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Species Description

Wild Pig

Sus scrofa


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Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae

Description

Hair color is variable from brown to black. Body size ranges from 1.1 - 1.5 m (3.6 - 4.9 ft) in total length, with a height of 0.9 m (3 ft) at the shoulder. These animals weigh as much as 181.4 kg (400 lbs). The body shape of the Wild Pig is similar to that of domestic pigs, with a few differences which make them distinct. The Wild Pig is generally thinner, has coarser hair, and has longer canine teeth, called tusks, than domestic pigs do.

Life Cycle

The Wild Pig can breed year round. The gestation period is 115 days. Litter size ranges from 1 - 7 piglets. A Wild Pig reaches sexual maturity by one year of age.

Natural History

Wild Pigs, also called Feral Hogs, have been established in North America since 1539, when the first European settlers brought them to Florida as domestic pigs. Another race of wild pig, the European Wild Boar, was released in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee in the late 1800s and 1900s for the purposes of hunting. A Wild Pig will eat almost anything that has nutritional value, including tubers, roots, shoots, acorns, fruits, berries, earthworms, amphibians, reptiles, rodents, and even newborn fawns of the White-tailed Deer. Humans are the major predators of this species, but large carnivores like the Black Bear and the Mountain Lion are capable of preying on young adults. Piglets may be preyed upon by bobcats, foxes, and coyotes. Wild Pigs have a negative impact on the environment. The extensive disturbance on soil and vegetation as a result of their rooting habits affects plant communities and may cause shifts in plant community structure. They also compete for food with native animal species, particularly mast crops (acorns) which are important sources of food for wild turkey and deer. During the summer months, Wild Pigs create wallows in wet sites, destroying the integrity of the plant and soil community.

Range

Wild Pig Region Map Wild Pigs can be found in certain areas of the Coastal Plain and Blue Ridge mountains in Georgia. They are locally common in mountainous and forested bottomland areas of the southeastern United States.

Conservation Status

Wild Pigs can be hunted all year on private lands in Georgia. On state and federal lands, the hutning season coincides with the hunting season for White-tailed Deer.

Similar Species

The only native North American wild pig, the Collared Peccary Tayassu tajacu inhabits the deserts and thorn scrub of Arizona, New Mexico, and south Texas.