Author

John Almond

Advisor

Wang, Guiming

Committee Member

Butler, Adam

Committee Member

Evans, Kristine O.

Date of Degree

5-1-2020

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Abstract

An important theme of wildlife ecology is understanding how animals move through their landscapes and inferring the strategies of resource acquisition. Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallapavo silvestris) are a model species for evaluating the responses of movements and habitat selection to spatiotemporal variability of resources. I hypothesized that scales of area-restricted search (ARS) would change with variation in the landscape. I identified the ARS locations of high first passage time values using segmentation algorithms and hidden Markov models, and evaluated spatial variations in habitat selection for foraging-like activities of wild turkeys using Dirichlet multinomial models. The ARS scale for daily movement paths did not change over time substantially. Wild turkeys placed home ranges in heterogeneous landscapes to maximize forage availability. However, continuous-time Markov chain models demonstrated that habitat selection varied between individuals indicating that fine-scale selection may depend on the local resource availability and status of individuals.

URI

https://hdl.handle.net/11668/16956

Sponsorship

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks National Wild Turkey Federation College of Forest Resources

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