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

Technical Report HCSU-075
This product was prepared under Cooperative Agreement G13AC00097 for the Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey.
By: , and 

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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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype Other Report
Title Abundance, distribution, and removals of feral pigs at Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex 2010–2015
Series title Technical Report
Series number HCSU-075
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher University of Hawaii at Hilo
Publisher location Hilo, HI
Contributing office(s) Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Description iii, 44 p.
First page 1
Last page 44
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Hakalau Forest Unit (HFU) of Big Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N