Wild pigs breach farm fence through harvest time in southern San Joaquin Valley: Camera traps recorded 860 wild pig encounters at Laval Farms during the harvest season for grapes and pistachios, most of them at night

Michael D. White, Kayla M. Kauffman, Jesse Lewis, Ryan S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Wild pigs cause around $1 billion of damage to agriculture in the United States each year - foraging on crops, breaking branches and vines, and damaging irrigation lines and fences - but little is known about how and when they access agricultural fields. We used wildlife camera traps to document and describe wild pig access to two fenced southern San Joaquin Valley farms. Pigs breached fences around agricultural fields, especially during the harvest period when crops were ripe, and almost exclusively at night, outside of the regulated, daytime recreational pig hunting period. GPS data from an adult boar revealed that pigs may travel long distances from wildlands to reach crops. The results of our case study suggest that increasing monitoring and maintenance of fences during the harvest season and removing pigs that have learned to access farms may help reduce pig damage to agricultural fields. The results also suggest a formal scientific investigation of risk factors and strategies to reduce wild pig damage is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-126
Number of pages7
JournalCalifornia Agriculture
Volume72
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

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pistachios
fences
harvest date
cameras
pig
grapes
valleys
traps
farm
valley
farms
swine
damage
crop
crops
harvest
vine
boars
risk factor
travel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

Cite this

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abstract = "Wild pigs cause around $1 billion of damage to agriculture in the United States each year - foraging on crops, breaking branches and vines, and damaging irrigation lines and fences - but little is known about how and when they access agricultural fields. We used wildlife camera traps to document and describe wild pig access to two fenced southern San Joaquin Valley farms. Pigs breached fences around agricultural fields, especially during the harvest period when crops were ripe, and almost exclusively at night, outside of the regulated, daytime recreational pig hunting period. GPS data from an adult boar revealed that pigs may travel long distances from wildlands to reach crops. The results of our case study suggest that increasing monitoring and maintenance of fences during the harvest season and removing pigs that have learned to access farms may help reduce pig damage to agricultural fields. The results also suggest a formal scientific investigation of risk factors and strategies to reduce wild pig damage is warranted.",
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