Date of this Version
Can. J. Zool. 100: 494–506 (2022) | dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjz-2021-0116
Resource selection informs understanding of a species’ ecology and is especially pertinent for invasive species. Since introduced to Canada, wild pigs (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1978) remain understudied despite recognized negative impacts on native and agricultural systems globally. Elsewhere in North America, pigs typically use forests and forage in agricultural crops. We hypothesized Canadian wild pigs would behave similarly, and using GPS locations from 15 individuals, we examined diel and seasonal resource selection and movement in the Canadian prairie region. Forests were predominately selected during the day, while corn (Zea mays L.), oilseeds, and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) were predominately selected at night. Forests and corn were consistently selected throughout the growing season.Wetlands and forests showed greater use rates than other habitats, with evident trade-offs as crop use increased with the timing of maturation. Activity was consistent with foraging in growing crops. Results indicate diel patterns were likely a function of short-term needs to avoid daytime anthropogenic risk, while seasonal patterns demonstrate how habitats that fill multiple functional roles——food, cover, and thermoregulation——can be optimized. Understanding selection by invasive species is an important step in understanding their potential environmental impacts in novel environments and informs their management.
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