National Feral Hog Problem

Feral hogs are a growing nationwide problem in the United States at the present time.  Not native to the Western Hemisphere, the presence of these animals here is solely attributable to both intentional and accidental introductions by man.  All feral hogs (also called wild hogs) in the United States belong to the species Sus scrofa

Brought to the United States during the early 1500s, feral hogs have had a long history in this country.  In spite of a fairly …

History of Feral Hogs in the United States

Feral hogs (also called wild hogs), belonging to the species Sus scrofa, are not native to the United States.  The presence of these animals in this country is solely attributable to man-made introductions, some of which were intentional while others were accidental.  Basically, two types of Sus scrofa, Eurasian wild boar and domestic swine, were introduced into the United States.  Because these two types are conspecifics, wherever both of them were found together in the wild, interbreeding …

Quick Facts on Feral Hogs

Feral hog numbers are on the rise in the United States.  Likewise the problems they cause are also growing.  With attention on this invasive species, many myths are circulating about feral hog history, distribution, biology, and damage.  The following bullets will help get the facts straight.

History and Distribution

  • Swine were domesticated thousands of years ago from wild stock in Europe and Asia.
  • Swine were first introduced to North America by Spanish explorers. 
  • Confined and/or free-ranging domestic swine escaped from

Why are feral hog populations expanding?

Feral hogs are expanding their range because of high reproductive output and wide variety of suitable habitats available to them.  Additionally, only a few predators are willing to take adult feral hogs.  Populations of feral hogs are showing up in new areas away from other feral hog populations.  This is likely due to escape from pens and from intentional, illegal releases of feral hogs.

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How do invasive species get here?

Invasive species have been introduced through many avenues. Intentional introductions have been made for agricultural crops, landscaping, ornamental plants, and for the pet trade. Once introduced, a few species have escaped cultivation  or domestication and have established viable populations in the wild. Some of these populations not only survive, but thrive and increase.

Accidental introductions include contaminated freight such as plants, wood, or food that contain propagules of invasive species,  such as seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable …