Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet

Jason WISHART, Steven Lapidge, Michael Braysher, Stephen SARRE, Jim HONE

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Context Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species that cause damage to ecologically sensitive areas. Management of biodiversity and of feral pigs assumes the diet of pigs of different ages and sexes are similar. Aims We aimed to investigate effects of feral pig age and sex on broad feral pig diet to identify potential at-risk native wildlife species so as to improve biodiversity and feral pig management. Methods Diet was determined by macroscopic analysis of the stomach content of 58 aerially shot feral pigs of mixed ages and sexes. The study occurred in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, a Ramsar wetland of international significance. Results Feral pigs were largely herbivorous, with vegetable matter being found in all stomachs and contributing to a majority of the food material that was present in each stomach, by volume. Adult feral pigs had significantly more grasses and crop material in their stomachs than juveniles, while juveniles had significantly more forbs in their stomachs than adult feral pigs. Vertebrate prey items included frogs, lizard and snake, but no threatened wildlife species. Conclusions Juvenile and adult feral pigs differed in their diet, especially with regards to plant material, which has not been reported previously. There was, however, no difference in the consumption of vertebrate wildlife species between juvenile and adult, or male and female feral pigs. Slow-moving, nocturnal amphibians and reptiles were the most common vertebrate item recorded. Implications Biodiversity and feral pig management should recognise plant diet differences between demographic segments of the feral pig population. Further research is recommended to determine if diet differences also occur for threatened wildlife species, which will require more intensive nocturnal sampling. Journal compilation
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)470-474
    Number of pages5
    JournalWildlife Research
    Volume42
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Fingerprint

    Sus scrofa
    pig
    diet
    swine
    gender
    stomach
    wildlife
    vertebrate
    vertebrates
    biodiversity
    effect
    forbs
    stomach content
    snake
    reptile
    invasive species
    lizard
    New South Wales
    frog
    amphibian

    Cite this

    WISHART, Jason ; Lapidge, Steven ; Braysher, Michael ; SARRE, Stephen ; HONE, Jim. / Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet. In: Wildlife Research. 2015 ; Vol. 42, No. 6. pp. 470-474.
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    title = "Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet",
    abstract = "Context Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species that cause damage to ecologically sensitive areas. Management of biodiversity and of feral pigs assumes the diet of pigs of different ages and sexes are similar. Aims We aimed to investigate effects of feral pig age and sex on broad feral pig diet to identify potential at-risk native wildlife species so as to improve biodiversity and feral pig management. Methods Diet was determined by macroscopic analysis of the stomach content of 58 aerially shot feral pigs of mixed ages and sexes. The study occurred in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, a Ramsar wetland of international significance. Results Feral pigs were largely herbivorous, with vegetable matter being found in all stomachs and contributing to a majority of the food material that was present in each stomach, by volume. Adult feral pigs had significantly more grasses and crop material in their stomachs than juveniles, while juveniles had significantly more forbs in their stomachs than adult feral pigs. Vertebrate prey items included frogs, lizard and snake, but no threatened wildlife species. Conclusions Juvenile and adult feral pigs differed in their diet, especially with regards to plant material, which has not been reported previously. There was, however, no difference in the consumption of vertebrate wildlife species between juvenile and adult, or male and female feral pigs. Slow-moving, nocturnal amphibians and reptiles were the most common vertebrate item recorded. Implications Biodiversity and feral pig management should recognise plant diet differences between demographic segments of the feral pig population. Further research is recommended to determine if diet differences also occur for threatened wildlife species, which will require more intensive nocturnal sampling. Journal compilation",
    author = "Jason WISHART and Steven Lapidge and Michael Braysher and Stephen SARRE and Jim HONE",
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    Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet. / WISHART, Jason; Lapidge, Steven; Braysher, Michael; SARRE, Stephen; HONE, Jim.

    In: Wildlife Research, Vol. 42, No. 6, 2015, p. 470-474.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Observations on effects of feral pig (Sus scrofa) age and sex on diet

    AU - WISHART, Jason

    AU - Lapidge, Steven

    AU - Braysher, Michael

    AU - SARRE, Stephen

    AU - HONE, Jim

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Context Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species that cause damage to ecologically sensitive areas. Management of biodiversity and of feral pigs assumes the diet of pigs of different ages and sexes are similar. Aims We aimed to investigate effects of feral pig age and sex on broad feral pig diet to identify potential at-risk native wildlife species so as to improve biodiversity and feral pig management. Methods Diet was determined by macroscopic analysis of the stomach content of 58 aerially shot feral pigs of mixed ages and sexes. The study occurred in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, a Ramsar wetland of international significance. Results Feral pigs were largely herbivorous, with vegetable matter being found in all stomachs and contributing to a majority of the food material that was present in each stomach, by volume. Adult feral pigs had significantly more grasses and crop material in their stomachs than juveniles, while juveniles had significantly more forbs in their stomachs than adult feral pigs. Vertebrate prey items included frogs, lizard and snake, but no threatened wildlife species. Conclusions Juvenile and adult feral pigs differed in their diet, especially with regards to plant material, which has not been reported previously. There was, however, no difference in the consumption of vertebrate wildlife species between juvenile and adult, or male and female feral pigs. Slow-moving, nocturnal amphibians and reptiles were the most common vertebrate item recorded. Implications Biodiversity and feral pig management should recognise plant diet differences between demographic segments of the feral pig population. Further research is recommended to determine if diet differences also occur for threatened wildlife species, which will require more intensive nocturnal sampling. Journal compilation

    AB - Context Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species that cause damage to ecologically sensitive areas. Management of biodiversity and of feral pigs assumes the diet of pigs of different ages and sexes are similar. Aims We aimed to investigate effects of feral pig age and sex on broad feral pig diet to identify potential at-risk native wildlife species so as to improve biodiversity and feral pig management. Methods Diet was determined by macroscopic analysis of the stomach content of 58 aerially shot feral pigs of mixed ages and sexes. The study occurred in the Macquarie Marshes, New South Wales, a Ramsar wetland of international significance. Results Feral pigs were largely herbivorous, with vegetable matter being found in all stomachs and contributing to a majority of the food material that was present in each stomach, by volume. Adult feral pigs had significantly more grasses and crop material in their stomachs than juveniles, while juveniles had significantly more forbs in their stomachs than adult feral pigs. Vertebrate prey items included frogs, lizard and snake, but no threatened wildlife species. Conclusions Juvenile and adult feral pigs differed in their diet, especially with regards to plant material, which has not been reported previously. There was, however, no difference in the consumption of vertebrate wildlife species between juvenile and adult, or male and female feral pigs. Slow-moving, nocturnal amphibians and reptiles were the most common vertebrate item recorded. Implications Biodiversity and feral pig management should recognise plant diet differences between demographic segments of the feral pig population. Further research is recommended to determine if diet differences also occur for threatened wildlife species, which will require more intensive nocturnal sampling. Journal compilation

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    JF - Australian Wildlife Research

    SN - 1035-3712

    IS - 6

    ER -