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Population Dynamics of Wild Turkeys in Kansas (Meleagris gallopavo): Theoretical Considerations and Implications of Rural Mail Carrier Survey (RMCS) Data

Jared W. McJunkin, Derek A. Zelmer and Roger D. Applegate
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 154, No. 1 (Jul., 2005), pp. 178-187
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3566626
Page Count: 10
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Population Dynamics of Wild Turkeys in Kansas (Meleagris gallopavo): Theoretical Considerations and Implications of Rural Mail Carrier Survey (RMCS) Data
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Abstract

Rural mail carrier surveys (RMCS) have been used to track populations of game animals in the United States for many years, but few states employ RMCS data to track populations of wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo). Fourteen years (1987-2000) of RMCS data and hunter harvest data were examined for trends in wild turkey population dynamics in Kansas. Exponential expansion was seen in five of the six regions of the state, the only exception being the southwest, where the population dynamics did not differ significantly from a zero-growth model. Although no population estimates exist for comparison with the relative indices generated from the RMCS data, the residuals from respective exponential models, which represent stochastic fluctuations in turkey abundance, were correlated among adjacent regions of the RMCS, suggesting that the RMCS is internally consistent. Comparisons of RMCS indices with hunter harvest survey data are suggestive of a Type-I functional response curve in the fall hunting season and a Type-II functional response curve in the spring hunting season. Changes in current management strategies are proposed to increase harvest in response to the observed growth of wild turkey populations in Kansas.

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