Nesting habitat and nesting success of eastern wild turkeys in the Arkansas Ozark highlands

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

[The author] studied nesting habitat of the eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in the Arkansas Ozarks during the breeding seasons of 1992 and 1993. Hens selected cover with greater complexity and variability in habitat structure than was generally available. Vegetation in preferred cover types provided substantial concealment at 0-1 m height. Hens selected large patches of habitat (about 80 m in diameter) for nesting. Areas adjacent to nests had characteristics intermediate between nest and non-use sites. Open overstory at nest sites and dense understory adjacent to the nest-site areas were apparently used as cues in nest habitat selection early in spring. Parameters correlated with enhanced lateral and overhead concealment of the nest site contributed the most to discrimination between used and non-used sites. Successful and depredated nests were best discriminated when data were considered on a larger spatial scale. Visual obstruction of the nest at 0-1 m height and variable nesting habitat appearance contributed the most to avoiding nest predation. Vegetation characteristics at renest sites were more variable, resulting in habitat appearance more diverse than that of first nest sites. [The author] suggest[s] that nest predation influences habitat selection here and availability of suitable nesting habitat may be a limiting factor for wild turkey populations in the Arkansas Ozarks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
No781 I
Specialist publicationNCASI Technical Bulletin
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Media Technology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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