Models for predicting the dynamics and control of contact-spread diseases in Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in Australia

R. P. Pech, J. C. McIlroy, M. F. Clough


Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a major pest in Australia because of the agricultural and environmental damage they cause and because they have the potential to form a significant reservoir of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD) and classical swine fever. To address the second issue, two types of epidemiological models have been used. Simple deterministic models have been used to predict the threshold density of feral pigs for the persistence of FMD, the rate of spread of FMD and the effectiveness of control and surveillance techniques. In addition a user-friendly software package (AUSPLAGUE) has been developed around a spatial model for contact spread diseases in feral pigs. The model places in a landscape context management techniques for containment and eradication of disease and aspects of feral pig ecology relevant to epidemics, such as movements and social behaviour. AUSPLAGUE will be used as a training and decision-support tool for planning the eradication of disease in feral pigs and could serve as a prototype for other diseases of feral animals and native wildlife.

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Journal of Mountain Ecology
The Journal of Mountain Ecology is an OPEN ACCESS peer reviewed journal published by the Gran Paradiso National Park.