Ecological and behavioral correlates of variation in seasonal home ranges of wild turkeys

Alexander V. Badyaev, William J. Etges, Thomas E. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the effects of habitat distribution, age, sex, and body mass on variation in seasonal home ranges of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). During 1992-94 we obtained and analyzed 11,354 locations of 156 wild turkeys in the Arkansas Ozarks. In particular, we tested the prediction that home range size and seasonal range juxtaposition covary with social status and physiological condition of an individual. Participation in breeding, age, and body mass strongly influenced spring and summer range sizes and range use in both sexes. As predicted, adult wild turkeys had smaller home ranges during the breeding season and greater overlap among seasonal ranges than yearlings. Successful females had a higher probability of using their breeding area during fall and winter than unsuccessful females. Habitat availability and distribution and acorn harvest were significant correlates of winter range size and use for females. Spring and prenesting ranges of females in our study area were the largest reported for eastern wild turkeys. We attributed this pattern to high nest predation which might cause extensive nest site selection movements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-164
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Volume60
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arkansas
  • Meleagris gallopavo silvestris
  • breeding status
  • eastern wild turkey
  • home range
  • home range use
  • social status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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