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Accueil du site → Doctorat → Australie → 2004 → Seasonal habitat use by feral pigs (Sus scrofa)in the Arafura Wetlands and their impact on contemporary Aboriginal bush food resources

Australian National University (2004)

Seasonal habitat use by feral pigs (Sus scrofa)in the Arafura Wetlands and their impact on contemporary Aboriginal bush food resources

Dee, Anthea

Titre : Seasonal habitat use by feral pigs (Sus scrofa)in the Arafura Wetlands and their impact on contemporary Aboriginal bush food resources

Auteur : Dee, Anthea

Université de soutenance : Australian National University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2004

Résumé partiel
Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a major environmental problem in many parts of Australia. As habitat generalists they have successfully colonised and continue to spread across a very wide range of environments. The environmental damage pigs cause has only recently begun to be quantified and our understanding of the impacts they have on habitats and biodiversity remains limited. Feral pigs are threatening the environmental integrity (see page 16 for definition) of the Arafura Swamp and catchment in north central Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. They are also impacting on local bushfood resources and other aspects of the lives of Yolngu, the local Aboriginal people. Without control, feral pigs are likely to continue to thrive in the Arafura area and cause further changes to the country that is so important to Y olngu people. A broad, holistic approach to feral pig management has been adopted here by engaging two systems of knowledge - western scientific and traditional Aboriginal ecological knowledge - and their interactions with one another and the unique study area. This study focussed on feral pigs, as their impacts on Yolngu way of life are a current issue to these people. In addition, preliminary research into the impacts of Asian water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) was undertaken, given the probable (and significant) future effects of this species on the land and its people. A key objective of this thesis was to determine and quantify the seasonal use of habitats by feral pigs and buffalo in the northern Arafura Swamp and the key environmental attributes that drive their activity. Signs of presence and activity of feral pigs and buffalo were recorded in a range of habitats over a 12-month period together with potential environmental correlates. These data were used to develop a predictive model of seasonal feral pig activity that would enable optimisation of control measures through knowing which locations to target at particular times in the seasonal cycle. The results from this study suggest that pigs are widely distributed in the northern Arafura wetlands and immediate surrounds and are using a broad range of habitats throughout the year, which often vary with season. Some habitats are used all year round but serve different functions according to season. Seasonal variation in habitat use by pigs was largely in response to annual flooding and drying and the consequent influence of this on resource distribution and abundance, and then by a series of other environmental variables. Intense productivity and the distribution patterns of permanent water throughout the area may explain the preference pigs show for wetland habitats throughout much of the year

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