Northern Feral Pigs
A Southern Invasive Species Has Become A Continental Threat
Feral pigs have been present in North America since the sixteenth century. Until recently, their range was restricted to the southern states (the red areas on the county map to the right).
In the mid-1990s, wildlife management researchers began to document a substantial expansion of feral pig range (the green areas).
From 2004 to 2007, additional range was occupied (the orange area), in the northern states and in Canadian provinces. Much of the range expansion has been caused by accidental and intentional releases of pigs that are largely Eurasian Wild Boar in origin. In these northern areas, densities are very low. Ominously, however, some populations have become established well enough that eradication efforts have not been successful.
Feral pigs pose extremely serious threats to agriculture and natural ecosystems. Research and management initiatives can generate effective responses to these threats, in the areas of information, networking, eradication and extension.