Date of Award

8-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Wildlife and Fisheries Biology

Advisor

Jodice, Patrick G

Committee Member

Loeb , Susan C

Committee Member

Bridges , William C

Abstract

ABSTRACT One of the most destructive exotic wildlife species in the southeastern U.S. is the feral hog (Sus scrofa). To learn more about feral hog movement patterns and habitat use, hogs were radio-collared and tracked from April 2005 to November 2006 in Congaree National Park (CNP). Seven male and nine female hogs were monitored and their home ranges averaged 218.2 ± 42.9 ha and 194.1 ± 31.0 ha, respectively. These home ranges proved relatively small when compared to results from other analyses of home range size in feral hogs, and suggest an abundant resource base in CNP. Habitat use was analyzed using USGS vegetation maps and polytomous logistic regression (PLR). Habitat use models were developed separately for males and females, as well as for all individuals pooled. In each case the final model indicated a positive relationship between hog use and some measure of oak abundance, suggesting the importance of oaks in CNP. It is important to understand the movement patterns and habitat use of hogs as their destructive nature can quickly decimate large areas and destroy native flora and fauna. CNP encompasses the largest intact tract of oldgrowth hardwoods in the U.S. making preservation from hogs an important issue.

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