Fischer, J.W., D. McMurtry, C.R. Blass, W.D. Walter , J. Beringer, and K.C. VerCauteren. 2016. Effects of simulated removal activities on movements and space use of feral swine. European Journal of Wildlife Research 62(3):285–292.
The abundance and distribution of feral swine (Sus scrofa) in the United States has increased dramatically during the last 30 years. Effective measures are needed to control and eradicate feral swine populations without displacing animals over wider areas. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of repeated control activities on feral swine movements and space use. We analyzed location data from 21 feral swine that were captured and fitted with global positioning system harnesses in southern Missouri, USA. Various control activities were applied to eight feral swine before lethal removal, including: trap-n-release, chased with dogs, hunted (but not killed), and chased with helicopter. We found core space use areas were reduced following the first control activity while overall space use areas and diurnal movement rates increased following the second control activity. Space-use center shifts did not differ between pre- and post-periods for either the first or second control activities. Information on feral swine movements and space use precipitated by human control activities, such as hunting, trapping, and chasing with dogs is not available for much of the United States. Effective management strategies are needed to control feral swine populations, while preventing enlarged home ranges and displaced individuals which could lead to increased disease transmission risk and human conflict in adjacent areas.