Restoration of the wild turkey in east Texas: simulation of alternative restocking strategies
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Models that simulate population dynamics of relocated populations should prove useful during the restoration of extirpated species. One fundamental question facing restoration ecologists attempting to restore wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) populations is the number of birds to release per restoration site. We describe the development of a simulation model capable of evaluating a variety of stocking strategies for eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silbestris). Simulation results suggest that in the coniferous and deciduous forests of east Texas, supplemental (multiple) stockings do not use difficult-to-procure broodstock as effectively as initially stocking new sites. We also found that using juvenile females or a combination of 50% adult and 50% juvenile females significantly (P < 0.032) increased turkey survival. Based upon these data, it appears that biologists attempting to restore wild turkeys in east Texas should use the higher stocking rates we evaluated and ≥ 50% juvenile females during releases. Models that simulate the dynamics of relocated populations benefit restoration efforts by allowing restoration ecologists to evaluate various stocking strategies quickly and inexpensively prior to initiating costly restoration programs. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
author list (cited authors)
Lopez, R. R., Grant, W. E., Silvy, N. J., Peterson, M. J., Feuerbacher, C. K., & Corson, M. S.