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1 February 2009 Wild Pigs as Predators in Oak Woodlands of California
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Abstract

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are considered opportunistic omnivores that consume primarily plant matter; vertebrates are thought to constitute only a minor component of their diets, primarily as carrion, but active predation on vertebrates has been suspected. We examined the stomach contents of 104 wild pigs collected during a 7-year period in oak woodlands of the Diablo Range, California, and found that 40.4% contained vertebrate prey comprising 20 species, including 11 mammals, and totaling 167 individuals. Most stomachs with vertebrate prey included multiple individuals (≤18) of >1 species (≤6). Predation occurred in both male and female pigs and was most frequent during summer and fall, probably in response to protein deficiency in the diet. Wild pigs are a conservation concern because of their rooting behavior and consumption of mast; our results extend their potential impact to include predation on vertebrates, especially small mammals.

Jeffery T. Wilcox and Dirk H. Van Vuren "Wild Pigs as Predators in Oak Woodlands of California," Journal of Mammalogy 90(1), 114-118, (1 February 2009). https://doi.org/10.1644/08-MAMM-A-017.1
Accepted: 1 June 2008; Published: 1 February 2009
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