobblers on Tallabala Wildlife Management Area, Mississippi, 1986-90. Annual survival rates varied from 0.390.54. Spring gobbler hunting (SGH) season survival rates within a year and annual survival rates for that year did not differ (P > 0.10). SGH survival rates were significantly lower than all other periods within each year, and no other differences were detected within years. Our data suggest that mortality during SGH season had a significant affect on...


Relationship of Wild Turkey Gobbler Movements and Harvest Rates to Management Area Boundaries

We monitored 122 radio-equipped wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) gobblers on Tallahala Wildlife Management Area (TWMA), Mississippi, during all seasons, 1986-89. Gobblers that had ≥50% of telemetry locations off the area were considered off TWMA. Percent off of the area was greater (P <0.1) in spring than summer 1986. An average of 34% of gobblers was off TWMA during the spring hunting period, 1986-89. We detected no difference in harvest rates between gobblers on and off TWMA. Managers should consider harvest on adjacent private lands when planning for public hunting areas.