Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) are an upland game species of high economic value in South Texas and require different landscape spatial patterns between breeding and wintering seasons for breeding, nesting, poult – rearing, loafing, and roosting. The objective of this research was to understand land cover spatial structure to provide significant insight into how wild turkeys in South Texas utilize their habitat. This was achieved by combining landscape ecology and remote sensing principles through the use of landscape metrics to quantify habitat landscape structure. Confidence ellipsoids derived from telemetry data were used to assess habitat structure, and classified imagery at multiple spatial scales of constructed roosting sites were used to determine wild turkey roost site characteristics in areas where lack of suitable roosting cover is considered a limiting factor of wild turkey population increases. Rio Grande wild turkeys were found to occupy larger, more aggregated patches of woody cover during the wintering season than during the breeding season. Constructed roost sites used during the breeding season were characterized by an increase in herbaceous vegetation as distance from the constructed roost increased, while sites used during the wintering season were associated with large patches of woody cover.
|Advisor:||Perotto-Baldivieso, Humberto L, Kuvlesky, Jr, William P|
|Commitee:||Brennan, Leonard A, Ortega-S, J Alfonso|
|School:||Texas A&M University - Kingsville|
|Department:||Animal and Wildlife Science|
|School Location:||United States -- Texas|
|Source:||MAI 81/11(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Constructed roost, Landscape ecology, Wild turkey|
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