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Collared peccary (Pecari tajacu) in Bastrop County, Texas.

Pecari tajacu, the collared peccary, previously occurred in Texas as far north as the Red River and as far east as the Brazos River (Schmidly, 2004). Habitats currently occupied range from semi-desert in western Texas to areas with low-growing brush in southern Texas (Green et al., 2001; Schmidly, 2004). Collared peccaries are primarily herbivores that feed on prickly pears (Opuntia), roots, mesquite beans (Prosopis glandulosa), and other succulent vegetation. Recent fieldwork in Bastrop County, Texas, resulted in visual and photographic documentation of the collared peccary east of its known range.

Unconfirmed reports of the collared peccary at Camp Swift (training site of the Texas National Guard) have been noted since 2003. Our discovery of collared peccaries represents an extension of 160 km beyond their documented range. On 24 May 2007, we observed a male and two females with a total of four young on Camp Swift, Texas Army National Guard Armory, Bastrop County, Texas (30.26245[degrees]N, 97.31024[degrees]W). The group was foraging in a post oak (Quercus stellata) and black jack oak (Q. marilandica) forest. The area is a riparian habitat with sandy soil. After the sighting, cameras were set and baited with nuts and grains. During 1 month of monitoring with cameras, we obtained 90 photographs of wild boars (Sus scrofa) and 10 photographs of collared peccaries alone or in pairs. Photographs of collared peccaries were taken during 0200-1400 h 1-7 June 2007.

Isle and Hellgren (1995) reported that in southern Texas collared peccaries and wild boars coexisted during periods of high and low overlap in diet. Green et al. (2001) noted that peccaries in Trans-Pecos Texas were in woody areas consisting mostly of junipers (Juniperus virginiana), gray oaks (Quercus grisea), and Emory oaks (Quercus emoryi). However, collared peccaries usually occur in brushy semi-desert, prickly pear, chaparral, and scrub oak habitats (Schmidly, 2004). In Bastrop County, collared peccaries were in post oak and black jack oak habitat.

The collared peccary has expanded its range northward into northwestern New Mexico (Albert et al., 2004) and westward into Jeff Davis and Culberson counties, Texas (Schmidly, 2004). This is the first report of collared peccaries moving eastward. Reasons for range expansion may be due to changes in weather patterns or to the ability of the collared peccary to adapt to different environments (Zervanos, 2002).

There have been introductions of collared peccaries into northern Texas (Schmidly, 2004). Whether or not the population in Bastrop County is a range expansion or introduction is unknown.

We thank D. Wilson and N. Kempton for expert tracking, C. Estrada for the Spanish translation, and D. Johnson for historical and current information on reported sightings and for editing the manuscript. Support for this project was from the Texas Army National Guard.

Submitted 18 August 2008. Accepted 18 January 2009. Associate Editor was Troy A. Ladine.

LITERATURE CITED

ALBERT, S., C. A. RAMONTNIK, and C. G. Schmitt. 2004. Collared peccary range expansion in northwestern New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist 49:524-527.

DAVIS, W. B., and D. J. SCHMIDLY. 1994. The mammals of Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife, Austin.

GREEN, M. C., L. A. HARVESON, and L. E. LOOMIS. 2001. Habitat selection by collared peccaries in Trans Pecos Texas. Southwestern Naturalist 46:246-251.

ILSE, L. M., and E. C. HELLGREN. 1995. Resource partitioning in sympatric populations of collared peccaries and feral hogs in southern Texas. Journal of Mammalogy 76:784-799.

SCHMIDLY, D. J. 2004. The mammals of Texas. University of Texas Press, Austin.

ZERVANOS, S. M. 2002. Renal structural adaptation among three species of peccary. Southwestern Naturalist 47:527-531.

KENDRA K. BAUER, * JOHN C. ABBOTT, AND KATE QUIGLEY

Section of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, (1) University Station, Austin, TX 78712

* Correspondent: kendrabauer@mail.utexas.edu
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Title Annotation:Notes
Author:Bauer, Kendra K.; Abbott, John C.; Quigley, Kate
Publication:Southwestern Naturalist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
Words:621
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