Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Iglay, Raymond

Committee Member

Boudreau, Melanie

Committee Member

Strickland, Bronson K.

Committee Member

Street, Garrett M.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Forest Resources

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


Among exotic species that are capable of invading, establishing, and reaching pest status, few pose the range of impacts to biotic (e.g., competition with native species, predation, herbivory, introduction of other exotics) and abiotic (e.g., soil, hydrology) ecosystem components that can be attributed to the wild pig (Sus scrofa). Despite the presence of wild pigs throughout the southeastern United States for centuries, new invasions continue to occur in previously uninhabited and often under-investigated landscapes, including bottomland and upland forests. The recent invasion of the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, NNWR) in east-central Mississippi represents an opportunity to understand not only a species invasion during an emergent stage, but also to improve and better inform the methods used to combat such species in forested landscapes. In recent years, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has begun to observe direct impacts to this ecologically sensitive area which is critically important to not only migratory waterfowl but also a multitude of other faunal (e.g., amphibians, reptiles, and avian species of concern) and floral species. As a result, identifying wild pig spatial distributions (e.g., movements, occurrence) and estimating wild pig abundance in the NNWR have each increased in priority. My dissertation research has facilitated an improved understanding of how wild pigs have invaded this novel landscape through investigations of space use, abundance, and occurrence, and will better inform and improve efficiency of future monitoring and control efforts. Understanding how this wild pig invasion relates to the NNWR landscape may also provide information that can be used to better address wild pig invasions of similar landscapes, with added value for those that are similarly characterized by sensitive ecosystems (i.e., managed for migratory waterfowl, species of concern) that are currently faced with this emerging threat. Given the universality of many of the methodological approaches undertaken in this effort, this multifaceted investigation also provides broader implications for other landscapes and exotic species of interest.