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Behav Processes. 2012 Sep;91(1):119-24. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2012.06.006. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Effects of resource dispersion and site familiarity on movements of translocated wild turkeys on fragmented landscapes.

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  • 1Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Mail Stop 9690, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.


Animals in unfamiliar environments may increase exploratory movements, which may result in predation mortalities (the site familiarity hypothesis). Furthermore, increases in resource dispersion may reduce animal foraging time in small patches, and increase movements and home ranges of animals to acquire sufficient resources (the resource dispersion hypothesis). Little is known regarding effects of site familiarity on translocated birds in fragmented landscapes. We translocated 130 eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallapovo silvestris) in a sex ratio of one male to 4 females to 2 study sites that differed in forest fragmentation in MS, USA. Turkeys were captured from sites throughout Mississippi during springs 2009 and 2010. We monitored movements of translocated wild turkeys using radio telemetry. Movement distances and home ranges in 2010 did not differ among birds released in different years, inconsistent with the site familiarity hypothesis. However, movement distances and home ranges of translocated turkeys were greater at the more fragmented site than at the less fragmented site, supporting the resource dispersion hypothesis. Moreover, home range sizes were related positively to within-home-range variability in vegetative greenness measured by the normalized difference vegetation index. Effects of resource dispersion may override effects of site familiarity concerning translocated wild turkeys.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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