Feral pig

Feral pig

Sus scrofa

Common name:

Feral pig

Scientific name:

Sus scrofa

Alternative common names:


Feral pigs are environmental and agricultural pests. They cause damage to the environment through wallowing, rooting for food and selective feeding. They destroy crops and pasture, as well as habitat for indigenous plants and animals. They spread environmental weeds and could spread exotic diseases.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1b.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Western Cape.

How does it spread?

Imported as a food source and has escaped from domestication.

Why is it a problem?

Damages indigenous plants and crops and competes with indigenous species.

What does it look like?

Description: The body of the feral pig is compact, the head is large and the legs relatively short. Adult boars can measure from 90-200cm in length, not counting a tail of 15-40cm, and have a shoulder height of 55-110cm. Their average weight is 50–90kg.

Habitat: They are found in a wide variety of habitats as a result of domestication and introduction to new areas, including moist forest areas, shrub land, oak forests and areas where reeds are abundant.

Breeding: Breeding season is a violent time as males often fight for access to females. Breeding season is dependent on regional climate. Females give birth to between one and several litters per year. The average number of offspring is 1-12 and the gestation period ranges from 100-140 days.

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