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Cordeiro JLP, Hofmann GS, Fonseca C, Oliveira LFB.2017. Achilles heel of a powerful invader: restrictions on distribution and disappearance of feral pigs from a protected area in Northern Pantanal, Western Brazil. PeerJ Preprints5:e2876v1https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.2876v1
This paper focus a rare case of natural disappearance of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in an extensive area without using traditional methods of eradication programs. The study was conducted both in the Private Reserve of Natural Heritage (PRNH) Sesc Pantanal and in an adjacent traditional private cattle ranch. In 1998 feral pigs were abundant and widely distributed in the PRNH. However, the feral pigs were gradually disappeared from the area and currently the absence of pigs in the PRNH contrasts with the adjacent cattle ranch where the species is abundant. To understand the current distribution of feral pigs in the region we partitioned the effects of variation of feral pigs presence considering the habitat structure (local), landscape composition and the occurrence of potential predators. Additionally, we modeled the distributions of feral pigs in Northern Pantanal, projecting into the past using the classes of vegetation cover before the PRNH implementation (year 1988). Our results show areas with more suitability for feral pigs in region are a landscape dominated by pastures and permeated by patches of Seasonal Dry Forest. The species tends to avoid predominantly forested areas. Additionally, we recorded that the environmental suitability for feral pigs decreases exponentially as the distance from water bodies increases. The disappearance of feral pigs into PRNH area seems to be associated with changes in the landscape and vegetation structure after the removal of the cattle. In the Brazilian Pantanal the feral pigs occurrence seems strongly conditioned to environmental changes associated to livestock activity.
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Feral pigs, Sus scrofa, location points (n = 69) used for modeling
Table S1: Feral pigs, Sus scrofa, location points (n = 69) used for modeling