Effects of Trap Door Width on Wild Pig Entrance into Corral Traps

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are arguably one of the greatest wildlife management challenges facing natural resource professionals and landowners in the U.S., and lethal removal by trapping is often the most cost- and time-effective means for managing populations. Whereas numerous studies have examined the effects of trap type, trap activation designs, and baits on trapping effectiveness, no studies utilizing a conditioning period and accounting for unique individuals/sounders and wild pig social structure have examined the effects of trap door width on wild pig entrance into corral-style traps. Modifying trap door width may impact wild pig entrance rates into corral-style traps with wider doors better facilitating entrance. Our objective was to examine wild pig entry times into standard three-panel corral traps with wooden guillotine trap doors of either 0.8-m or 1.2-m widths. We placed these doors on 12 traps at a study site in east-central Alabama from June–September 2014 and 2015. We positioned a motion-sensitive game camera on each trap to record wild pig visitation behavior and then began baiting each trap. We recorded the time when wild pigs initially visited the trap site, time until the first wild pig entered the trap, and the time until 50% and 100% of the sounder had entered the trap. We used camera imagery data collected from 27 solitary individuals and 47 sounders to evaluate the effect of door width on the length of time that wild pigs took to enter traps. First entry time for
sounders did not differ between 0.8-m and 1.2-m widths, nor did time until entry by 50% and 100% of sounders. However, first entry time was similar among solitary individuals. Our results suggest trap door width may not have as large of an impact on entrance rates into traps as previously thought.

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