Abundance of Rio Grande wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) has declined in the southeastern Edwards Plateau (EP) of Texas, USA, whereas abundance has remained stable in the northwestern EP. Invertebrates are a critical protein source for poults <6 weeks posthatch. We collected invertebrates at brood and paired locations in both the stable and declining regions. Our objective was to determine if differences in invertebrate abundance existed in regions typified by declining versus stable Rio Grande wild turkey abundance. We found no difference in invertebrate abundance between brood or paired locations within regions, but invertebrate abundance, whether measured as dry mass or frequency, was greater in the stable region. Decreased invertebrate abundance may have contributed to the decline in Rio Grande wild turkey abundance in the southeastern Edwards Plateau.
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Vol. 71 • No. 7