U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service



Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6799-639X

Date of this Version



Pest Manag Sci 2021; 77: 85–95

DOI 10.1002/ps.6029


U.S. gov't work


BACKGROUND: Lethal removal of invasive species, such as wild pigs (Sus scrofa), is often the most efficient approach for reducing their negative impacts. Wild pigs are one of the most widespread and destructive invasive mammals in the USA. Lethal management techniques are a key approach for wild pigs and can alter wild pig spatial behavior, but it is unclear how wild pigs respond to the most common removal technique, trapping.We investigated the spatial behavior of wild pigs following intensive removal of conspecifics via trapping at three sites within the Savannah River Site, SC, USA. We evaluated changes in wild pig densities, estimated temporal shifts in home-range properties, and evaluated fine-scale movement responses of wild pigs to removal.

RESULTS: We observed a significant reduction in the density of wild pigs in one site following removal via trapping while a qualitative reduction was observed in another site. We found little evidence of shifts in pig home-ranging behavior following removal. However, we did observe a nuanced response in movement behavior of wild pigs to the removal at the scale of the GPS locations (4 h), including increased movement speed and reduced selection for vegetation rich areas.

CONCLUSION: Our work provides a better understanding of the impact of removal via trapping on wild pig movement and its implications for management. The lack of shift in home-range characteristics observed illustrates how targeted trapping could be used to provide temporary relief for species sensitive to wild pig consumption such as ground nesting birds or agricultural crops.