The number of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in Australia has been variously guessed as 0.5-1.5 million (McKnight 1976), 8.7-10.1 million (Flynn 1980), 3-6 million (Tisdell 1982) and 8-12 million (Cutler 1989). These estimates could be interpreted to indicate that abundance is increasing. The usual caveat on the accuracy of guesses (Caughley 1980, p. 25) should, however, be applied to each of the estimates and the apparent trend. Also, during the period covered by the guesses the distribution of feral pigs has increased in at least part of their range (Hone and Waithman 1979).
The number of feral pigs in Australia could be estimated by detailed population surveys, which would be very expensive for such a cryptic animal, or could be estimated from data in the literature. This note uses the latter approach to obtain an estimate of feral pig abundance and to illustrate the difficulty in its interpretation.
|Secondary title||Australian Wildlife Research|
|Institution||University of Canberra|
|Region||Australia - national|