Feral swine management for conservation of an imperiled wetland habitat: Florida's vanishing seepage slopes

  • Published source details Engeman R.M., Stevens A., Allen J., Dunlap J., Daniel M., Teague D. & Constantin B. (2007) Feral swine management for conservation of an imperiled wetland habitat: Florida's vanishing seepage slopes. Biological Conservation, 134, 440-446.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Control populations of wild vertebrates: freshwater marshes

Action Link
Marsh and Swamp Conservation
  1. Control populations of wild vertebrates: freshwater marshes

    A before-and-after study in 2003–2005 of 28 marshy seepage slopes on an air base in Florida, USA (Engeman et al. 2007) found that following control of feral swine Sus scrofa, cover of swine-damaged vegetation decreased whilst cover of herbs, forbs and seepage-characteristic species increased. Cover of swine-damaged (broken) vegetation within seepage slopes decreased from 11–25% before swine control to 4–6% after approximately two years of control. Based on correlations between swine damage and other vegetation metrics, this means that cover of saw palmetto Serenoa repens also declined over two years of swine control. Meanwhile, there were increases in overall vegetation cover, forb cover, and cover of two indicator species for healthy seepage slopes (toothache grass Ctenium aromaticum and wiregrass Aristida beyrichiana). Methods: Between autumn 2003 and 2005, feral swine on Elgin Air Force Base were removed for conservation purposes (by trapping or shooting). Together with continued sport hunting, this lead to a 92% decline in the swine population. Although conservation trapping/shooting and sport hunting occurred in separate areas within the air base, swine could easily move between the areas. Vegetation was surveyed on 28 seepage slopes before conservation trapping/shooting began (2003) and for two years after (2004, 2005). Each May–June, twenty 1-m2 quadrats were surveyed on each slope.

    (Summarised by: Nigel Taylor)

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