Interactions between Elk (Cervus canadensis) and invasive Feral Swine (Sus scrofa) on the Canadian Prairies
Keywords:Behaviour, Cervus canadensis, Elk, Eurasian Wild Boar, indirect contact, invasive species, Sus scrofa, Feral Swine
Elk (Cervus canadensis), a native species on the Canadian Prairies, makes extensive use of agro-ecosystems. Feral Swine (Sus scrofa) is a highly invasive species introduced to western Canada in the late 1980s; it is now endemic and rapidly expanding its range across the Canadian Prairies. Here we consider a series of 14 trail camera photos obtained near St. Breiux, Saskatchewan on 18 November 2018. Taken at night over 67 minutes, they document close, non-aggressive encounters between Elk and Feral Swine. We believe that these are the first documented observations of close (<5 m) interactions between free-ranging Elk and Feral Swine in North America that include no indications of fear response or displacement of one species by the other. These types of indirect interactions among species have important implications in terms of potential risk of disease transmission and interpreting potential ecological impacts of invasive Feral Swine on native large mammals.
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