Risk factors associated with capture-related death in eastern wild turkey hens

Journal of Wildlife Diseases
By: , and 


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Capture-related mortality has been a notable risk in the handling of eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). Our objective was to evaluate how environmental factors influence risk and identify physiological correlates that could be used to identify susceptible birds. During winter (January-March) 1995-97, 130 eastern wild turkey hens were captured in southeastern Oklahoma and radiocollared. Of those, 20 hens died ??? 14 days of capture. Serum creatine kinase activity (CK; P < 0.01), body temperature (P < 0.01), processing time (P = 0.02), and ambient temperature (P < 0.01) showed a positive relationship with mortality that occurred within 14 days of capture. Plasma corticosterone concentration (P = 0.08) and relative humidity (P < 0.01) showed a negative relationship with mortalities that occurred within 14 days post-capture. Stepwise logistic regression selected CK activity, relative humidity, and ambient temperature as the best predictors of mortality within 14 days post-capture. Our data suggest that susceptible individuals may be identified from CK activity and that capture-related mortality may be minimized by establishing guidelines of when to curtail capture operations based on various weather conditions.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Risk factors associated with capture-related death in eastern wild turkey hens
Series title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Volume 36
Issue 2
Year Published 2000
Language English
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Diseases
First page 308
Last page 315