• Evaluation of Wild Pig Behavioral Responses To Scent Exposure on Cowden Plantation, Jackson, SC.

      Hitchens, Samantha; Hitchens, Samantha; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences; Saul, Bruce; Department of Biological Sciences; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      Increased numbers of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) cause multi-faceted problems with complex destructive impacts. The worldwide spread has affected many cultures,makingit important to developmanagementmethodssuitable across different locales. Wild pigs areoften hunted with the assistance of dogs, however, this methodis not currently legal in all areas experiencinginvasive pig damage. Combining this with pigs'highly developed sense of smell led to the question: Can a natural scent functionas a satisfactory pig repellant? To investigate this hypothesis, we tested the following scents: dog hair, horseradish extract, cinnamon bark, camphor oil, tea-tree oil, and black pepper oil. Pigs' reactions were observed, via camera trapping,to weekly applications of each of the scents. Trail-cameras were placed atten locations along the Savannah River swamp on aprivate plantation.For three months, scents and dried corn (as an attractant) were rotated at each location. Image totals for each scent werecompared to image totals for controls. Behavior was categorized into threereaction groups: No Interaction, Interaction-Not Repelled, Interaction-Repelled. Pigs were not often repelled bythe scents whilethe attractantwas present. The majority of scent-related activity occurred after the attractants had been consumed.