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Originally arriving as livestock with the First Fleet in 1788 before escaping to establish wild populations, feral pigs (Sus scrofa) are today regarded as one of Australia’s most destructive invasive species. Their population can increase by 86% in just one year without control and they are particularly prolific in Queensland, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Because feral pigs rely on water and suitable vegetation for food and shelter, they are most abundant in wetlands, flood plains and along watercourses. Their presence in the arid regions of Australia is dependent upon availability of permanent water.
Feral pigs impact natural environments by preying on small mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, multiple amphibious/aquatic species and the eggs from a host of native animals. They also compete with native animals for resources, damage ecosystems and impact multiple threatened ecological communities on which native flora and fauna rely.
Feral pigs impact agricultural production due to their predation of newborn livestock (including lambs, calves and kids), reduced cropping and horticultural yields, degradation to and competition for pasture, damage to farm infrastructure, degradation of water sources, soil and waterways, spread of invasive weeds and acting as a vector for many diseases impacting livestock, humans and plants (native and commercial).
Feral pigs impact cultural and social assets by damaging cultural heritage and values. In some First Nations communities, the value of feral pigs as an alternative food source for humans is recognised and used by elders to teach traditional bush skills and maintain the kinship system. Other opportunities to use feral pigs to boost local economies, create careers and strengthen remote First Nations communities are in development.
To learn more, you can:
You can also watch this Meet the Ferals episode from ABC Landline focused on feral pig management.
FeralPigScan enables you to record new (and historical) observations of feral pigs in your local area:
FeralPigScan is a free resource for landholders, landcare groups, community groups, local Councils, professional pest controllers and biosecurity groups. It has been designed to map and monitor feral pigs in your local area by:
You can access FeralPigScan via www.feralpigscan.org.au or download the ‘FeralScan’ App and follow the feral pig prompts.
Want a quick and easy digest of management information for feral pigs? Click on the thumbnail images below to download and print our glovebox and field baiting guides free of charge. Use our order form for larger quantities, which can also feature your organisation’s logo. Please note that printing and postage charges will apply to most orders.
|Order Glovebox Guides for Managing Feral Pigs||Order Field Guide to Poison Baiting: Feral Pigs|
The National Feral Pig Action Plan is the first national strategy developed to address reducing the impacts caused by feral pigs to Australia’s environmental, agricultural, cultural and social assets through sustained, coordinated and collaborative actions by land managers.