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



Reginald H. Barrett, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720
Grant H. Birmingham, USDA-APHIS-Animal Damage Control (retired), Modesto, California 95353

Document Type Article


Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) include both feral hogs (domestic swine that have escaped captivity) and wild boar, native to Eurasia but introduced to North America to interbreed with feral hogs. Christopher Columbus first introduced members of the family Suidae into North America in 1493 in the West Indies (Towne and Wentworth 1950). A variety of habitats, from tidal marshes to mountain ranges, are suitable for wild pigs. Types of food vary greatly depending on the location and time of year. Wild pigs are intelligent animals and readily adapt to changing conditions. Wild pigs can cause a variety of damage. Wild pigs are game mammals in California, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and Florida (Wood and Barrett 1979, Mayer and Brisbin 1991).