Abundance and distribution of feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the USA have increased dramatically during the last 30 years. Effective measures are needed to control and eradicate feral swine populations without displacing animals over wider areas. Our objective was to investigate effects of repeated simulated removal activities on feral swine movements and space use. We analyzed location data from 21 feral swine that we fitted with Global Positioning System harnesses in southern MO, USA. Various removal activities were applied over time to eight feral swine before lethal removal, including trapped-and-released, chased with dogs, chased with hunter, and chased with helicopter. We found that core space-use areas were reduced following the first removal activity, whereas overall space-use areas and diurnal movement distances increased following the second removal activity. Mean geographic centroid shifts did not differ between pre- and post-periods for either the first or second removal activities. Our information on feral swine movements and space use precipitated by human removal activities, such as hunting, trapping, and chasing with dogs, helps fill a knowledge void and will aid wildlife managers. Strategies to optimize management are needed to reduce feral swine populations while preventing enlarged home ranges and displacing individuals, which could lead to increased disease transmission risk and human-feral swine conflict in adjacent areas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law