Forest Management for Turkey Habitat

    Gobble Gobble

    With Thanksgiving just a few days away, turkeys are on many people’s minds. Texas A&M Forest Service recently partnered with the National Wild Turkey Federation to improve turkey habitat — foraging, roosting, and nesting sites — on the I.D. Fairchild State Forest in East Texas. The project included mulching, herbicide applications, and prescribed fire on two different tracts covering more than 200 acres total.

    So what does good turkey habitat look like? Turkeys like open stands where they have room to forage under the trees. They happen to have similar habitat needs as the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker, which is also managed for by the state forest. This is one of the stands after habitat improvements:

    Turkey Habitat

    The map shows the locations of the two project areas within the state forest. Since the forest has a cutout area, I used a faint transparent fill in addition to the outline to make the state forest area clear. The color of the project areas, though neutral, matches the main background color to help draw it out.

    Whether you’re having a traditional Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey or doing something totally different this holiday, take a moment to be thankful for habitat for these special birds.


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      Rebekah Zehnder
      Geospatial Analyst
      200 Technology Way, Suite 1281
      College Station, TX 77845
      979-458-6630 office
      979-458-6633 fax