Date of Award
Master of Science
Wildlife and Fisheries Science
Michael R. Pelton
R.L. Murphree, Ralph W. Dimmick
European wild hog rooting and wallowing were studied in the mountains of East Tennessee in order to determine its seasonal, ecological, and altitudinal occurrence and extent.
From April, 1971, through March, 1972, the monthly occurrence and extent of European wild hog rooting and wallowing at different elevations and in different vegetation types were studied along established trails, and roads in three watersheds in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (65.7 miles) and in three watersheds in the Tellico Wildlife Management Area, Cherokee National Forest (34.4 miles).
European wild hog rooting and wallowing were found to occur most frequently and most extensively at the higher elevations in the warmer months and at the lower elevations in the cooler months. Fluctuations in the elevational occurrence of rooting and wallowing were greater in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park than they were in the Tellico Wildlife Management Area due to the greater elevational range available to this animal in the Park. The elevational movement of European wild hogs appeared to be a thermoregulatory response to increasing temperature and to food availability.
The vegetational occurrence of rooting appeared to be related to the elevational movement in response to increasing temperature, to food availability, and to the peaks in farrowing activity. The vegetational occurrence of European wild hog wallows appeared to be related to the more mesic site characteristics of the cove hardwood forest type and the northern hardwood forest type, with wallows being observed in the cove hardwood type during the cooler months and in the northern hardwood type during the warmer months.
In the lower elevations, the monthly extent of rooting (REI) appeared to be determined by the average monthly temperature, by food availability, and by a European wild hog control program, whereas in the higher elevations, the REI appeared to be determined by the average monthly temperature and the extent of the elevational range available to wild hogs.
Belden, Robert Christopher, "Rooting and Wallowing Activities of the European Wild Hog (Sus scrofa) in the Mountains of East Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1972.