Movements Of Transplanted European Wild Boar In North Carolina And Tennessee

Movements and homing instinct of transplanted European wild boar were studied on adjacent wildlife management areas in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee over a six-year period (1960-1965). Ninety-one wild boars were live-trapped within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, transferred to the game department representing the state within which they were captured, ear-tagged for subsequent identification, and released at distances ranging from 13 to 27 airline miles from the point of capture. Movements information was derived by (1) recovering tags and pertinent kill data from hunters, (2) retrapping, and (3) locating dead animals. Hunters reported tags from 26 (28.5 percent) of the transplanted wild boars during the study period. Hunter-killed boars had traveled airline distances of from one-half mile to approximately 14 miles from the release site and were killed at time intervals ranging from one day to over three years following the release date. None of the transplanted wild boar were known to return to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as determined both by a continuous trapping program and the direct removal of 44 additional animals from areas of heavy concentration within the park. The objective of this study was to determine movements and homing instinct of European wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) transplanted from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to wildlife management and adjacent areas in North Carolina and Tennessee. Boars were removed from the park because of wildlife management policies adopted by the National Park Service which specify the perpetuation of native fauna and the elimination or reduction of exotic species (National Park Service, 1955). Under the terms of cooperative agreements, hogs trapped within the park were given to the game department representing the state within which they were captured for use in supplementing established hog populations on lands managed by that state. State agencies represented were the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the Tennessee Game and Fish Commission. This paper presents movement data on transplanted wild boar collected during a six-year period, 1960 through 1965, and discusses homing instinct. The terms wild boar and wild hog, or hog, are used interchangeably in the present paper to denote descendents of 13 swine of European wild boar stock imported from Germany in 1912 to a fenced preserve on Hooper Bald, located in the Snowbird Mountains of Graham County, North Carolina. In the early 1920's these swine and their offspring escaped into the surrounding mountains and established a wild population. Interbreeding between feral swine and wild razorbacks has occurred to an unknown extent over the years but physical characteristics common to European wild boar have prevailed. All degrees of intergradation are, however, represented in the population (Jones, 1959).

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