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Influence of weather on gobbling activity of male wild turkeys
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  • Patrick Wightman,
  • James Martin,
  • John C. Kilgo,
  • Emily Rushton,
  • Bret Collier,
  • Michael Chamberlain
Patrick Wightman
University of Georgia

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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James Martin
University of Georgia
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John C. Kilgo
USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station
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Emily Rushton
Georgia Department of Natural Resources
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Bret Collier
Louisiana State University
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Michael Chamberlain
University of Georgia
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Gobbling activity of Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris; hereafter, turkeys) has been widely studied, focusing on drivers of daily variation. Weather variables are widely believed to influence gobbling activity, but results across studies are contradictory and often equivocal, leading to uncertainty in the relative contribution of weather variables to daily fluctuations in gobbling activity. Previous works relied on road-based auditory surveys to collect gobbling data which limits data consistency, duration, and quantity due to logistical difficulties associated with human observers and restricted sampling frames. Development of new methods using autonomous recording units (ARUs) allows researchers to collect continuous data in more locations for longer periods of time, providing the opportunity to delve into factors influencing daily gobbling activity. We used ARUs from 1 March to 31 May to detail gobbling activity across multiple study sites in the southeastern United States during 2014 – 2018. We used state-space modeling to investigate the effects of weather variables on daily gobbling activity. Our findings suggest rainfall, greater wind speeds, and greater temperatures negatively affected gobbling activity, whereas increasing barometric pressure positively affected gobbling activity. Therefore, when using daily gobbling activity to make inferences relative to gobbling chronology, reproductive phenology, and hunting season frameworks stakeholders should recognize and consider the potential influences of extended periods of inclement weather.
05 Mar 2022Submitted to Ecology and Evolution
08 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
08 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
31 Mar 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
24 Apr 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
26 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
17 May 20221st Revision Received
18 May 2022Submission Checks Completed
18 May 2022Assigned to Editor
18 May 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
25 May 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Jun 2022Published in Ecology and Evolution volume 12 issue 6. 10.1002/ece3.9018