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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Population densities and disease surveys of wild pigs in the coast ranges of central and northern California

  • Author(s): Sweitzer, Rick A.
  • Gardner, Ian A.
  • Gonzales, Ben J.
  • Van Vuren, Dirk
  • Boyce, Walter M.
  • et al.

In 1994 and 1995, 233 different wild pigs were captured during population research at seven research sites focused primarily in the coastal regions of central and northern California. Mark-resight data and information on wild pig movements were used to assess wild pig population densities at those sites. Population densities ranged from 1.01 wild pigs/km2 in Mendocino County in 1994 to 3.32 wild pigs/km2 in Santa Clara County in 1995. Comparisons of population densities between years at three research sites suggested that wild pig populations increased in 1995 in response to favorable forage conditions after the wet fall and winter of 1994-95. Serum samples collected from 462 wild pigs at 28 different sites were screened for exposure to brucellosis and pseudorabies. Preliminary results were that seropositive results for brucellosis were noted at only three sites, whereas no animals were confirmed seropositive for pseudorabies. Although analyses of these two diseases are continuing, test results for trichinellosis, toxoplasmosis, and sylvatic plague reinforce previous warnings to hunters and consumers that sanitary handling and cooking of wild swine meat are warranted.

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