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Title: Macrohabitat associations of Merriam's turkeys in the Black Hills, South Dakota

Author: Rumble, Mark A.; Anderson, Stanley H.;

Date: 1993

Source: Northwest science. 67(4): 238-245

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Merriam's turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) were introduced into South Dakota in the late 1940's and have since expanded to occupy the entire Black Hills. Because little is known of their habitat requirements and the effects of forest management practices on this important game species, macrohabitat selections patterns of Merriam's turkeys in the Black Hills, SD were studied. Habitat units of 3-32 ha were delineated and described with methods used by the Forest Service for assessing impacts of management activities on wildlife. Winter habitats of turkeys were ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) with greater than 70% overstory canopy cover. Summer habitats of turkeys were open ponderosa pine. Meadows were selected less than expected during all seasons. Resolution of conflicts over management of national forests depend largely on understanding of effects of management activities on wildlife species. Managing ponderosa pine at 14 to 18 m2/ha basal area in mature stands will reduce winter habitat for turkeys, but is consistent with summer habitat of adult turkeys without poults.

Keywords: Meleagris gallopavo merriami, turkeys, habitat selection, Black Hills, South Dakota

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Rumble, Mark A.; Anderson, Stanley H. 1993. Macrohabitat associations of Merriam''s turkeys in the Black Hills, South Dakota. Northwest science. 67(4): 238-245


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