Markus J. Peterson

Distribution, Fidelity, and Abundance of Rio Grande Wild Turkey Roosts in the Texas Coastal Sand Plains

Sustainable management of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) requires information on distribution and abundance across the range. Techniques for surveying wild turkey populations in Texas are constrained by land access issues, requiring integration of landowners and managers into monitoring activities. We evaluated the use of 1) aerial surveys for estimating the distribution of Rio Grande wild turkeys (M. g. intermedia) relative to roosting habitat, and 2) multiple-observer roost counts for estimating local turkey abundance and roost-site fidelity within the Texas coastal sand plain....

Year
2011

Raccoon Abundance and Rio Grande Wild Turkey Production in Central Texas

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

An understanding of spatial and temporal dynamics of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) populations is essential in setting management goals. In central Texas, raccoon (Procyon lotor) populations have increased in recent years, causing concern that they may be limiting Rio Grande wild turkey (M. g. intermedia) production. We used two long-term data sets in central Texas to explore the relationship between raccoon abundance and Rio Grande wild turkey production at the regional, county, and local scale. We found no evidence that natural variation in raccoon abundance was associated with Rio...

Year
2004

Brood-count Power Estimates of Rio Grande Turkey Production in Texas

Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Brood counts are used frequently by state conservation agencies to estimate wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) recruitment. We performed power analyses for 25 years of Rio Grande Wild Turkey (M. g. intermedia; RGWT) brood-count data from five ecological regions of Texas in order to determine if these data had sufficient (1-b ?0.80) power to detect inter-annual and long-term changes in turkey production of 10%-20%, which we considered biologically meaningful. We then analyzed the data to determine trends in production. The analyses showed that a minimum annual sample of 200-500 turkey-group...

Year
2003

Animal Welfare-based Modification of the Rio Grande Wild Turkey Funnel Trap

The funnel trap has proven a safe (for handlers), efficient, low-manpower method of capturing Rio Grande turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia). Field biologists in Texas maintain that private ranchers accept this technique more readily than alternatives because it is passive and only requires one person. The impact of the technique on animal welfare, however, has not been addressed. In 2002, in the first year of an ongoing population ecology study, we trapped 46 turkeys using a standard walk in trap, and 40 more where a tarpaulin was slipped over the trap prior to removing birds. Using...

Year
2003

Relationships of Fur Market Conditions to Texas Quail Populations

Quail are declining throughout much of their range in the southeastern United States. The reason for this decline is unknown. However, the decline of fur prices during the late 1980s fueled a hypothesis that furbearer harvest has decreased, which in turn led to an increase in furbearer abundance, and a subsequent decrease in quail numbers. To evaluate this hypothesis, we attempted to correlate raccoon (Procycon lotor) fur prices, furbearer and raccoon harvest, and furbearer and raccoon abundance with abundance of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) and scaled quail (Callipepla squamata...

Year
2000

Evaluating 2 Potential Limiting Factors for Relocated Turkeys in Texas

Relocated eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) have been increasing in northern Post Oak Savannah (POS) of Texas. However, it has been difficult to establish populations in the southern POS where mortality is high and reproductive success low. It has been proposed that high spring precipitation and high carnivore numbers account for poor population viability in the southern POS. We found that spring precipitation (1994-1995 nesting seasons) was not above the historic average (1950-1993), nor did unusually high rainfall events occur. These data suggest that spring...

Year
1999

Characteristics of Wild Turkey Hunters in Texas

To determine the characteristics of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) hunters in Texas, and their attitudes and preferences concerning turkey hunting and management, we developed and mailed a self-administered questionnaire to a sample of licensed turkey hunters in Texas and members of the Texas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). We sampled 3,500 turkey stamp purchasers and 2,345 members of the Texas Chapter of the NWTF. We received questionnaires from 1,300 (37%) of the turkey stamp purchasers and 748 (32%) of the members of the Texas Chapter of the NWTF. We refer to...

Year
1999