U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Volume 7, Issue 2




As an invasive species, feral swine (Sus scrofa) are a classic example of a species that can profoundly influence ecological communities and ecosystems. They alter environments through a suite of well-known traits: rooting behaviors that alter soil properties and disturb plant communities; a generalist diet that can encompass seeds, crops, and animals; a rapid reproduction rate that can result in explosive population growth; and an adaptable biology that allows them to thrive in a range of habitats and climates. Along with these more familiar traits of an aggressive invasive species, feral swine can also reservoir and transmit a host of pathogens, and because of this, pathogen monitoring and research will be an integral part of the Feral Swine Management Program. Feral swine have expanded their range from 17 to 39 states in the U.S. in the last 30 years, and a One Health approach is needed to manage the agricultural and human health implications of a rapidly expanding invasive species.

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