Spatial and temporal patterns of feral pig diggings in rainforests of north Queensland

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are believed to have a severe negative impact on the ecological values of tropical rainforests in north Queensland, Australia. Most perceptions of the environmental impacts of feral pigs focus on their disturbance of the soil or surface material (diggings). Spatial and temporal patterns of feral pig diggings were identified in this study: most diggings occurred in the early dry season and predominantly in moist soil (swamp and creek) microhabitats, with only minimal pig diggings found elsewhere through the general forest floor. The overall mean daily pig diggings were 0.09% of the rainforest floor. Most diggings occurred 3?4 months after the month of maximum rainfall. Most pig diggings were recorded in highland swamps, with over 80% of the swamp areas dug by pigs at some time during the 18-month study period. These results suggest that management of feral pig impacts should focus on protecting swamp and creek microhabitats in the rainforest, which are preferred by pigs for digging and which have a high environmental significance.

Author J. Mitchell, W. Dorney, R. Mayer and J. McIlroy
Date 18/12/2007
Year 2007
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 34
Number 8
Institution Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, QL
Department Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries
Pages 597?602
Notes Notes
Region QLD