Photo courtesy of USDA.

August 1, 2023

Scientific Validation for the Illinois Feral Swine Task Force

A group of feral swine is captured on video via trail cam, rooting through leaves. Photo courtesy of USDA.

A collaborative effort has been under way for several years to eradicate feral swine (Sus scrofa) from Illinois. Thanks to the work of staff from the USDA Wildlife Services program, the U.S. Forest Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, this successful program has resulted in the eradication of populations, with few remaining individuals under surveillance.

Feral swine compete with native wildlife for food resources and prey on turkey and quail nests, reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife, including threatened and endangered species. They are a serious threat to forest and wildlife resources in Illinois through destruction of habitat and destruction of sensitive natural areas. Learn more about the Illinois feral swine project by searching OutdoorIllinois Journal for ‘feral swine.’

A sign hangs alongside walking paths in southern Illinois alerting hikers and other nature-goers to be on the lookout for feral swine and how to report them if spotted. Photo courtesy of USDA.

Two recent publications validate the need for regulating invasive of feral swine:
Tough regulations work best to stem wild pig invasion published by The Wildlife Society
Cultural and regulatory factors influence distribution and trajectory of invasive species in the United States: A wild pig case study published in ScienceDirect

To aid in the control of invasive feral swine, report sightings at Wildlife Illinois or by calling the USDA Wildlife Services at (866) 487-3297.

Kathy Andrews Wright is retired from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources where she was editor of Outdoor Illinois magazine. She is currently the editor of OutdoorIllinois Journal.

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