A new report indicates that wild turkey populations in Texas are at risk, which has prompted concern among wildlife scientists and landowners who are interested in wild turkey conservation.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials and wildlife scientists are conducting numerous studies in efforts to determine what is causing the apparent wild turkey decline.
Scientists at Ceaser Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) at Texas A&M University- Kingsville have been focusing on Rio Grande wild turkeys because of the declination in recent years. Like any wildlife species, wild turkeys have important habitat requirements. They like to roost in large trees, particularly live oak and hackberry. However, due to our three year drought many of these trees are dying and its natural roosts are limited, resulting in survival decrease and turkeys abandoning areas.
In some areas, turkeys will use artificial, man-made roost structures when natural roosts are unavailable. CKWRI has initiated a project solely based on the education and perseverance of wild turkeys. This project consist of constructing more roosts as well as placing them correctly in order to determine what is most favored by wild turkeys. The project also incorporates field work such as collecting data about vegetation, data on habitat composition, and trapping and attaching radio transmitters to study their movements during breeding and nesting seasons.
I believe that with the contribution towards the research of wild turkeys, we will be able to keep the wild turkey population in Texas thriving.