A preliminary investigation into the scavenging activity on pig carcasses in Western Australia

R.C. O'Brien, S.L. Forbes, J.F. Meyer, Ian Dadour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Human remains exposed to an outdoor environment are subject not only to the process of decomposition, but also to the activity of scavenging fauna. The scavenging behavior of fauna can vary considerably with region and season, affecting the rate of decomposition, and more importantly, the accuracy of postmortem interval estimations. A thorough knowledge of the scavenging behavior of fauna present in the local environment is imperative for law enforcement and forensic investigators dealing with decomposed remains located outdoors. This study was conducted to identify the major scavengers of decomposing remains in the southwest region of Western Australia. Avian species were identified as the dominant scavengers amongst a range of birds, reptiles, mammals, and amphibians feeding on cadaveric tissues and associated insects. The scavenging behavior of the fauna varied with seasonal factors, including temperature and rainfall. The preliminary results are useful for forensic investigations involving decomposed remains in the southwest region of Western Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-199
JournalForensic Science, Medicine and Pathology
Volume3
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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