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Abundance, distribution, and removals of feral pigs at Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 2010-2015.

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Title: Abundance, distribution, and removals of feral pigs at Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 2010-2015.
Authors: Leopold, Christina R.
Hess, Steven C.
Kendall, Steve J.
Judge, Seth W.
Keywords: Introduced organisms
Ungulates
Weeds
feral pig
Issue Date: Mar 2016
Series/Report no.: TR-HCSU;075
Related To: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/hcsu/publications.php
Abstract: The Hakalau Forest Unit (HFU) of Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex (BINWRC) has intensively monitored non-native ungulate presence and distribution during surveys of all managed areas since 1988. In this report we: 1) provide results from recent ungulate surveys and the number of removals at HFU to determine the distribution, abundance, and efficacy of removals of feral pigs, the dominant ungulate, from 2010 to 2015; 2) present results of surveys of the presence and distribution of several ungulate species at the Kona Forest Unit (KFU) of BINWRC from November of 2012 to April of 2015; 3) present results of surveys of weed presence and cover at both refuge units; and 4) present comparative analyses of forest canopy cover at KFU from visual estimates and geospatial imagery. Removals of feral pigs at HFU appear to have significantly decreased pig abundance over the study period from 2010–2015. A grand total of 1,660 feral pigs were removed from managed areas of HFU from 2010 until September of 2015. Management units 2 and 4 contained the majority of pigs at HFU. Recent surveys recorded high densities of pigs in the unenclosed, unmanaged area of Lower Maulua, reaching 14.9 ± (3.2) pigs/km2 in March of 2015. The total amount of ungulate sign ranged from 22.2 to 54.3 percent of plots surveyed at KFU from November of 2012 to April of 2015. The ability to differentiate sign of ungulate species remains problematic at KFU; although there appears to have been a significant decline in feral cattle sign at KFU, this result is likely to be unreliable because cattle and pig sign were not differentiated consistently during later surveys. Spatial distributions in weed cover are distinctive; however, some weed species may not be reliably represented due to observers’ inconsistencies in recording data and abilities to recognize less common weeds.
Pages/Duration: 49
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10790/2684
Appears in Collections:Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit (HCSU)



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