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1st Student's Major

Biological Sciences

1st Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Students' Professional Biography

John Kauphusman is a recent graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato with a Bachelor of Science in biology. He was raised in Winona, Minnesota. John will be pursuing a Masters of Science in ecology at Austin Peay State University and plans to continue to grow his education and experience as he works toward a career in wildlife biology.

Mentor's Name

John Krenz

Mentor's Email Address

john.krenz@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Biological Sciences

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Abstract

Invasive species are a problem in the United States. As their populations continue to increase in size they disrupt ecological systems. One of the most notorious invasive species is the feral hog. In Texas, the hog populations cause ecological and agricultural damage that costs the state $52 million annually. The reason for the large continuously growing population is that the feral hogs, unlike its relatives in Europe, have no natural predators and hunters cannot suppress the population growth. In Europe, the gray wolf is a predator to the European wild boar. However, wolves in the U.S. have been extirpated from most of the continental U.S. If gray wolves could be reintroduced into hog habitat, and had similar predation rates as their Europe relatives, could they reduce the feral hog invasion? A theoretical population model was designed in excel where it used life-history information for wolves and feral hogs to simulate their population sizes for 50 years. Three different predation rates were simulated on the feral hog population, and population rates were compared to the control that had no wolf predation. The results showed that medium and high predation rates significantly reduce the hog population. This research is intended to show a natural and sustainable approach to solving the feral hog problem while aiding conservation efforts for the gray wolf. To further this research, the next objectives would be to add a habitat model and perform a field experiment.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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