Invasive Wild Pigs in North America : Ecology, Impacts, and Management book cover
1st Edition

Invasive Wild Pigs in North America
Ecology, Impacts, and Management

ISBN 9780367861735
Published December 18, 2019 by CRC Press
496 Pages 88 Color & 37 B/W Illustrations


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Book Description

Throughout North America, non-native wild pigs have become an ecologically and economically destructive invasive species. Though they are regarded as a popular game species by some, provide economic benefits to others, and are even engrained into societal heritage in some areas, wild pigs are responsible for an extraordinary amount of damage in both natural and anthropogenic systems throughout North America. As the density and range of wild pig habitat have substantially increased over the last several decades, the magnitude and diversity of their negative impacts are not yet fully realized or quantified. With various conflicts continually emerging, wild pig management is difficult and expensive to achieve. As a result, wild pigs represent one of the greatest wildlife management challenges North America faces in the 21st century.

Invasive Wild Pigs in North America: Ecology, Impacts, and Management addresses all aspects of wild pig biology, ecology, damage, and management in a single comprehensive volume. It assimilates and organizes information on the most destructive introduced vertebrate species in the United States, establishing a foundation from which managers, researchers, policy makers, and other stakeholders can build upon into the future. The book provides comprehensive coverage of wild pig biology and ecology, techniques for management and research, and regional chapters. It is an asset to readers interested in wild pigs, the resources they impact, and how to mitigate those impacts, and establishes a vision of the future of wild pigs in North America.


  • Compiles valuable knowledge for a broad audience including wild pig managers, researchers, adversaries, and enthusiasts from across North America
  • Addresses taxonomy, morphology, genetics, physiology, spatial ecology, population dynamics, diseases and parasites, and the naturalized niche of wild pigs
  • Includes chapters on damage to resources, management, research methods, human dimensions and education, and policy and legislation
  • Contains full color images and case studies of interesting and informative situations being created by wild pigs throughout North America
  • Includes a chapter on wild pigs at the wildland–urban interface, a more recent and especially challenging issue

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Dilemma with Wild Pigs in North America




Chapter 1 Introduction

Kurt C. VerCauteren, John J. Mayer, James C. Beasley, Stephen S. Ditchkoff, Gary J. Roloff, and Bronson K. Strickland

Chapter 2 Wild Pig Taxonomy, Morphology, Genetics, and Physiology

John J. Mayer, Timothy J. Smyser, Antoinette J. Piaggio, and Stam M. Zervanos

Chapter 3 Wild Pig Spatial Ecology and Behavior

Steven M. Gray, Gary J. Roloff, Robert A. Montgomery, James C. Beasley, and Kim M. Pepin

Chapter 4 Wild Pig Population Dynamics

Nathan P. Snow, Ryan S. Miller, James C. Beasley, and Kim M. Pepin

Chapter 5 Diseases and Parasites That Impact Wild Pigs and Species They Contact

Joseph L. Corn and Michael J. Yabsley

Chapter 6 The Naturalized Niche of Wild Pigs in North America

Peter E. Schlichting, James C. Beasley, and Kurt C. VerCauteren

Chapter 7 Wild Pig Damage to Resources

Bronson K. Strickland, Mark D. Smith, and Andrew L. Smith

Chapter 8 Management of Wild Pigs

Stephen S. Ditchkoff and Michael J. Bodenchuk

Chapter 9 Research Methods for Wild Pigs

James C. Beasley, Michael J. Lavelle, David A. Keiter, Kim M. Pepin, Antoinette J. Piaggio, John C. Kilgo, and Kurt C. VerCauteren

Chapter 10 Human Dimensions and Education Associated with Wild Pigs in North America

Michael T. Mengak and Craig A. Miller

Chapter 11 Wild Pig Policy and Legislation

Andrew L. Smith

Chapter 12 Wild Pigs in Western North America

Michael P. Glow, John J. Mayer, Bethany A. Friesenhahn, and Kurt C. VerCauteren

Chapter 13 Wild Pigs in North-Central North America

Ryan K. Brook and Michael P. Glow

Chapter 14 Wild Pigs in Northeastern North America

Dwayne R. Etter, Melissa Nichols, and Karmen M. Hollis-Etter

Chapter 15 Wild Pigs in South-Central North America

Joshua A. Gaskamp, James C. Cathey, Billy Higginbotham, and Michael J. Bodenchuk

Chapter 16 Wild Pigs in Southeastern North America

John J. Mayer, James C. Beasley, Raoul K. Boughton, and Stephen S. Ditchkoff

Chapter 17 Wild Pigs in the Pacific Islands

Steven C. Hess, Nathaniel H. Wehr, and Creighton M. Litton

Chapter 18 Wild Pigs in Mexico and the Caribbean

J. Alfonso Ortega-S, Johanna Delgado-Acevedo, Jorge G. Villarreal-González, Rafael Borroto-Páez, and Roberto Tamez-González

Chapter 19 Wild Pig Populations along the Urban Gradient

Jesse S. Lewis, Kurt C. VerCauteren, Robert M. Denkhaus, and John J. Mayer

Chapter 20 The Future of Wild Pigs in North America

Stephen S. Ditchkoff, James C. Beasley, John J. Mayer, Gary J. Roloff, Bronson K. Strickland, and Kurt C. VerCauteren


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Dr Kurt C. VerCauteren leads research on invasive wild pigs at the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) of USDA/APHIS/Wildlife Services. He obtained a BS degree in wildlife from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and an MS and PhD in wildlife ecology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 1999, he became a Research Wildlife Biologist at NWRC, where he has focused primarily on damage and disease issues associated with deer, elk, wild pigs, and other mammals. Diseases he has focused on include bovine tuberculosis, chronic wasting disease, and rabies. He has authored or coauthored more than 190 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 23 book chapters. Kurt has served as an associate editor of the Wildlife Society Bulletin and Prairie Naturalist. Awards he has received include NWRC Research Scientist of the Year, NWRC Publication of the Year, and Wildlife Services Supervisor of the Year.


Dr James C. Beasley is an Associate Professor at the Savannah River Ecology Lab and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia. His research program is focused on wild pig ecology and management, carnivore ecology and management, spatial ecology and population dynamics of wildlife, wildlife health and disease ecology, and scavenging ecology. In addition to his research in the United States, Jim is involved in numerous international or overseas research projects, with recent or current projects in Belarus, Japan, Hawaii, and Guam. Since 2014, Jim also has served as the International Atomic Energy Association’s wildlife advisor to the Fukushima Prefecture Government in Japan in response to the nuclear accident that occurred there in 2011. Jim earned an AAS in Pre-Professional Forestry from Paul Smith’s College, a BS in Wildlife Science from SUNY-Environmental Science and Forestry, and an MS and PhD in Wildlife Ecology from Purdue University, where he studied the spatial ecology and population dynamics of mesopredators. Over the last 12 years he has published over 100 peer reviewed research articles and book chapters, and coedited the book Ecology and Management of Terrestrial Invasive Species in the United States. His research has been featured in several hundred media outlets such as the New York Times, Animal Planet, CNN, USA Today, National Geographic, BBC News, and NPR. Jim currently serves as the research chair of the National Wild Pig Task Force research subcommittee, is a member of the South Carolina Wild Pig Task Force, an active member of The Wildlife Society (TWS), a Certified Wildlife Biologist with TWS, and an associate editor for Human–Wildlife Interactions and Pest Management Science. In his spare time Jim is an avid hunter and fisherman who enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with his family.

Dr Stephen S. Ditchkoff has been a Professor at Auburn University in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences since he was hired in 2001. He received his BS degree from Michigan State University in Fisheries and Wildlife, his MS from the University of Maine in Wildlife Ecology, and his PhD from Oklahoma State University in Wildlife Ecology. His research is focused on the ecology and management of large mammals, with white-tailed deer and wild pigs being the primary species he studies. He has authored or coauthored more than 80 peer-reviewed scientific articles and 3 book chapters, and has published more than 40 popular articles in outlets such as Deer & Deer Hunting and Wildlife Trends. In addition to his research responsibilities, he teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in the wildlife program at Auburn University.

Dr John J. Mayer received both his BA in biology and PhD in zoology from the University of Connecticut. He is currently a research scientist and the Environmental Sciences & Biotechnology manager at the Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina. Dr Mayer has been conducting research on wild pigs for 46 years. Although mostly focused on morphological work,

it has also included research on wild pigs in the areas of systematics, behavior, population biology, reproductive biology, damage/impacts, and management/control techniques. He is the senior author of Wild Pigs in the United States. Dr Mayer’s work with wild pigs has spanned three continents and included over 20,000 specimens examined/measured. He was also one of the National Geographic Society team of scientists who unearthed and examined the legendary, or perhaps infamous, "Hogzilla".

Dr Gary J. Roloff is a Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University (MSU). Gary directs the Applied Forest and Wildlife Ecology Laboratory (AFWEL) at MSU, where he oversees several research projects including wild pig ecology and control, deer herbivory effects on regenerating northern hardwoods, effects of structural retention on wildlife in clearcut areas, and marten and snowshoe hare ecology, among others. Prior to working at MSU, Gary worked 11 years as a wildlife management specialist for Boise Cascade Corporation (Boise), an integrated forest and wood products company. While at Boise, Gary had responsibilities for projects in the Pacific Northwest, Minnesota, and the southeast United States. Gary’s educational background includes a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Steven Point, an MS from Eastern Kentucky University, and a PhD from Michigan State University. Gary served the professional organization of wildlife biologists (The Wildlife Society) as the Michigan Chapter President, Treasurer of the Biological Diversity Working Group, Secretary and President of the North Central Section, and as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Wildlife Management.

Dr Bronson K. Strickland is the Extension Wildlife Specialist and St. John Family Professor of Wildlife Management at Mississippi State University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia, a master’s degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a PhD from Mississippi State University. He and coauthors have published more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 1 book, 2 book chapters, and over 60 popular articles. Bronson’s applied science in wildlife management is focused on white-tailed deer and the impacts of wild pigs. Bronson’s educational outreach efforts include face-to-face seminars and workshops, websites, social media, and a podcast. He currently serves on the National and Mississippi Wild Pig Task Force and is a Certified Wildlife Biologist with The Wildlife Society and a Professional Member of The Boone & Crockett Club.