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Kurt Vercauteren

Kurt Vercauteren
USDA/APHIS/WS/National Wildlife Research Center · Feral Swine and Native Ungulate Damage and Disease Project

PhD

About

363
Publications
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5,176
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Publications

Publications (363)
Article
Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a prolific invasive species throughout many regions of the world that cause extensive economic and environmental damage. Trapping is a common strategy for reducing their populations with baits (i.e., food) and attractants (e.g., scents) used to lure wild pigs into traps. However, there is little information on which scent...
Article
African swine fever virus (ASFv) is a virulent pathogen that threatens domestic swine industries globally and persists in wild boar populations in some countries. Persistence in wild boar can challenge elimination and prevent disease‐free status, making it necessary to address wild swine in proactive response plans. In the U.S., invasive wild pigs...
Article
Full-text available
Invasive wild pig populations have undergone enormous increases in the United States and particularly across the southern U.S. in recent years. High fecundity rates and abilities to adapt quickly to varied habitats have enabled pig populations to become entrenched and difficult to eliminate. The pigs cause many negative impacts on ecosystems includ...
Article
Animal movement models can be used to understand species behavior and assist with implementation of management activities. We explored behavioral states of an invasive wild pig (Sus scrofa) population that recently colonized central Michigan, USA, 2014–2018. To quantify environmental factors related to wild pig movement ecology and spatio‐temporal...
Article
Resource selection informs understanding of a species’ ecology and is especially pertinent for invasive species. Since introduced to Canada, wild pigs (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1978) remain understudied despite recognized negative impacts to native and agricultural systems globally. Elsewhere in North America, pigs typically use forests and forage in a...
Article
Full-text available
An individual’s spatial behavior is shaped by social and environmental factors and provides critical information about population processes to inform conservation and management actions. Heterogeneity in spatial overlap among conspecifics can be evaluated using estimates of home ranges and core areas and used to understand factors influencing space...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motion-activated wildlife cameras, or camera traps, are widely used in biological monitoring of wildlife. Studies using camera traps amass large numbers of images and analyzing these images can be a large burden that inhibits research progress. We trained deep learning computer vision models using data for 168 species that automatically detect, cou...
Article
The wild pig (Sus scrofa) is a successful invasive species that has become well established outside of its native range in Eurasia. The invasive wild pig is the result of released or escaped domesticated livestock becoming feral, or Eurasian boar introduced for hunting purposes. The global spread of wild pigs has recently been exacerbated in some a...
Article
Full-text available
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) continues to spread in both wild and captive cervid herds in North America and has now been identified in wild reindeer and moose in Norway, Finland and Sweden. There is limited knowledge about the variety and characteristics of isolates or strains of CWD that exist in the landscape and their implications on wild and c...
Article
Full-text available
Interspecific interactions among mesocarnivores can influence community dynamics and resource partitioning. Insights into these interactions can enhance understanding of local ecological processes that have impacts on pathogen transmission, such as the rabies lyssavirus. Host species ecology can provide an important baseline for disease management...
Article
Full-text available
Toxic baiting of wild pigs ( Sus scrofa ) is a potential new tool for population control and damage reduction in the US. Field trials testing a prototype toxic bait (HOGGONE 2 containing 5% sodium nitrite [SN]), though, revealed that wild pigs spilled small particles of toxic bait outside of bait stations which subsequently created hazards for non-...
Article
BACKGROUND Determining factors influencing animal movements at a temporal scale that is similar to that at which management actions are conducted (e.g., weekly) is crucial for identifying efficient methods of wildlife conservation and management. Using GPS data from 49 wild pigs in the southeastern U.S., we constructed weekly 50% and 95% utilizatio...
Article
Little is known about disease transmission relevant contact rates at the wildlife-livestock interface and the factors shaping them. Indirect contact via shared resources is thought to be important but remains unquantified in most systems, making it challenging to evaluate the impact of livestock management practices on contact networks. Free-rangin...
Preprint
Full-text available
Toxic baiting of wild pigs ( Sus scrofa ) is a potential new tool for population control and damage reduction in the US. Field trials testing a prototype toxic bait (HOGGONE® 2 containing 5% sodium nitrite [SN]), though, revealed that wild pigs spilled small particles of toxic bait outside of bait stations which subsequently created hazards for non...
Chapter
The interfaces among different compartments have been spaces of transition and contact where pathogens have adapted to new hosts. The domestication and establishment of local settlements modelled multiple wildlife–livestock–human interfaces, characterized by the maintenance of “crowd diseases” (both by humans and/or by animals) and the continuous p...
Chapter
The livestock compartment and its interfaces with humans and wildlife appeared after domestication. These epidemiological interfaces have constituted opportunities for horizontal transmission between species and a new space for evolution, emergence, and maintenance of pathogens. More recently, anthropogenic effects and the subsequent changes in urb...
Chapter
North America encompasses vast and diverse ecological regions that support a large array of species of native wildlife. Over the past 500 years livestock agriculture has become well established across the continent wherever practical and profitable, this has led to a high degree of overlap and interaction between wildlife and livestock. The interfa...
Preprint
Full-text available
An individual’s spatial behavior is shaped by social and environmental factors and provides critical information about population processes to inform conservation and management actions. Heterogeneity in spatial overlap among conspecifics can be evaluated using estimates of home ranges and core areas and used to understand factors influencing space...
Article
Full-text available
Elucidating correlations between wild pig ( Sus scrofa ) behavior and landscape attributes can aid in the advancement of management strategies for controlling populations. Using GPS data from 49 wild pigs in the southeastern U.S., we used hidden Markov models to define movement path characteristics and assign behaviors (e.g., resting, foraging, tra...
Article
Full-text available
In the 21st century, invasive animals rank second only to habitat destruction as the greatest threat to global biodiversity. Socially-acceptable and cost-effective strategies are needed to reduce the negative economic and environmental impacts of invasive animals. We investigated the potential for sodium nitrite (SN; CAS 7632-00-0) to serve as an a...
Article
Full-text available
As wild pigs (Sus scrofa) expand throughout North America researchers are increasingly being tasked with trapping and marking entire sounders (family groups) to attach monitoring devices or other identifying markers to gather knowledge to inform management. Capture and marking procedures can be challenging, dangerous for both researchers and animal...
Article
Background: Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) cause widespread environmental and economic damage, and as a result are subjected to extensive control. Current management strategies have proven insufficient, and there is growing interest in use of toxicants to control invasive populations of this species. In 2017 a low-dose warfarin bait was federally approved...
Article
Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species that cause extensive damage to agriculture throughout many regions of the world. In particular wild pigs damage corn more than any other crop, and most of that damage occurs immediately after planting when wild pigs excavate and consume planted seeds. We evaluated whether anthraquinone (AQ),...
Article
Toxic baiting of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) is a potential new tool for population control and damage reduction in the United States. Use of toxic bait sites by non‐target species is concerning because of the risks posed from exposure to a toxic bait. A 2018 field trial in northern Texas, USA, examining the efficacy of a prototype toxic bait (HOGGONE®,...
Article
Full-text available
Since the 1990s, oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has been used successfully to halt the westward spread of the raccoon rabies virus (RV) variant from the eastern continental USA. Elimination of raccoon RV from the eastern USA has proven challenging across targeted raccoon (Procyon lotor) and striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) populations impacted by r...
Article
Full-text available
Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a highly invasive species in many regions of the world and can act as ecosystem engineers in areas where they are established. In riparian ecosystems, wild pigs may impact water quality parameters and introduce fecal bacteria, although previous studies have reported conflicting results. We propose four conditions that we...
Book
Shared diseases among wildlife, livestock and humans, often transboundary, are relevant to public health and global economy, as being highlighted currently relative to the global COVID19 pandemic. Diseases at these interfaces also impact the conservation of biodiversity and must be considered when managing wildlife. While wildlife and domestic live...
Article
Full-text available
Contact heterogeneity among hosts determines invasion and spreading dynamics of infectious disease, thus its characterization is essential for identifying effective disease control strategies. Yet, little is known about the factors shaping contact networks in many wildlife species and how wildlife management actions might affect contact networks. W...
Article
BACKGROUND Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species throughout many regions of the world. In 2018, a field evaluation of an early prototype of a sodium nitrite (SN) toxic bait in the USA revealed wild pigs dropped large amounts of the toxic bait outside the pig‐specific bait stations while feeding, and subsequent hazards for non‐ta...
Article
Full-text available
Motion-activated wildlife cameras (or “camera traps”) are frequently used to remotely and noninvasively observe animals. The vast number of images collected from camera trap projects has prompted some biologists to employ machine learning algorithms to automatically recognize species in these images, or at least filter-out images that do not contai...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are behavioral generalists that have the potential to alter ecosystems across broad spatial scales. Elucidating the correlation between wild pig behavior and landscape attributes can aid in the advancement of management strategies for controlling populations. Methods Using GPS data from 49 wild pigs in th...
Article
BACKGROUND Lethal removal of invasive species, such as wild pigs (Sus scrofa ), is often the most efficient approach for reducing their negative impacts. Wild pigs are one of the most widespread and destructive invasive mammals in the USA. Lethal management techniques are a key approach for wild pigs and can alter wild pig spatial behavior, but it...
Article
Full-text available
Feral swine (Sus scrofa; Figure 1), also known as feral hogs, feral pigs, wild pigs, wild boar, or other similar derivations, are a non-native species considered to be one of the most destructive invasive terrestrial vertebrates in North America. While feral swine populations remained relatively small and confined in the continental United States f...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study examines the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of removal efforts of feral swine using aerial-gunning programs.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study looks at the rate of feral swine expansion due to their environment and changes in environment over time. Knowing how feral swine expand gives a better look at where they might be found in the future.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study aims to estimate nation-wide population sizes and trends of feral swine from 1982-2016 by using national scale datasets and further predict population sizes of feral swine if all available habitat in the United States was occupied by feral swine.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study evaluates feral swine access to bait stations and how their movement and foraging patterns effect how they access the bait stations.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study analyzes the impact the National Feral Swine Damage Management Program (NFSDMP) has had on feral swine damage and population management.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This study aims to evaluate different baiting strategies in order to train feral swine to eat bait from a bait station.
Article
Full-text available
The human-mediated spread of exotic and invasive species often leads to unintentional and harmful consequences. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one such species that have been repeatedly translocated throughout the United States and cause extensive damage to natural ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, agricultural resources, and priv...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This 480-page book addresses all aspects of feral swine biology, ecology, damage, and management. This book was written to help establish a foundation from which managers, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders can build upon into the future for feral swine damage management.
Technical Report
Full-text available
Bait, such as corn, is often used to attract and keep feral swine at a site so that lethal control can be utilized as a management tool. However, in places that don't allow baiting with food, other attractant and lure options are being explored for their effectiveness at attracting feral swine.
Preprint
Full-text available
rapidPop is a new R package for implementing occupancy models for Rapid Population Assessments (RPAs) with data from camera traps. RPAs are designed to provide quick assessments of a density index so that users can identify relative changes in density associated with changes in conditions (Schlichting et al., 2020). For example, users may want to a...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Motion-activated wildlife cameras (or "camera traps") are frequently used to remotely and non-invasively observe animals. The vast number of images collected from camera trap projects have prompted some biologists to employ machine learning algorithms to automatically recognize species in these images, or at least filter-out images that do not c...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motion-activated wildlife cameras (or “camera traps”) are frequently used to remotely and non-invasively observe animals. The vast number of images collected from camera trap projects have prompted some biologists to employ machine learning algorithms to automatically recognize species in these images, or at least filter-out images that do not cont...
Article
Populations of invasive species often spread heterogeneously across a landscape, consisting of local populations that cluster in space but are connected by dispersal. A fundamental dilemma for invasive species control is how to optimally allocate limited fiscal resources across local populations. Theoretical work based on perfect knowledge of demog...
Article
Reliable and efficient population estimates are a critical need for effective management of invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa). We evaluated the use of 10‐day camera grids for rapid population assessment (RPA) of wild pigs at 3 study sites that varied in vegetation communities and wild pig densities. Study areas included Buck Island Ranch, Florida; Te...
Article
Full-text available
Oral baiting is a fundamental method for delivering toxicants to pest species. Planning baiting strategies is challenging because bait-consumption rates depend on dynamic processes including space use and demographics of the target species. To determine cost-effective strategies for optimizing baiting, we developed a spatially explicit model of pop...
Article
The global expansion of wild pigs over the last few decades has resulted in an increase in extent and distribution of damages to crops, placing a growing strain on agricultural producers and land managers. Despite the extent of wild pig damage to agriculture, there is little data regarding timing and spatial variability of damage to corn (Zea mays...
Article
Baiting is a fundamental strategy for the global management of wild pigs (Sus scrofa); however, little information exists on how anthropogenic bait affects wild pig movements on a landscape. We investigated factors that are important in determining the spatial area of attraction for wild pigs to bait (‘area of influence’ of a bait site) using data...
Article
In North America, wild pigs (Sus scrofa; feral pigs, feral swine, wild boars) are a widespread exotic species capable of creating large‐scale biotic and abiotic landscape perturbations. Quantification of wild pig environmental effects has been particularly problematic in northern climates, where they occur only recently as localized populations at...
Article
Full-text available
Depredation of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) nests is a leading cause of reduced recruitment for the recovering and iconic game species. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are known to depredate nests, and have been expanding throughout the distributed range of wild turkeys in North America. We sought to gain better insight on the magnitude of wil...
Chapter
Full-text available
Wild pigs’ (Sus scrofa) association with humans and their residences dates back centuries, with a corresponding well-documented history of conflict (Mayer and Brisbin 2009). Recently, with expanding populations of wild pigs and humans in North America, conflicts have rapidly increased, particularly in urbanized areas. The adaptability and behaviora...
Chapter
This chapter discusses the concept of naturalization relative to wild pigs in the Western hemisphere, and examine the mechanisms behind this phenomenon. It explores how wild pig niches interact with those of native species, their place in food web dynamics, and their role as ecological engineers. The chapter highlights their cultural significance a...
Article
Wild pigs (Sus scrofa; i.e., feral hogs, feral swine) are considered an invasive species in the United States. Where they occur, they damage agricultural crops and wildlife habitat. Wild pigs also depredate native wildlife, particularly ground‐nesting bird species during nesting season. In areas inhabited by wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo), nest...
Preprint
Full-text available
Populations of invasive species often spread heterogeneously across a landscape, consisting of local populations that cluster in space but are connected by dispersal. A fundamental dilemma for invasive species control is how to optimally allocate limited fiscal resources across local populations. Theoretical work based on perfect knowledge of demog...
Article
Functional responses describe how changing resource availability affects consumer resource use, thus providing a mechanistic approach to prediction of the invasibility and potential damage of invasive alien species (IAS). However, functional responses can be context‐dependent, varying with resource characteristics and availability, consumer attribu...
Article
Full-text available
Field immobilization of native or invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) is challenging. Drug combinations commonly used often result in unsatisfactory immobilization, poor recovery, and adverse side effects, leading to unsafe handling conditions for both animals and humans. We compared four chemical immobilization combinations, medetomidine–midazolam–but...
Article
Full-text available
The primary hurdle for diagnosis of some diseases is the long incubation required to culture and confirm the presence of bacteria. The concept of using microbial VOCs as “signature markers” could provide a faster and noninvasive diagnosis. Finding biomarkers is challenging due to the specificity required in complex matrices. The objectives of this...
Chapter
There is increasing concern over the exposure of scavenger communities to disease, the effects of disease on scavengers, and the epidemiological role that scavenging plays in disease dynamics. With some exceptions, research does not reliably conclude the role of different species of scavengers, carrion and the environment in the maintenance and tra...