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Aestivation dynamics of bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) in the Australian Alps and predation by wild pigs (Sus scrofa)

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Abstract

We document predation of aestivating bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) by wild pigs (Sus scrofa) at a location in the Australian Alps. This is the first known record of pigs preying on bogong moths. Wild pigs are recent colonisers of the region, though already the population appears seasonally habituated to foraging on aestivating moths. This is indicative of adaptation of a feral animal undertaking dietary resource switching within what is now a modified ecosystem and food web. The significance of this predation on moth abundance is unclear. Long-term monitoring to compare numbers of moths with historical surveys undertaken before the colonisation by wild pigs will require that they are excluded from aestivation sites. Our surveys in 2014-15 observed bogong moths to arrive about one month earlier compared with a similar survey in 1951-52, though to also depart earlier.

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Caley, P., & Welvaert, M. (2018). Aestivation dynamics of bogong moths (Agrotis infusa) in the Australian Alps and predation by wild pigs (Sus scrofa). Pacific Conservation Biology, 24(2), 178–182. https://doi.org/10.1071/PC18007

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