Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Richard D. Andrews
Wild-trapped turkey were first released in southwestern Illinois in 1959. This, and subsequent releases have established a huntable population of wild turkey in the area. Until 1970, no evaluation of the status of the bird had been made. This study was conducted in June, July, August and September, 1970, to determine the distribution, productivity and relative abundance of the wild turkey in Alexander, Jackson, Union and Williamson Counties and to make recommendations for future management of the population. Information was supplied by rural mail carriers, Illinois Department of Conservation and U. S. Forest Service personnel and local residents together with field work by the author. Densities were rated high in six areas; moderate densities were found adjacent to and between areas of high density; low density areas were also documented. Considerable range expansion from the original wild-trapped release sites was noted. Areas for future range expansion were limited by habitat, land use and human disturbances, and by physical barriers. Productivity was found to sufficiently high to maintain or increase populations. Rainfall and flooding were severe enough during the peak of hatching and the period of young poults to be potentially restrictive to productivity. Recommendations for future management practices include: use of one standardized roadside census and the establishment of spring gobbler counts to determine population trends; censuses by rural mail carriers, but for a shorter period of time; additional brood studies to evaluate brood survival; continued resident interviews to monitor range and population changes.
Cottingham, Robert Merle, "Status of the Wild Turkey in Southwestern Illinois in 1970" (1974). Masters Theses. 3685.
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