Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for



Date of this Version

August 2006


Published by Global Invasive Species Database. Permission to use.


Pigs are large omnivorous mammals with powerful bodies and coarse hairy coats. Their thick necks, wedge-shaped heads and mobile snouts are used in feeding to uproot the ground and find prey or plant material. Ecological characteristics of feral pig activity, group size and home range size should be considered in any management strategy aimed to control pig numbers or reduce their negative impact. Feral pig activity varies between different habitats and climates. High activity has been reported to occur in early morning and late afternoon in tropical climates (Diong 1982). However, in India pigs have been reported to feed nocturnally to raid croplands (Sekhar 1998, in Wolf and Conover 2003). On Santa Cruz Island (California) the milder weather of fall and late winter causes pigs to be more active in the morning and evening, while the short cool and often rainy days of winter causes midday activity. Pigs on the island were active at night mostly when conditions were warm and dry (Van Vuren 1984, in Wolf and Conover 2003). In terms of group structure, in North-western Australia mob sizes are generally about 12 or less, although occasionally mobs of 30 pigs are seen. Adult boars are mostly solitary. Estimated litter size is 4.5 viable young per sow (Twigg et al 2005). In South Carolina the average home range of boars is 226 hectares, while the average for sows is 181 hectares (Wood and Brenneman 1980, in Wolf and Conover 2003).