L. Mike Conner

Habitat Characteristics of Eastern Wild Turkey Nest and Ground-roost Sites in 2 Longleaf Pine Forests

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Managing and restoring longleaf pine forests throughout the Southeast is a conservation priority. Prescribed fire is an integral part of these activities, as it is the primary means of controlling hardwood encroachment and maintaining native groundcover. Nest site and preflight brood ground- roost site selection of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) has not been well studied in longleaf pine systems. Therefore, we determined habitat characteristics associated with wild turkey nests and ground-roosts in 2 longleaf pine forests in southwestern Georgia. We radio-tagged 45...

Year
2015

Coyote and Bobcat Predation on White-tailed Deer Fawns in a Longleaf Pine Ecosystem in Southwestern Georgia

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Managing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) populations requires an understanding of fawn survival and cause-specific mortality. In the Southeast, coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) can be major sources of fawn mortality and may limit some white-tailed deer populations. We captured and radio-collared 47 fawns at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in southwestern Georgia during 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2012 to quantify cause-specific mortality and survival. Fawn survival to 20 weeks of age (i.e., opening day of firearms season) was 29.0%. Coyote predation...

Year
2015

Effects of Growing-season Prescribed Fire on Eastern Wild Turkey Nest Survival, Nest Success, and Poult Survival in Southwestern Georgia

We investigated effects of growing-season prescribed fire on daily nest survival, nest success, and poult survival of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) on two similar research sites in southwestern Georgia: the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center and Silver Lake Wildlife Management Area. We collected daily locations for radio-tagged females throughout the 2011-2012 nesting seasons. Females with nests or poults near or within an active growing-season fire were located hourly. We estimated poult survival using flush counts and incidental sightings until poults...

Year
2012

Effects of a Supplemental Food Source and Nest Density on Success of Artificial Ground Nests

Nest predation can limit avian recruitment and may be a proximate source of population declines in many avian populations. Because nest predation may be affected by availability of alternative foods and nest density, we used artificial nests and track counts to evaluate effects of supplemental food and nest density on nest success of artificial ground nests. Nest success was lower at 7 of 9 nest density classes when a supplemental food source was present. In the absence of supplemental food, nest success was inversely related to nest density, but when supplemental food was present,...

Year
2010

Predator Removal and White-tailed Deer Recruitment in Southwestern Georgia

We assessed the efficacy of predator removal as a tool for increasing white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) recruitment at the Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center in southwestern Georgia, an area with a low-density (2-6 deer/km2) deer herd. We partitioned our 11,736-ha study area into predator removal (approximately 4,200 ha) and non-removal (approximately 2,800 ha) zones with a 4,500-ha buffer between them. We removed 23 coyotes (Canis latrans) and 3 bobcats (Lynx rufus) from the removal zone between January and August 2008. Most of these (14 coyotes and 1 bobcat) were...

Year
2009

Bat Community Structure and Activity in Longleaf and Loblolly Pine Forests of Southwest Georgia

The area of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forests have declined whereas intensive pine (Pinus spp.) silviculture has increased on the southeastern landscape. Because effects of differing pine management scenarios on bat community structure and activity are largely unknown, we used mist nets and acoustic surveys to examine these factors on mature longleaf pine and intensively managed loblolly pine (P. taeda) landscapes in southwestern Georgia. We placed mist nets over ponds, small streams, and roadside ditches and placed bat detectors in replicates of four vegetation types (open, closed...

Year
2006

Seasonal and Annual Home Ranges of Female Eastern Wild Turkeys in a Managed Pine Landscape in Mississippi

Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) are an important recreational resource throughout their range. Previous research has shown that intensively managed pine forests can sustain huntable populations of eastern wild turkeys. However, little research has examined patterns of spatial use of turkeys within these systems. An expected increase in acreage of intensively managed pine forests over the next half century requires a basic understanding of wild turkey ecology in these systems. Therefore, we used a long-term (1986-1993) data set to estimate annual and seasonal home...

Year
2005

Habitat Use of Bobcats at Two Spatial Scales in Southwestern Georgia

Habitat needs of wildlife are important for science-based wildlife management. Further, these needs may differ based upon the ecosystem in which the species lives. Bobcat habitat use within the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) forest ecosystem has received little attention. Therefore, we monitored 21 bobcats (Lynx rufus) (8 M, 13 F) during 2001-2002 in southwestern Georgia to determine habitat use at two different spatial scales: (1) habitat associated with each animal's locations relative to habitat composition of its home range and (2) habitat composition of each bobcat's home range...

Year
2003

Bobcat Diet on an Area Managed for Northern Bobwhite

We quantified bobcat (Lynx rufus) diet on a longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) dominated area managed for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus), hereafter quail. We sorted prey items to species when possible, but for analysis we categorized them into 1 of 5 classes: rodent, bird, deer, rabbit, and other species. Bobcat diet did not differ seasonally (X2 = 17.82, P = 0.1213). Most scats (91%) contained rodent, 14% contained bird, 9% contained deer (Odocoileus virginianus), 6% contained rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.), and 12% contained other. Quail remains were detected in only 2 of 135 bobcat scats...

Year
2003

Bachman's Sparrow Habitat in the Lower Flint River Basin, Georgia

Bachman's sparrow (Aimophila aestivalis) populations are generally declining throughout much of the Southeast, and habitat loss is suspected as the principal force driving declines. Therefore, we assessed the potential effects of current land use practices on Bachman's sparrows (BACS) within the lower Flint River Basin (LFRB). We then used a previously developed habitat model to quantify current available BACS habitat and used common landscape metrics to describe fragmentation of remaining habitat. Prior to major land use changes associated with European settlement, approximately 86% of...

Year
2003