Environmental issues

Pests and weeds

Feral pigs

Pigs were brought to Australia on the First Fleet. By the 1880s, feral pigs were causing sufficient problems to farmers to warrant their control in the Darling, Lachlan, Murrumbidgee and Murray River catchments.

Feral pigs have various impacts on the environment, including:

  • eating or destroying native plants and animals
  • wallowing in, fouling and disturbing soils in dams, waterholes and other moist or swampy areas
  • digging for food which can have major impacts on vegetation and forest litter, particularly along drainage lines and around swamps and lagoons, or after rain when the ground is softer, all actions that destabilise stream banks and accelerate erosion.

Feral pigs also prey on new-born lambs, eat and destroy grain crops and pastures, and damage fences. They carry endemic diseases such as leptospirosis, brucellosis and meliodosis. Feral pigs are also a potential host of foot and mouth disease, should it ever be introduced into Australia.

Feral pigs - fact sheet
Get an introduction to this pest animal, and find out about some NPWS feral pig control programs in NSW.

Feral pigs - key threatening process listing
The NSW Scientific Committee has declared 'predation, habitat degradation, competition and disease transmission by feral pigs' a 'key threatening process' in NSW. See its reasons for making this declaration.

Page last updated: 03 November 2011