Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
1505 Eastover Drive, Jackson, MS, 39211
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Delay Mowing to Avoid Disturbing Wild Turkey Nests
JACKSON - Late April through early June is the peak nesting
season for wild turkeys and several other ground-nesting birds.
These species prefer to nest in overgrown pastures, hay
fields, road edges, and ditch banks, which can make them vulnerable
to mowing and haying. In order to avoid impacting these
species, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and
Parks (MDWFP) recommends delaying mowing of these areas until after
July 1st. For land enrolled in certain federal conservation
cost-share programs, contracts may require that mowing be delayed
until August 15th.
Wild turkey populations are dependent upon successful nesting
in order to replace individuals lost throughout the year to
predation or other causes. The overall success of the nesting
season is determined by a number of factors including weather,
habitat conditions, and predator abundance. Landowners may
help local populations to avoid unnecessary losses by waiting until
after the nesting season to disturb prime nesting areas.
To create and ensure successful nesting conditions for wild
turkeys, the MDWFP recommends a variety of habitat management
practices. These practices include prescribed burning in
timber stands, strip disking in fallow fields, and converting open
areas to wildlife-friendly native grasses.
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