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Trap style influences wild pig behavior and trapping success

Authors


  • Associate Editor: Bruce Thompson.

Abstract

Despite the efforts of many natural resource professionals, wild pig (Sus scrofa) populations are expanding in many areas of the world. Although many creative techniques for controlling pig populations are being explored, trapping has been and still is the most commonly used method of population control for many public and private land managers. We conducted an observational study to examine the efficiency of 2 frequently used trap styles: a small, portable box-style trap and a larger, semi-permanent, corral-style trap. We used game cameras to examine patterns of trap entry by wild pigs around each style of trap, and we conducted a trapping session to compare trapping success between trap styles. Adult female and juvenile wild pigs entered both styles of trap more readily than did adult males, and adult males seemed particularly averse to entering box traps. Less than 10% of adult male visits to box traps resulted in entries, easily the least percentage of any class at any style of trap. Adult females entered corral traps approximately 2.2 times more often per visit than box traps and re-entered corral traps >2 times more frequently. Juveniles entered and re-entered both box and corral traps at similar rates. Overall (all-class) entry-per-visit rates at corral traps (0.71) were nearly double that of box traps (0.37). Subsequent trapping data supported these preliminary entry data; the capture rate for corral traps was >4 times that of box traps. Our data suggest that corral traps are temporally and economically superior to box traps with respect to efficiency; that is, corral traps effectively trap more pigs per trap night at a lower cost per pig than do box traps. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.

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