Hitchens, Samantha; Saul, Bruce; Biological Sciences; Saul, Bruce; Augusta University (1/31/2020)
      Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have a destructive impact across the world. The variety of cultures affected make the development of more effective and diverse management methods vital. Although wild pigs are often hunted with dogs, this method is not suitable or legal in all areas. Considering this, and pigs highly developed sense of smell, the following hypothesis was developed: Can a natural scent function as a satisfactory pig repellant? To test our hypothesis, we attracted wild pigs into areas baited with corn, and performed separate trials by adding hair from four different mammal species (dog, cat, horse and coyote). Our experimental design forced pigs to interact with the hair before consuming the bait. Trail cameras monitored each location over a five month period and wild pig behaviors were recorded. The presence and absence of pigs throughout the study trials was analyzed and compared with images captured during the control trials (corn only). Image totals were evaluated to determine if the hair prevented pigs from entering any areas, and the duration of any absences was noted. The results supported our hypothesis that a natural scent (dog hair) can decrease wild pig activity and potentially serve as a repellant.
    • Salty or Slightly Salty: Is Fish Species Richness affected by an obsolete navigational cut

      Patterson, Rebecca; Matthews, Loren; Reichmuth, Jessica; Saul, Bruce; Mathews, Loren; Biological Sciences; Biology; Reichmuth, Jessica; Augusta University; Georgia Southern University (1/30/2020)
      As rivers flow toward the coast, freshwater mixes with saltwater in estuaries. The mixing here creates a wide range of environments for many organisms. The Satilla River Estuary has been cut eight times, which has altered the salinity gradients that are a result of natural tidal flow. Altered salinity gradients pose a threat to migratory fish species because they are no longer able to pick up on directional cues these gradients provide, ultimately affecting species richness in the estuary. The purpose of this study is to determine if Noyes Cut has affected salinity gradients at five collection sites in Umbrella and Dover Creeks. Experimental gill nets were set one hour before max flood tide and soaked for two hours.� All fish were identified to species with total and fork lengths measured to the nearest centimeter. Noyes Cut and Parsons Creek had the most species richness while River Marsh Landing and Todd Creek experienced the lowest diversity.� We believe these large salinity fluctuations are due to a sediment deposit that blocks water flow as a result of Noyes Cut. When Noyes Cut is closed, we expect fish to redistribute into Umbrella and Dover Creeks as a result of restored salinity gradients.�