Influence of weather on gobbling activity of male wild turkeys

  • Authors: Wightman, Patrick H.; Martin, James A.; Kilgo, John C.; Rushton, Emily; Collier, Bret A.; Chamberlain, Michael J.
  • Publication Year: 2022
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: Ecology and Evolution
  • DOI: 10.1002/ece3.9018

Abstract

Gobbling activity of Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris; hereafter, turkeys)has been widely studied, focusing on drivers of daily variation. Weather variableare widely believed to influence gobbling activity, but results across studies are contradictory and often equivocal, leading to uncertainty in the relative contributionof weather variables to daily fluctuations in gobbling activity. Previous works relied onroad-basedauditory surveys to collect gobbling data, which limits data consistency,duration, and quantity due to logistical difficulties associated with human observers and restricted sampling frames. Development of new methods using autonomous recordingunits (ARUs) allows researchers to collect continuous data in more locationsfor longer periods of time, providing the opportunity to delve into factors influencingdaily gobbling activity. We used ARUs from 1 March to 31 May to detail gobbling activityacross multiple study sites in the southeastern United States during 2014–2018. We used state-spacemodeling to investigate the effects of weather variables on dailygobbling activity. Our findings suggest rainfall, greater wind speeds, and greatertemperatures negatively affected gobbling activity, whereas increasing barometric pressure positively affected gobbling activity. Therefore, when using daily gobblingactivity to make inferences relative to gobbling chronology, reproductive phenology,and hunting season frameworks, stakeholders should recognize and consider the potential influences of extended periods of inclement weather.

  • Citation: Wightman, Patrick H.; Martin, James A.; Kilgo, John C.; Rushton, Emily; Collier, Bret A.; Chamberlain, Michael J. 2022. Influence of weather on gobbling activity of male wild turkeys. Ecology and Evolution. 12(6): 73-. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.9018.
  • Keywords: acoustic monitoring, convolutional neural network, gobbling, Meleagris gallopavo, southeastern U.S., weather, wild Turkey
  • Posted Date: June 29, 2022
  • Modified Date: July 11, 2022
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