Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

December 1975


Feral populations of five domestic mammals, dogs (Canis familiaris), house cats (Felis catus), hogs (Sus scrofa), burros (Equus asinus) and horses (Equis caballus), presently occur in North America. At times these animals cause problems, damaging crops or livestock, or competing with livestock and native wildlife for food and living space. Free-living bands of a sixth species, cattle (Bos taurus), formerly occurred in the Southwest. Feral mammals are adaptable, and they have become a permanent part of the fauna in many states. Researchers generally ignored feral mammals in the past, although numerous reports have been published in the past 10 years. A number of investigations treating feral mammals are presently in progress. Much additional research is needed.