Date of this Version
Williams KE, Huyvaert KP, Vercauteren KC, Davis AJ, Piaggio AJ. Detection and persistence of environmental DNA from an invasive, terrestrial mammal. Ecol Evol. 2018;8:688–695. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.3698
Invasive Sus scrofa, a species commonly referred to as wild pig or feral swine, is a destructive invasive species with a rapidly expanding distribution across the United States. We used artificial wallows and small waterers to determine the minimum amount of time needed for pig eDNA to accumulate in the water source to a detectable level. We removed water from the artificial wallows and tested eDNA detection over the course of 2 weeks to understand eDNA persistence. We show that our method is sensitive enough to detect very low quantities of eDNA shed by a terrestrial mammal that has limited interaction with water. Our experiments suggest that the number of individuals shedding into a water system can affect persistence of eDNA. Use of an eDNA detection technique can benefit management efforts by providing a sensitive method for finding even small numbers of individuals that may be elusive using other methods.