Feral Pig (Sus scrofa) Survival, Home Range, and Habitat Use at Lowndes County Wildlife Management Area, Alabama
Type of DegreeThesis
Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
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Survival, home range, and habitat use are key components of feral pig ecology that can help wildlife biologists and land managers develop control methods for this species. Feral pigs were captured and released with transmitters attached to them. We conducted telemetry on them for one full year consisting of high hunting pressure and low hunting pressure seasons. From telemetry data, we were able to ascertain the survival rate, home ranges and habitat use from the pigs that were monitored. Females had a higher survival rate than males cumulatively and seasonally regardless of age. The pigs had higher survival estimates during the low pressure hunting season. The type of season had a significant effect on home range size and habitat use of the feral pigs. This study provides pertinent data and implications not only for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, but also for other state agencies with public lands. This research project showed how pig movements and survival rates are related to the amount of hunting/control pressure applied to them.