Date of this Version
Lavelle, M. J., N. P. Snow, J. W. Fischer, J. M. Halseth, E. H. VanNatta, and K. C. VerCauteren. 2017. Attractants for wild pigs: current use, availability, needs, and future potential. European Journal of Wildlife Research 63:86
Populations of wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are burgeoning around the globe, and they are currently the target of extensive research and management efforts.Wild pigs are a highly successful invasive species that cause extensive damage to agriculture and native plant and animal communities. Lethal control is the most common management strategy used to reduce wild pig populations and their damage, and many lethal strategies rely on luring wild pigs to a specific location. Most commonly, a food commodity such as corn or maize (Zea mays) is used for attracting wild pigs to a site, but baiting with food is sometimes prohibited under wildlife laws, and visitation can be variable due to availability of alternative foods, level of harassment by humans, and acceptance of novel food source, devices, and activity. Wild pigs are highly adaptable with refined senses that enable them to interact with their environment and conspecifics in a complex manner. Wild and domestic pigs share keen senses, though differences exist due to suppressed stimuli, evolutionary gains and losses, or other factors related to needs for survival and fitness. Wild pigs routinely rely on acute olfaction to locate food, detect predators, and communicate with conspecifics. A pig’s sense of taste is also considered to be refined and more acute than that of humans. An abundance of evaluations regarding various attractants for wild pigs has been conducted over the last several decades; yet, a scarcity of conclusive results on which attractants to use when and where still exists. As such, we undertook a comprehensive review of available information on potential attractants that could be used to aid management strategies of wild pigs such as hunting/shooting, trapping, pharmaceutical delivery, or density estimation. To complete this review, we assimilated and synthesized the most relevant literature, provide recommendations, and identify attractant evaluation needs for the enhancement of the global management of wild pigs.