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Differential survival and reproduction of mid-western and southeastern eastern wild turkey broodstocks reintroduced into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas
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Objectives of this study were to evaluate differences in survival and reproduction between mid-western and southeastern eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) broomsticks used in restoration efforts in the Post Oak Savannah of Texas. To achieve these objectives, eastern wild turkeys from the mid-west (Iowa n = 39) and southeast (Texas n = 18, South Carolina n = 11) were live trapped, radio-tagged, and released on 2 separate study areas in the Post Oak Savannah. Birds were monitored using radio-telemetry and survival and reproduction were evaluated. No statistical (P > 0.05) difference was found in total first-year survival between mid-western (50%, n = 28) and southeastern (50%, n = 22) hens. Total first-year survival for mid-western and southeastern gobblers was 67% (n = 9) and 80% (n = 5), respectively. Combined second-year survival for mid-western hens was 66% (n = 12) and 100% (n = 9) for southeastern hens. When broomstick and sex were combined (mid-western and southeastern hens and gobblers), second-year survival was higher (P < 0.006) than first-year survival. Third-year survival for 1996 initial mid-western hens was 66% (n = 6) and 0% (n = 2) for southeastern hens. Third-year survival of 1996 initial mid-western and southeastern gobblers was 100% (n = 2) and 75% (n = 4), respectively. No comparisons were made with third-year survival since it was an incomplete year. Mammalian predation was responsible for 43.5% (n = 10) and 40.0% (n = 6) of all mortality on mid-western and southeastern birds, respectively. There was no statistical (P > 0.05) difference in total first-year nesting rate between broomsticks. When broomsticks were combined, total second-year nesting rate (100%, n = 9) was significantly (P < 0.001) higher than combined total fast-year nesting rate (61%, n = 38). Since 1996, only 1 mid-western hen and 2 southeastern hells hatched clutches. No poult survival beyond 2-weeks post-hatch was documented. I suggest factors other than broomstick source are limiting the success of the eastern wild turkey restocking efforts in the southern Post Oak Savannah of Texas.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 27-32).
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Thorne, John Karl (1999). Differential survival and reproduction of mid-western and southeastern eastern wild turkey broodstocks reintroduced into the Post Oak Savannah of Texas. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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