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


Date of this Version



Published in Rangelands 32:8-13.


Feral swine (Sus scrofa) have been introduced across many portions of the globe, including rangeland ecosystems of the United States. Feral swine populations are expanding because of their adaptability, high reproductive potential, and because they are (accidentally and intentionally) released by humans. Today, feral swine are the most abundant exotic ungulate in the United States.

Rangeland ecosystems are impacted by feral swine primarily through soil disturbance caused by rooting activities. Within these systems, natural disturbances (e.g., burrowing, grazing by native animals, and periodic fire) generally increase or maintain species diversity. However, rooting by feral swine often occurs at intensities and frequencies that do not mimic natural disturbances and can have negative impacts, such as disseminating exotic plant species and reducing native plant species diversity.