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Title: Contact heterogeneities in feral swine: implications for disease management and future research

Contact rates vary widely among individuals in socially structured wildlife populations. Understanding the interplay of factors responsible for this variation is essential for planning effective disease management. Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a socially structured species which pose an increasing threat to livestock and human health, and little is known about contact structure. We analyzed 11 GPS data sets from across the United States to understand the interplay of ecological and demographic factors on variation in co-location rates, a proxy for contact rates. Between-sounder contact rates strongly depended on the distance among home ranges (less contact among sounders separated by >2 km; negligible between sounders separated by >6 km), but other factors causing high clustering between groups of sounders also seemed apparent. Our results provide spatial parameters for targeted management actions, identify data gaps that could lead to improved management and provide insight on experimental design for quantitating contact rates and structure.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [1]
  1. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Fort Collins, CO (United States). National Wildlife Research Center
  2. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River Ecology Lab. (SREL); Univ. of Georgia, Athens, GA (United States). Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
  3. Univ. of Florida, Ona, FL (United States). Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Range Cattle Research and Education Center
  4. East Foundation, San Antonio, TX (United States)
  5. Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Uvalden, TX (United States)
  6. US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)., Auburn, AL (United States). USDA/APHIS Wildlife Services (WS)
  7. U.S. Geological Survey, Lafayette LA (United States). National Wetlands Research Center
  8. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service, New Ellenton, SC (United States). Southern Research Station
  9. Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States). Dept. of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
  10. Santa Lucia Conservancy, Carmel CA (United States); Texas A & M Univ., Kingsville, TX (United States). Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Inst.
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC09-07SR22506; AI09-00SR22188
Published Article
Journal Name:
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 7; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2150-8925
Ecological Society of America
Research Org:
University of Georgia Research Foundation, INC., Athens, GA (United States); U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service, New Ellenton, SC (United States). Savannah River Operations
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
contact; disease transmission; feral swine; GPS; meta-analysis; network; social structure; Sus scrofa.
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1248411; OSTI ID: 1360971