An evaluation of efforts to reestablish eastern wild turkeys into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas
|Institution:||Texas A&M University|
|Department:||wildlife and fisheries sciences|
|Keywords:||wildlife and fisheries sciences.; Major wildlife and fisheries sciences.|
|Full text PDF:||http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-2000-THESIS-P435|
The overall objective of this study was to summarize the cumulative results of 5 studies focusing on efforts to reestablish eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas and to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. Specifically, I evaluated relocated eastern wild turkey survival and reproduction in respect to initially and supplementally stocked populations, source of broodstock, year of release, and area of release. From 1994-2000, 233 eastern wild turkeys were live-trapped, radio-tagged, and released on 8 separate study sites representative of conditions in the northern, central, and southern Post Oak Savannah. Birds were monitored using radio-telemetry and survival and reproduction were evaluated for each study site, as well as for the ecoregion as a whole. First-year survival for initially and supplementally relocated males was 55%, and no significant (P > 0.05) differences were found for male survival between broodstocks, years of release, or area of release. I found no differences in first-year survival of females between initially and supplementally stocked populations, broodstock, area of release, or in comparison to survival in subsequent years. First-year annual survival for initially and supplementally stocked females was 50% and 69%, respectively. I found no difference in first-year survival between sex or when combining all initially and supplementally stocked birds. Overall survival for initially and supplementally stocked birds were 51% and 64%, respectively. I found no differences in survival for both sexes between first, second, third, or fourth year following release (57%, 71%, 68%, and 67%, respectively). Reproduction in relocated eastern wild turkeys occurred in only 1 study site. Differences were found in comparisons of hen success between study sites (x² = 8.139, P = 0.004), however, I found no difference in reproduction in the first, second, third, or fourth year following release for females in all study sites nor for females in the reproductively successful study site. In reality, only 4 of the 171 females relocated were reproductively successful, and 14 poults survived beyond 2-weeks post-hatch. Such low recruitment is most likely limiting the success of these relocated eastern wild turkeys.