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Journal Article

Nesting Ecology of Rio Grande Turkeys

Dean Ransom, Jr., Orrin J. Rongstad and Donald H. Rusch
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1987), pp. 435-439
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3801031
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3801031
Page Count: 5

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Topics: Hens, Turkeys, Bird nesting, Animal nesting, Survival rates, Poults, Pastures, Incubation, Nesting sites, Eggs
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Nesting Ecology of Rio Grande Turkeys
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Abstract

The nesting ecology of Rio Grande turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) was studied on the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Refuge (WWR), Sinton, Texas, during January-August 1983 and 1984. Radio telemetry was used to monitor the nesting activities of turkey hens. Twelve of 31 radio-tagged turkeys died during the study: 8 from predation, 1 from disease, 2 from trapping related injuries, and 1 from unknown causes. An annual hen survival rate of 0.73 was calculated from the total number of observation days and the known number of deaths. Ten (58%) of 17 instrumented hens reached incubation in 1983, but all nests were destroyed by predators. Two turkey broods were observed in 1983, one of 2 hens with 5 poults, the other 2 hens with 3 poults. In 1984, nesting data were gathered on 6 hens which reached incubation; 3 hatched eggs. Seven turkey broods totaling 8 hens with 40 poults were observed in August 1984. Nest sites were located in pastures deferred from livestock grazing.

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