September 29, 2011

Facts: Wild Hog Invasion

  • The pig is native to Europe and Asia, although it has spread with humans to every continent except Antarctica.

  • Wild pigs have one of the widest distributions of all land mammals.

  • The javelina, or collared peccary, is the only pig-like creature native to North America.

  • Female feral pigs and their piglets live in family groups, which are generally composed of around 6 individuals. These groups sometimes band together to form sounders, or massive groups of between 50 and 100 pigs.

  • Pigs are prolific breeders. They breed year-long in tropical regions, like humans. Females may reach sexual maturity as young as six months of age, and may produce two or more litters of 4-12 piglets every year.

  • In the wild, boars have tusks that typically grow from 3-5 inches in length, although some can grow as large as nine inches in length.

  • Outside of their native habitat, pigs are one of the most destructive invasive species on the planet. Their rooting decimates endemic undergrowth and trees where they have been introduced. They also compete with local species and their wallows lower water quality.

  • Because of similar body and organ sizes, pigs have been used for heart valve transplants in humans.

  • Some wild hogs have been measured to be about 10 feet long.

  • When they are malnourished, sows have been known to eat their piglets.

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