Category: Ecological Research
Title: Ponderosa pine restoration and turkey roost site use in northern Arizona
Author: Martin, S.L. , Theimer, T.C. , * Fule, P.Z.
Subject: Wildlife, Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), Ecological Restoration
Abstract: Ecological restoration of ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in the southwestern United States is a relatively new, adaptive management practice that potentially alters wildlife habitat during and immediately after restoration treatments. To determine whether restoration treatments affected Merriams wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) use of roost sites, we relocated 91 of 120 turkey roost sites that originally had been mapped in 1985 in the Uinkaret Mountains of northern Arizona. We compared current turkey use of historical roost sites in stands that had been thinned and burned between 1995 and 2002 to adjacent (800 m away) and distant (800 m) stands. In 2002, 23 historical roosts were still in use, and in 2003, 13 were still in use, 5 of which had not been used in 2002. The number of historical roost sites still in use among treated, adjacent, and distant stands did not differ from that expected based on the total number of historical roosts in each stand type. We also searched for new roosts while traveling between historical roost sites and found 2.2 new roosts per hour searched in treated stands, 1.5 in adjacent stands, and 1.0 in distant stands. As expected, active roost sites in treated stands had significantly lower basal area, fewer stems, and less canopy cover compared to roost sites in untreated areas. However, roost trees in treated and untreated stands did not differ in diameter at breast height, height, or distance to the lower limb, indicating that treatment did not affect these characteristics. Several factors unique to our study site may have influenced our results: treated areas represented only 5(percent) of total habitat available, treatments occurred primarily on flat areas and not on ridges or slopes, and treatments were implemented over several years.
Source: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Publisher: The Wildlife Society