Turkeys in the Cross-Timbers Eco-region

Cross-timbers Eco-region

Cross-timbers Eco-region

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife is into the fifth year of a long-term research project in the Cross Timbers ecoregion–in North central Texas–that explores habitat needs of Rio Grande Turkey.

15-And the reason we’re doing that is because a high priority goal of our division, and a very important part of our wildlife biologist’s jobs in the field, is to work with our landowners who want to manage their property for wildlife.

Wildlife biologist, Kevin Mote, says the Rio Grande is the largest upland game bird in Texas.

17- There’s a lot of interest from landowners and definitely sportsmen, so it’s a high priority species. And not only that, when you manage for habitat that is good for wild turkeys, it is also managing that habitat for a whole suite of other native species.

Data on this bird exist for the SE US and other areas of Texas, but not for the Cross-Timbers region, says Mote.

21- And so, we were extrapolating concepts, theories, and practices developed in other states, if not other parts of Texas. And so, sometimes, the devil is in the details. We wanted to find out exactly how Rio Grande wild turkeys were making a living on the habitat in the cross timbers.

Biologists have been trapping birds and fitting them with GPS collars.

04-We do have to trap them every winter and fit them with transmitters.

Tomorrow: New radio telemetry technology improves data collection.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Cross-timbers & Praries Ecoregion

Early travelers through north Texas coined the name “Cross Timbers” by their repeated crossings of these timbered areas that proved to be a barrier to their travel on the open prairies to the east and west. This area in north and central Texas includes areas with high density of trees and irregular plains and prairies. Soils are primarily sandy to loamy. Rainfall can be moderate, but somewhat erratic, therefore moisture is often limiting during part of the growing season. Also known as the Osage Plains, it is the southernmost of three tallgrass prairies. It varies from savannah and woodland to the east and south, into shorter mixed-grass prairie to the west. As in the rest of the Great Plains, fire, topography, and drought maintained prairie and established the location of woodlands.

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