Landscape Use and Activity Patterns of Feral Swine on Rangelands in North Texas

dc.contributor.committeeChairCooper-Norris, Caitlyn E.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberNorris, Aaron B.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberTomeček, John M.
dc.creatorHarvey, Jacob G.
dc.description.abstractFeral swine (Sus scrofa) inhabit 35 states in the US with an estimated population of 6 million animals. The feral swine population is greatest in Texas with an estimated population of at least 2.5 million. Monitoring swine landscape use and activity patterns is the first step to understanding potential zoonotic disease spillover events with livestock. Swine populations are highest in densities in forested regions, but as their range expands, they will continue to encounter novel ecosystems. The Rolling Plains ecoregion of Texas presents a unique landscape in which feral swine are found in midgrass prairies primarily used for livestock production. Two 405 ha survey areas were chosen from a ranch in north Texas to stratify game cameras across three vegetation types: bottomland, deep upland, and shallow upland. From June 2021 to May 2022, cameras monitored animal movement. Swine image captures were logged and tagged with the date, time, and temperature. Vegetative surveys were also conducted to get herbaceous biomass production and vegetation height around the camera locations. Total swine captures (n = 242) over the study period were analyzed through mixed model analysis with terms of season, time, and vegetation type with interaction models run. Swine captures were significantly greater at bottomland sites than deep upland sites across fall, winter, and spring seasons (P ≤ 0.012), as well as during mid-morning time blocks (8:00-11:59) (P ≤ 0.029). Temperature was also a significant driver of swine activity (P < 0.001) with low activity occurring at the extremes (≤ 0.0 °C and ≥ 30.0 °C). Herbaceous biomass production and vegetation structure were not good predictors of swine activity. These results can better inform producers where and when swine may be present within their ranches, increasing efficiency of feral swine management.
dc.description.abstractEmbargo status: Restricted until 01/2028. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.
dc.rights.availabilityRestricted until 01/2028.
dc.subjectactivity patterns
dc.subjectFeral swine
dc.titleLandscape Use and Activity Patterns of Feral Swine on Rangelands in North Texas
dc.typeThesis Resources Management, Aquatic and Wildlands Science and Management Tech University of Science


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