The Australian brush turkey (Alectura Lathami), additionally incessantly known as the ‘scrub turkey’ or ‘bush turkey’, is a local Australian chicken. It’s protected below state wildlife laws (Nature Conservation Act 1992). It’s a critical offence to hurt brush turkeys.
The comb turkey performs an necessary function in pure pest administration. They prey on bugs and grubs in woodland habitats and suburban gardens. Additionally they assist disperse native vegetation seeds by way of their faeces.
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The long-term conservation of this species is critical for sustaining the number of crops and animals.
The Australian brush turkey:
- is a darkish brownish-black chicken
- is roughly 60-70 centimetres lengthy
- male’s head and neck is redder and a yellow wattle hangs from its neck (extra distinguished throughout breeding season)
- females are much less distinct with no wattle.
The comb turkey prefers a closed cover habitat equivalent to rainforest. Additionally they inhabit dense scrub and moist gullies, parks and suburban backyards.
Brush turkeys are mound builders. The male Australian brush turkey builds a nesting mound of soil and plant litter principally between August and December. The heap could also be two to 4 metres large and a couple of metre excessive.
The male spends a very long time constructing and defending the nesting mound. Females are allowed entry to it as soon as the temperature is appropriate. For profitable egg incubation the nest ought to be 33 levels celsius. As soon as the feminine lays the eggs within the mound and buries them, the male retains watch. The temperature is adjusted as essential and the nest is defended from predators. Nevertheless, when the eggs hatch, the child brush turkey chicks are self-sufficient and left to fend for themselves. The comb turkey mortality fee is excessive, with solely about one in 200 chicks surviving to maturity.
Issues attributable to brush turkeys
A mound-building male brush turkey can strip a regular backyard in lower than a day. For those who disturb or transfer the mound, the male will in all probability rebuild the following day. They stick with the identical location till the tip of the breeding season. This exercise is seasonal and reduces dramatically in the direction of the tip of the breeding season.
The grownup brush turkey might intimidate or scare some folks, however they’re very shy by nature.
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Relocation of brush turkeys will be very troublesome and costly. Typically the elimination or relocation of 1 chicken shall be shortly changed by one other.
What Council is doing
Brisbane Metropolis Council is working in the direction of a pure steadiness to handle native species equivalent to brush turkeys.
To extend understanding and consciousness, neighborhood occasions about wildlife and pest animals are held usually.
What you are able to do
To discourage brush turkeys, Council recommends you:
- don’t feed them
- clear up meals scraps or garbage
- do not depart meals out for different native species or pets
- cowl compost heaps
- take away pointless sources of water from the yard
- use heavy coverings to forestall raking (river rocks, coarse gravel and logs over commonplace mulch)
- use tree guards or fencing to guard younger crops and bushes (ask your native nursery or panorama provider for advocate merchandise)
- don’t chase, kill or injure the birds
- don’t destroy mounds or eggs
- don’t disturb the birds when chicks are across the nest
- prune any vegetation above a turkey mound (decreased shade will encourage motion elsewhere)
- add a big mirror to your backyard (after days of combating its reflection, it could transfer on)
- cowl empty mounds (heavy responsibility tarpaulin, black plastic or shade material).
To guard your backyard you can:
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- use tree guards or small rocks across the base of crops to forestall them being dug up
- develop your backyard in phases and time new plantings exterior of breeding season
- place rooster wire beneath the floor making it troublesome for turkeys to rake the bottom.