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Potential Density Dependence in Wild Turkey Productivity in the Southeastern United States

We summarized state-level data on productivity across the southeastern United States to generate hypotheses as to what could be influencing the regional declines ongoing for the past 2 decades.  The data clearly showed that declining productivity was supported by regional declines in hens observed during summer with poults.  We also noted that hens survival appeared to higher now than during previous decades, which suggests that perhaps a form of density-dependence is influencing wild turkey populations.  We postulated that increasing percentages of hens being forced to nest in suboptimal nest habitat, resulting in reduced productivity, may be a possible mechanism that is at play.

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