Ecology

Invasive wild pigs spread across US

Journal name:
Nature
Volume:
541,
Page:
136
Date published:
DOI:
doi:10.1038/541136c
Published online

Eurasian wild pigs transmit disease and destroy crops in the United States, and are expected to spread throughout the country in the coming decades.

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The invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa; pictured) compete with the country's native wildlife and cost the agricultural industry more than US$1.5 billion a year. To predict their future spread, Nathan Snow, now at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and his colleagues modelled the distribution of wild pigs in the continental United States from 1982 to 2012. The authors found that, during this period, the pigs' rate of northward range expansion accelerated from 6.5 kilometres to 12.6 kilometres per year. If this trend persists, wild pigs are predicted to reach most counties in 30–50 years.

A warming climate may aid the northerly spread of the animals, the authors say, adding that reducing the transport of wild pigs — both accidentally and for sport — will be important in limiting the invasion.

J. Appl. Ecol. http://doi.org/bwsp (2016)

Comments

  1. Report this comment #69251

    Jean SmilingCoyote said:

    I've never seen one of these pigs, but think the best tools for getting rid of them are "open season", "no bag limit" - and somehow, allowing people to sell the feral pigs they kill for meat as well as by-products.

  2. Report this comment #69259

    Tripta singh said:

    While cruelty towards animals is surely not a part of Indian culture the tradition of hunting is surely ancient in India and the wild-pig was relished and is relished by Indians. For example, Lord Shiva has been designated as the God of hunting and storm in the Indian tradition while Lord Ram has historically been known to be a great hunter.

    Thus a simple Indian suggestion: Let these wild-pigs be hunted for food and thus their numbers can be kept in control.

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