Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wang, Guiming

Committee Member

Belant, Jerrold L.

Committee Member

Godwin, K. David

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallapavo silvestris) were extirpated from most of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) by 1980 by overharvest and habitat loss. Federal programs have restored areas of the MAV to hardwood forest, potentially warranting restoring wild turkeys to the MAV. As part of a pilot restoration study, I gathered data on resource use and nest sites from July 2010–August 2011. I observed intraspecific niche specialization and spatial niche separation between genders. Spatiotemporal variation in resource availability and intraspecific competition appear to be factors influencing intraspecific niche specialization. Mature hardwood forest was primary habitat selected by translocated wild turkeys. Hardwood regeneration areas were primary habitat selected by hens for nesting. Visual obstruction from 0.0 m–0.5 m was important in selecting fine-scale nest sites. Hardwood regeneration areas have dual value for restoring wild turkeys to the MAV: future mature hardwood areas; and potential nest sites.



nest||niche||microhabitat||wild turkey