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Wild Turkey Movements During Flooding After Opening of the Morganza Spillway, Louisiana

We marked several turkeys just before the Morganza spillway was opened in response to catastrophic flooding in 2011.  Our study site was completely flooded within 24 hours of the spillway opening, and turkeys could only find dry ground by moving to the levees.  Only one bird did that, the rest remained in their ranges and died after several weeks of being confined to trees.  We found that one hen make circular movements presumably looking for dry ground, and her movements appeared deliberate as she immediately went first to the higher ground in her home range.  In retrospect, the population on that study site never recovered after that flood.

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