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Spatial and temporal patterns of feral pig diggings in rainforests of north Queensland

Mitchell, J. and Dorney, W. and Mayer, R. and McIlroy, J. (2007) Spatial and temporal patterns of feral pig diggings in rainforests of north Queensland. Wildlife Research, 34 (8). pp. 597-602.

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Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au

Abstract

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are believed to have a severe negative impact on the ecological values of tropical rainforests in north Queensland, Australia. Most perceptions of the environmental impacts of feral pigs focus on their disturbance of the soil or surface material (diggings). Spatial and temporal patterns of feral pig diggings were identified in this study: most diggings occurred in the early dry season and predominantly in moist soil (swamp and creek) microhabitats, with only minimal pig diggings found elsewhere through the general forest floor. The overall mean daily pig diggings were 0.09% of the rainforest floor. Most diggings occurred 3-4 months after the month of maximum rainfall. Most pig diggings were recorded in highland swamps, with over 80% of the swamp areas dug by pigs at some time during the 18-month study period. These results suggest that management of feral pig impacts should focus on protecting swamp and creek microhabitats in the rainforest, which are preferred by pigs for digging and which have a high environmental significance.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© CSIRO.
Keywords:Diggings; feral pigs; North Queensland, Australia; Sus scrofa; tropical rainforest.
Subjects:Science > Zoology > Animal behaviour
Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Forestry > Conservation and protection
Deposited On:28 Apr 2009 02:40
Last Modified:28 Sep 2010 23:49

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