Feral Pigs Essay

856 WordsMar 29, 20124 Pages
Feral Pigs There have been many organisms introduced to the Australian land. Many of these animals and plants harm the environment, and native species. This essay will me based on Sus Scrofa (feral pigs). European settlers brought pigs to Australia by boat in the 1800s. Feral pigs are descendants of various species of these introduced pigs, which became feral. There is estimated to be 23 million of these feral animals Australia wide. They are mainly located within Queensland, and across the top of the Northern Territory. This essay will answer the questions of; how feral pigs affect the native organisms, how science is helping to reduce this species, how affective the treatments are is and how these methods impact the environmental and economical factors. Feral pigs have a lot of impact on native species, both animals and plants. This is because they are omnivores. One type of animal they eat is birds. They mainly eat their chicks, but this can have a big impact on the food web and hence the ecosystem. Amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and small mammals are part of their diet too. Unfortunately, eating these organisms can sometimes put endangered and rare species at a greater risk. Corn, barley, wheat, seed, grain and oat crops are the main vegetation that they feed on. Figure 1 & 2 (last page) shows the extent of feral pigs impact on threatened species in 2008. Feral pigs usually stay close to water so they can drink regularly and to control their body temperature, as they are extremely susceptible to heat. The outcome of this is fouling of the water, which can have an impact on many native species. When searching for vegetation to eat, feral pigs root up riparian environments, which has many negative affects. This can contribute to damaging ecosystems, formation of weeds and the spread of dieback (Phytophthora Cinnamomi) disease. Dieback disease is a

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