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The Influence of Prescribed Fire on Wild Turkeys in the Southeastern United States: A Review and Synthesis

We reviewed available literature on prescribed fire and how wild turkeys may respond to it.  Fire return intervals of 2-3 years appear to be the most favorable to wild turkeys, but the presence of areas not burned such as hardwood forests is critical to maintaining high quality habitat for wild turkeys.  Contrary to misperceptions by the public, growing season fires of an appropriate scale appear to pose little threat to wild turkeys through either nest or brood loss.  We recommended additional research be conducted, which did occur and can be found on this website, to determine the most appropriate scale at which to apply prescribed fire – in other words, what sized fires are too large for wild turkeys.

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