Impacts and management of wild pigs Sus scrofa in Australia
- Globally, wild or feral pigs Sus scrofa are a widespread and important pest. Mitigation of their impacts requires a sound understanding of those impacts and the benefits and limitations of different management approaches.
- Here, we review published and unpublished studies to provide a synopsis of contemporary understanding of wild pig impacts and management in Australia, and to identify important shortcomings.
- Wild pigs can have important impacts on biodiversity values, ecosystem functioning and agricultural production. However, many of these impacts remain poorly described, and therefore, difficult to manage effectively. Many impacts are highly variable, and innovative experimental and analytical approaches may be necessary to elucidate them.
- Most contemporary management programmes use lethal techniques to attempt to reduce pig densities, but it is often unclear how effective they are at reducing damage.
- We conclude that greater integration of experimental approaches into wild pig management programmes is necessary to improve our understanding of wild pig impacts, and our ability to manage those impacts effectively and efficiently.