U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Date of this Version
Paolini, K.E., B.K. Strickland, J.L. Tegt, K.C. VerCauteren, and G.M. Street. 2018. Seasonal variation in preference dictates space use in an invasive generalist. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0199078. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199078
The spatiotemporal distribution of resources is a critical component of realized animal distributions.
In agricultural landscapes, space use by generalist consumers is influenced by ephemeral resource availability that may produce behavioral differences across agricultural seasons, resulting in economic and production consequences and increased human-wildlife conflict. Our objective was to assess changes in habitat selection across seasons in an invasive generalist omnivore (feral pigs, Sus scrofa). Hypothesizing that pig space use is primarily driven by forage availability, we predicted strong selection for the most nutritionally beneficial crops and resource types as agricultural seasons progressed. We deployed GPS collars on 13 adult feral pigs in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley to study resource selection in a fragmented agricultural landscape. We estimated resource selection using mixed-effect logistic regression to assess variation in selection across planting, growing, harvest, and fallow seasons.