Habitat use and activity patterns of urban-dwelling javelina

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Abstract

In Arizona, conflicts between homeowners and urban-dwelling javelina (Tayassu tajacu) continued to increase. Human-javelina conflicts often occurred when javelina responded to urban attractants and destroyed ornamental landscapes, injured pets, and frightened homeowners. This prompted initiation of a study during 1992–93 to develop recommendations to alleviate these conflicts. We captured, radio-collared, and located eight javelina from six herds to determine home ranges, habitat use, and activity patterns in Prescott, Arizona. Urban-dwelling javelina adjusted their home ranges, habitat use, and activity patterns to best use human-provided urban food, water, and cover resources. The most conspicuous of these adjustments was the increased nocturnal activity of urban-dwelling javelina to avoid human disturbances. Undeveloped land within or adjacent to Prescott provided javelina with daytime bedding areas and nighttime travel corridors. We determined that this issue was more a people problem than it was a javelina problem. Thus, strategies to resolve the conflicts must target homeowners.

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