Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (170 K bytes)

Title: Survival and cause-specific mortality of Merriam's turkeys in the southern Black Hills

Author: Lehman, Chad P.; Flake, Lester D.; Rumble, Mark A.;

Date: 2007

Source: Proceedings of the National Wild Turkey Symposium. 9: 295-301.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Merriam's turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) in the Black Hills feed in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest habitats during winter, but some birds centralize winter activities within or near farmsteads that provide waste grain as supplemental food. The objective of our research was to determine if female Merriam's turkeys that wintered in association with supplemental food from livestock feeding had different survival rates than birds that wintered within ponderosa pine forest. We captured and radiomarked 94 females over a 4-year period. Winter (1 Dec-31 Mar) survival of Merriam's females wintering in association with livestock feeding and farmsteads (S = 0.94, SE = 0.03) was not different from females wintering in forest habitats (S = 0.92, SE = 0.03). Annual survival of adult females (mean S = 0.67, SE = 0.09) varied among years (range 0.54-0.83) from 2001-2003 based on Kaplan-Meier estimates. Lowest seasonal survival occurred during spring (1 Apr-30 Jun) (adult S = 0.83, SE = 0.04; yearling S = 0.64, SE = 0.13). Mammalian predators accounted for the highest percentage of mortality (47.2%). Primary mammalian predators were coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx rufus) based on evidence from infrared camera photos and dorsal guard hair identification. Survival in the southern Black Hills was similar or higher than rates reported for Merriam's turkey from both its indigenous range and introduced range.

Keywords: Black Hills, Merriam's, mortality, radiotelemetry, survival, wild turkey

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Lehman, Chad P.; Flake, Lester D.; Rumble, Mark A. 2007. Survival and cause-specific mortality of Merriam''s turkeys in the southern Black Hills. Proceedings of the National Wild Turkey Symposium. 9: 295-301.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.