Determinants of variation in home range of wild pigs

Peter E. Schlichting, Sarah R. Fritts, John J. Mayer, Philip S. Gipson, C. Brad Dabbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Home range is expected to vary with ecological conditions to minimize size while still meeting the biological needs of the individual animal. Understanding the determinants of variation in home range size can be important when trying to manage or control an invasive species. Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have been introduced throughout the globe and cause notable damage to native ecosystems. We quantified relationships of wild pig home range with environmental conditions across varying spatial and temporal scales to better understand population space use in areas invaded by wild pigs during March 2011 to August 2012 in Kent County, Texas, USA. We used mixed-effects linear-regression models to assess how allometric effects of body size and environmental variables (temp, elevation, latitude, and rainfall) could be used to predict home range size at a local scale. We then used general linear models with published data from 31 studies from the species’ global distribution to investigate the efficacy of environmental parameters as home range predictors. On account of either temporal or incomplete variables, home range was not well-predicted at a local scale. Across their global distribution, the top ranked model included all 4 variables with home range positively associated with temperature, elevation, and latitude, but negatively associated with rainfall. Use of the global model represents a cost-efficient way to estimate home ranges to control or eradicate wild pig populations. This information can be valuable for management of both established and newly introduced populations for population estimation and trapping density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-493
Number of pages7
JournalWildlife Society Bulletin
Volume40
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

Keywords

  • Sus scrofa
  • home range
  • invasive species
  • wild pigs

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