Wild pig (Sus scrofa L.) occupancy patterns in the Brazilian Atlantic forest.
Despite the great impacts of invasive wild pig (Sus scrofa) to natural ecosystems, habitat use by this species in the neotropics remains poorly studied. Here, we investigated the effects of local habitat and landscape covariates (vegetation types, running watercourses and roads) on occupancy patterns of wild pig in the Atlantic Forest of southern Brazil. We used single season occupancy modeling to estimate detection (p) and occupancy (ψ) probabilities, using 8-day camera-trap monitoring of 100 sampled sites. The cameras detected wild pig in 64 sites (naïve occupancy = 64%). The four best models explained 72.7% of the occupancy patterns, and the top model (with "water" variable) had a weight of 28.5%. Even though none of the tested variables had high explanatory power of wild pig occupancy, the water variable had a negative effect trend (β = -1.124; SE = 0.734), with 59% of occupancy when water was present and 82% when it was absent around the sampling sites. Vestiges of the presence of wild pig in different vegetation types revealed that they used plantations of Pinus sp., native forests, and corn and oat crops. The occupation pattern shows that wild pig are generalist at our study site at the Atlantic Forest being found everywhere, raising ecological and economic concerns about the high potential negative effects of its invasion.