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    Description

    An important research area regarding the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is development of sound habitat models. Habitat models provide standardized methods to quantify wild turkey habitat and stimulate new research hypotheses. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models show species-habitat relationships on a scale of O-l, with 1 being optimum. A proposed HSI model for Merriam’s turkeys (M. g. merriami) was applied to data we collected at Merriam’s turkey locations and random sites in the Black Hills, South Dakota. We tested this model, assuming that if all available habitats were suitable for turkeys, HSIs of random sites should not exceed those of turkey locations. Several variables and one component of the proposed model had higher HSIs from random sites than from turkey locations. The overall HSI from the Lindzey-Suchy (L-S) model suggested low habitat suitability for an area with an abundant and productive turkey population. We propose a revised HSI model that contains winter and summer brood components. Optimum values for some variables of our model are similar to those from other subspecies of wild turkeys.

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    Citation

    Rumble, Mark A.; Anderson, Stanley H. 1996. A test of the habitat suitability model for Merriam''s wild turkeys. In: Dickson, James G., ed. Proceedings of the Seventh National Wild Turkey Symposium: 24-26 May, 1995, Rapid City, South Dakota. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books: 165-173

    Keywords

    Merriam's turkey, Meleagris gallopavo merriami, habitat suitability, models, model testing, Habitat suitability index (HSI)

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