Pecari tajacuorTayassu tajacu
Though some people think javelina are a type of wild pig,
they are actually members of the peccary family, a group of hoofed
mammals originating from South America. Javelina are common in much of
central and southern Arizona, including the outskirts of the Phoenix
area, most of Tucson, and occasionally as far north as Flagstaff.
Javelina form herds of two to more than 20 animals and rely on each
other to defend territory, protect against predators, regulate
temperature and interact socially. They use washes and areas with dense
vegetation as travel corridors. Javelina are most active at night, but
they may be active during the day when it is cold.
Description and Habits
- Peppered black, gray and brown hair with a faint white collar around the shoulders
- 40-60 pounds
- Approximately 19 inches tall
- Young born year-round, most often from November to March
- Average litter of two
- Newborns up to three months old are red-brown or tan and are called "reds”
- Live an average of 7.5 years
- Very poor eyesight, may appear to be charging when actually trying to escape
- Keen sense of smell
- Will roll in water and mud to cool off
gland on back; animals from the same herd stand side-by-side and rub
each other’s scent glands with their heads; use scents to identify
animals from different herds
- Need a water source for drinking
primarily plants, including cacti, succulent plants, bulbs, tubers,
beans and seeds; sometimes eat insects, garbage and grubs
Possible Conflicts with Humans and Pets
Javelina will likely visit occasionally if you live in a semi-urban
area near a wash or other natural desert. Javelina usually cause only
minor problems for people by surprising them or eating a few plants.
However, people should NEVER feedjavelina.
This can cause them to become regular visitors and lose their fear of
people, creating problems for the neighborhood and often leading to the
death of the javelina. Javelina occasionally bite humans, but incidents
of bites are almost always associated with people providing the javelina
with food. Javelina can inflict a serious wound. Defensive javelina
behavior may include charging, teeth clacking, or a barking, growling
sound. Javelina may act defensively when cornered, to protect their
young, or when they hear or smell a dog. Dogs and coyotes are natural
predators of javelina, and they can seriously hurt or kill each other.
Javelina around your home may also inadvertently attract mountain lions,
because mountain lions prey on javelina.
What Attracts Them?
Javelina usually visit homes to find food, water or shelter.
for javelina can include lush vegetation and many flowers and succulent
plants that people place around their homes. Birdseed, table scraps and
garbage can also attract javelina.
can be provided through chewing on an irrigation hose or by drinking
from a pool or other water source around a home. Javelina will also dig
and roll in moist soil during summer days to keep cool.
can take the form of a porch, an area under a mobile home, a crawlspace
beneath a house, or any other cave-like area. Javelina will seek shade
during summer days and warmth during the winter, if these areas are not
What Should I Do?
If javelina have become a problem or have caused property damage, see
the suggestions below to deal with the situation. Do your part to keep
javelina healthy and wild because their removal almost always means
death. Work with your neighbors to achieve a consistent solution to the
To discourage a javelina, immediately:
- Scare off animals by making loud noises (bang pots, yell, stomp on the floor, etc.);throwing small rocks in their direction;
or spraying with vinegar, water from a garden hose, or large squirt gun
filled with diluted household ammonia (1 part ammonia and 9 parts
water). The odor of the ammonia and the nasal irritation it causes will
encourage the javelina to leave. Avoid spraying ammonia in the eyes as
it may cause damage even at this low concentration. Ammonia should not
be used around wetlands because it is toxic to fish and amphibians.
the animal is confined, open a gate, have all people leave the area,
and allow it to leave on its own. If it is still there the following
day, contact a wildlife control businessor the Arizona Game and Fish Department.
- If you see javelina while walking your dog, avoid going near the javelina and quickly take your dog in a different direction.
In an emergency: If
a javelina is acting in an aggressive manner toward people, is
contained and cannot leave on its own or be let out easily, or is in
human possession, please call your local Arizona Game and Fish Department regional office
during weekday business hours. After hours and weekends, call the
Arizona Game and Fish Department radio dispatcher at (623) 236-7201.
Remember, removal is usually a last resort:
Removal usually results in the death of the javelina. In some cases,
the javelina cannot be moved to a different location because it may have
a disease or attacked a person. Research shows that most javelina do
not survive a move to a different area due to inability to find food,
water and shelter; being separated from the herd; being killed by a car,
predator or other javelina while defending its territory; or reaction
to the capture. When property damage from javelina is severe and/or
repetitive, and the possible attractants have been removed and other
measures have been attempted and failed to resolve the problem, the
Arizona Game and Fish Department may determine that a javelina should be
removed from an area. Also,wildlife control businesses are authorized to use repellents to deter javelina.
To prevent further problems:
- Don't feed javelina!
pets inside or only what they can eat at one time. Don’t allow birdseed
to fall to the ground and/or fence any bird feeding areas. Store
birdseed, livestock feed, rodent bait and pet food inside. Do not leave
quail blocks where javelina can access them. Pick up fallen fruit and
nuts as quickly as possible.
- Keep water sources above the reach of javelina or behind strong fencing.
garbage and compost. Secure garbage cans with locking lids or by
attaching to a fence or wall. Put garbage cans at the curb on the
morning of pickup rather than the night before. Clean out cans with a
bleach solution to reduce attractive odors.
with plants that javelina do not want to eat. Their favorite plants are
cacti, succulents, bulbs and tubers, and any plants that drops fruit or
nuts. They will generally eat most tender, new plants. Javelina
resistant plants [PDF, 18kb].
- Keep dogs on a leash and/or inside a fenced yard to prevent defensive attacks.
fencing to deny javelina access. Electric fencing is the most effective
around gardens; try a single strand approximately 8-10 inches above
ground level. It is fairly inexpensive and can be obtained at farm and
ranch supply stores. Check local ordinances before installing electric
block walls or chain link fencing (4 feet tall) around the entire yard.
Patch up defective fences and gates. Use a concrete footer buried 8-12
inches into the ground or electric fencing to prevent digging under.
Check local ordinances before installing electric fencing.
block or solid skirting for mobile homes, decks and trailers, or use
electric fencing for a temporary fix. Block entrance holes to any
crawlspaces after the javelina have left. (Spread flour on the ground at
the entrance to check for footprints.)
- Look for products that can be used as helpful animal deterrents.
Possible Health Concerns
Rabies - Javelina can catch rabies, although they do not generally carry it without symptoms.Symptoms of rabies
can include foaming at the mouth; erratic, hyperactive behavior; and/or
fearful, paralyzed and lethargic behavior. If you see any animal with
rabies symptoms, call 911 or your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office right away.
bitten by a javelina must immediately seek medical attention from a
qualified health care provider. Whenever possible, the animal should be
captured or killed and sent to a laboratory for rabies testing.
- Javelina are known to catch distemper, which can be transmitted to
pets. Distemper is a viral disease that consists of fever, loss of
appetite, coughing, and eye and nose discharge.
- Salmonella or other bacteria that commonly cause food poisoning
sometimes take a toll on javelina herds. Symptoms include diarrhea,
inability to walk, staying close to a water source, and death.
Laws and Policies
department will sometimes remove javelina that are causing extensive
property damage or have become aggressive toward humans. However, this
is a last resort, and measures must be taken to remove attractants to
prevent problems from recurring.
are classified as a big game species. It is unlawful to injure or kill
game animals, even if they are causing a problem, unless certain
rigorous provisions under the law have been met. See Arizona Game and
Fish Department Hunting Regulations.
- It is unlawful to trap javelina.
- State law prohibits firing a gun within a quarter-mile of an occupied residence or building without the permission of the owner.
your local city ordinances, but most cities ban shooting firearms
within city limits. Some cities ban the use of slingshots, BB guns, air
guns, or bows.
- Refer to ARS-17-239 on wildlife depredation and Arizona Game and Fish DepartmentHunting Regulations for more information.
more info click here http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_javelina.shtml