Seasonal Diets of the Collared Peccary (Pecari Tajacu) In the Llano Uplift Ecological Region of Texas
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I investigated the seasonal diets of the collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) at Mason Mountain Wildlife Management Area from June 2013 to April 2014 using microhistological analysis of fecal material. Eighty fecal samples were collected from summer 2013 to spring 2014. I identified and quantified 36 plant species consumed by the collared peccary. Prickly pear was consumed in all seasons with seasonal use of forbs, grasses and mast. Annually, the bulk of the diet was comprised of cactus 27.35%, browse 9.75%, forbs 32.75%, grasses 7.75% and mast 22.4%. Cactus species included prickly pear (Opuntia spp.), browse species included live oak/blackjack/post oak (Quercus spp.). Forbs, especially silver bladderpod (Lesquerella argyraea) and prickly fanpetals (Sida spinosa), were highly utilized as well. Vegetational surveys were conducted using the Daubenmire method to sample herbaceous species and line intercept method to sample woody species. Results of log-likelihood chi-square tests with Bonferroni corrected confidence intervals established that there were statistically significant differences between plant use and availability (P<0.001). Additionally, Manly’s alpha preference indices indicated that collared peccaries foraged selectively on silver bladderpod in spring. Prickly pear was a selected food plant in the summer. Peccaries selectively foraged on live oak/blackjack/post oak and prickly pear in the fall and selected prickly fanpetals during winter.