This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Population response of eastern wild turkeys and white-tailed deer to removal of wild pigs




McDonough, Matthew

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Forestry and Wildlife Science


Recently, wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have expanded their range and have the potential to greatly impact ecosystems in North America. Wild pig’s generalist diets and high fecundity make them a strong competitor with native species in areas that they invade. We studied how wild pigs may be affecting two native species in the United States, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and eastern wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris). We used camera trapping and N-mixture models to determine if there were any population level effects of wild pig removals on these species. We found there to be a significant change in both detection and abundance of wild turkey and a significant change in detection of white-tailed deer as wild pigs were removed. We suggest that removal of wild pigs could benefit declining turkey populations in the Southeast and benefit the efficiency of white-tailed deer camera surveys and hunter satisfaction.