Turkeys For Tomorrow, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, the Alabama Farmer’s Federation, and the Alabama State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation recently agreed to increase funding for ongoing research in Alabama led by Dr. Will Gulsby at Auburn University. The multifaceted research project includes objectives related to determining factors driving gobbler abundance and distribution across the state, gobbling activity and timing, nest success and poult survival, gobbler fertility, and the prevalence and distribution of wild turkey diseases across the state.
Key components of the project expansion include increasing the number of autonomous recording units (ARUs) across the state, increasing the number of sites where ARUs are being deployed, capturing and GPS tagging additional hens to determine nest success, poult survival, and factors affecting those, and providing additional funding for disease and toxicant exposure testing. Researchers will also attach micro transmitters to a limited number of poults in each brood to obtain better estimates of poult survival and cause-specific mortality, similar to ongoing work in other states.
This work is an addition to the three-year research project that the aforementioned organizations funded in the state of Alabama. Special thanks to The Hunting Public, University of Georgia, Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, and several generous landowners throughout the state.
“I’m excited and extremely grateful to all the cooperators who made the original project and this expansion possible,” said Dr. Gulsby. “The additional funding we received will allow us to examine factors influencing turkey populations across a greater diversity of areas throughout the state, making the results more widely applicable to turkey populations throughout Alabama and beyond. I am also encouraged by the cooperative nature of this research. It shows how much organizations and individuals care about wild turkey conservation, and it’s going to take all of us to collect the information we need to reverse the declines we’re seeing in some areas.”