Florida Wild Turkey Models
Wild turkey populations often fluctuate from one year to the next, and these changes are influenced by many factors including weather, habitat quality, predation, and hunting. FWC biologists monitor turkey population trends through a variety of techniques and use data to estimate populations and develop models to gain a better understanding of habitat quality.
Habitat Suitability Index
FWC biologists are assessing habitat in Florida using a statewide habitat suitability model developed for Virginia and adapted for Florida. Habitat quality is assessed based on the location, amount and arrangement of key habitat needed throughout a Florida wild turkey’s average home range and life cycle.
Map users also can drill down to an area smaller than two basketball courts to see habitat quality in a particular area. The habitat suitability model does not consider the condition of the understory so the prediction may not be accurate in all areas.
In 2020, FWC’s wild turkey biologists estimated the distribution of wild turkeys across Florida by assessing habitat suitability and then incorporating information from the 2020 Wild Turkey Summer Survey.
A model was created to estimate the abundance of turkeys across Florida based on the relationship between the number of adult turkeys reported and the habitat quality where the turkeys were observed. The model results are estimates using best available information and the prediction accuracy may not be exact in all areas.