Survival, reproduction, movement, and habitat use of female eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) in Manitoba’s Pembina Valley
Kiss, Brian W.
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Vital rates and movement patterns of eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) have never been studied at the northern extent of their North American range in Manitoba, Canada. Using radio telemetry during 2011 and 2012, this study collected estimates of female spring/summer survival, reproductive success, dispersal, home range size, and habitat use. Females had a 53% survival probability, 82% nesting frequency, 29% nesting success, 35% hen success, 11.3 eggs/clutch, 89% hatching success, and a natality rate of 2.3. Winter weather and relatively high predator numbers appear to have caused annual variation in survival and hen success. Spring dispersal distances and home ranges averaged 8.2 km and 554.4 ha, respectively. Home ranges were selected in relation to forests, cattle feedlots, and grasslands; while within home ranges, individuals selected areas close to grasslands, forests, and intermittent streams. These results can be used when modeling current populations, managing harvest, and structuring future releases.