Seasonal Food Habits of European Wild Hogs (Sus Scrofa) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Michael R. Pelton
James Byford, George Merriman
This study was conducted on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the fall of 1971 to the spring of 1973. Seasonal food habits information of the European wild hog (Sus scrofa) was obtained by the analyses of stomach contents.
Hogs ate primarily plant material in all seasons. Grasses (Gramineae) were the most important food item in the spring. Grasses were important to hogs in the summer, as were the fruits of Gaylussacia sp., Vaccinium sp., and Malus sp. Roots were the major food item in the fall and winter months, although the mast of Quercus sp. and Carya sp. was important when available.
Animal matter consumed consisted primarily of invertebrates, salamanders, and small mammals. Invertebrates were the most frequently found animal food. Total volume of animal matter was small.
Evaluation of rooting sites supplemented the stomach analyses in determining some foods eaten by wild hogs. Such evaluations were highly subjective, however, and the delineation of specific food items was difficult. Increased rooting and concomitant damage may be associated with years of low mast production.
Due to similarities in fall and winter utilization of mast foods by European wild hogs and some native wildlife, hogs are considered to be competitors with these species during years of mast shortage.
Scott, Charles D., "Seasonal Food Habits of European Wild Hogs (Sus Scrofa) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1973.