New Zealand Journal of Ecology (2016) 40(1): 191- 195

Feral pig (Sus scrofa) predation of a green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea)

Short Communication
Cheryl R. Krull 1*
Bastian Egeter 2
  1. Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
  2. Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are a threat to New Zealand’s biodiversity. Predation of frog species by feral pigs is a notable problem in other countries where pigs have been introduced. Our study aimed to determine through analysis of stomach contents if feral pigs are consuming frogs in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland. Auckland Council contract pig hunters collected 274 feral pig stomach samples. Of these samples, 184 were screened for frog consumption via both dissecting microscope and DNA analyses. A single frog was identified by morphological and DNA analysis, the introduced green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea). Anecdotal evidence from the hunter records also suggests that nine other individual frogs were found in the stomach of the same pig (n = 10 total). This evidence of frog predation by feral pigs should be considered along with the many other negative impacts of feral pigs in New Zealand, and management programmes for pigs should be considered in areas of biodiversity value.