SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
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Monday, October 22 • 4:00pm - 4:20pm
Wildlife 1 Track: Comparing Camera Survey Designs for Monitoring Eastern Wild Turkey Populations

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AUTHORS: Skylar R. Keller, Carolyn E. Moore – Auburn University, Alabama Cooperative Research Unit; James B. Grand, U.S. Geological Survey, Alabama Cooperative Research Unit

ABSTRACT: In the state of Alabama, conflicting estimates of the size and productivity of Eastern Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallapavo silvestris) populations led biologists to seek repeatable, less biased survey methods. Monitoring population size and structure are key to successfully managing sustainable populations for the future. However, recent estimates of turkey populations were based on opportunistic surveys, expert opinions of turkey density, or population reconstruction from uncorrected harvest data. Game cameras are a cost-effective means of conducting wildlife surveys and are receiving increased use. However, the biases associated with survey design may influence their accuracy, and randomization of sites and use of bait increase costs. Our objectives were to: 1) determine whether estimates of productivity differed between camera surveys conducted on wildlife openings (WLO) versus randomly selected sites; and 2) determine whether the use of bait affected estimates of turkey populations from camera surveys. We conducted surveys at three study areas on WLO greater than one-half acre (n = 90), and at a stratified random sample of sites generated from a uniform 554-ha grid (n = 135) from July through August of 2017. Occupancy analysis was used to compare survey results from over 600,000 images. Our hypothesis was that occupancy would be greater at WLO than at randomly selected sites, and the use of bait would increase detection rate and estimates of occupancy. These results will be used to make recommendations for the design of surveys to monitor the effects of management on turkey populations.

Monday October 22, 2018 4:00pm - 4:20pm CDT
Bon Secour Bay II