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1 June 2005 Assessment of crop depredation by wild turkeys in the United States and Ontario, Canada
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Abstract

The wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) repatriation in the United States and Canada has been a major achievement in wildlife management. This success has led to increasing wild turkey populations and calls to wildlife professionals complaining about wild turkeys causing agricultural damage. A mail survey was distributed to state, federal, and provincial agencies that respond to wildlife crop-damage complaints. Survey recipients were asked to report the number of crop-damage complaints and their severity received from farmers, how many of these complaints were investigated and by what means, how often damage was confirmed when investigated, the severity of actual damage observed, and how frequently the damage was caused by other species. We wanted to compare farmers' perceptions of crop-depredation levels to actual damage as observed by experts. We further assessed the number of complaints received, the severity of the damage, and the economic impact relative to specific agricultural crops. Twenty-three different crops were reported as having confirmed damage caused by wild turkeys. In the majority of these cases (93%) damage was reported as light. In 46% of inspected cases, investigators reported most of the damage (76–100%) was caused by another species. Our results provide wildlife managers with an understanding of the nature of crop depredation relative to the wild turkey.

Brian C. Tefft, Michael A. Gregonis, and Robert E. Eriksen "Assessment of crop depredation by wild turkeys in the United States and Ontario, Canada," Wildlife Society Bulletin 33(2), 590-595, (1 June 2005). https://doi.org/10.2193/0091-7648(2005)33[590:AOCDBW]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2005
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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