313 pages, 6 b/w plates, illustrations, maps
Paperback reprint, originally published in 1991.
With an estimated population of at least 500,000 distributed across nineteen states, the wild-living pig (Sus scrofa) is the most abundant free-ranging introduced ungulate in the United States. Until now, however, little has been known about the wild pig on a national scale, despite its abundance and significance as both a pest and a game animal. Whereas previous studies have been regional in scope, Wild Pigs in the United States is the most comprehensive work available on wild pig history, current status, comparative morphology, and other subjects important to the species' management and control.
The information in Wild Pigs in the United States relates to the country's three prevalent wild pig types: the introduced Eurasian wild boar, the feral (once domestic, now wild) hog, and hybrids of the two. The first section of Wild Pigs in the United States presents a history of wild pigs in this country-their origins; when, where, and by whom they were first introduced; and their subsequent dispersal.
John J. Mayer and I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr. then develop specific criteria, based on taxonomic principles, for differentiating between the wild pig types. Employing numerous illustrations, graphs, and tables, they analyse and compare morphometric and discrete characters of the skull, external body dimensions and proportions, coat colorations patterns, and hair structure and form.
A report on the status of wild pig populations in the United States (as of 1991) completes Wild Pigs of the United States. To profile the present ranges, habitats, and morphotypic makeups of wild pigs, the authors conducted two national surveys – in 1981 and 1988 – among private individuals and federal and state personnel. Their report is also based on other recent wild pig studies and additional information from survey respondents. The book's reference section is particularly valuable, for it lists all sources consulted as well as the names and addresses of authorities the authors interviewed or with whom they corresponded.
Aided by the book's wealth of current data, biologists and wildlife managers can make informed decisions about such issues as state versus private ownership of wild pig populations and the status of wild pigs as pests or game animals. In addition, hunters and sportsmen, zoologists, and even specialised historians and archaeologists will find Wild Pigs in the United States useful and informative.
"Mayer and Brisbin have written the definitive book on the history, current status, and morphology of wild pigs in this country. It is not designed simply to satisfy idle curiosity. Their work will help biologists to make distinctions that were not usually possible until now."
"It is evident that Mayer and Brisbin have meticulously researched the populations described in this book [...] This book is a notably objective work and is one of the best references available on wild pigs. It represents an ordered, concise history that is easily followed [...] Anyone needing information on wild pigs should find it a useful reference."
– Journal of Wildlife Management
"A mine of information and an entertaining history."
– Journal of Natural History
"An important book that will likely become the definitive text on the status and history of wild pigs in the United States [...] Moreover, it stands as one of the finest studies of the invasion of an exotic species and of the interplay between a domestic animal and its feral relatives."
– Conservation Biology
"By all measures, a well-researched piece of writing."
"I am impressed with the scope and detail presented here [...] This book is a welcomed reference because increasing resource management issues are inevitable for this species."
– California Fish and Game
"Thorough, well written [...] It should serve as an important reference for professional mammalogists and those employed by federal and state wildlife agencies."
– ASB Bulletin
"This book delivers exactly what its title promises."
– Journal of Mammalogy
"Should be useful to those interested in pigs and their biology and to those concerned with introduced species."
– Quarterly Review of Biology
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John J. Mayer is a senior research scientist at Westinghouse Savannah River Company. I. Lehr Brisbin, Jr. is a senior research scientist at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.