Javelina sometime become prey for animals such as mountain lion, bear and jaguar. Coyote and bobcat may even from time to time, grab a young piglet or animal in weakened state. However, a healthy adult Javelina is a formidable adversary, and can't be taken lightly.
8 - 10 year old sow. Canines are shorter on older animals because of constant tooth wear. Photo by AP Jones (my hand too!).
They will charge to the aid of a herd member being attacked, with razor sharp canine teeth that are longer then that of any carnivore in North America. In fact, there are several credible reports of Javelina facing off and chasing off mountain lions.
With more and more housing subdivisions going up in the rural areas of the southwest, increasing reports of Javelina versus dog encounters are also surfacing, as evidenced by the often horribly wounded dogs.
Javelina displaying canines (click on photo to enlarge) Photo Courtesy of the Desert Life web site.
Game and Fish Department studies in both Arizona and Texas reveal the Javelina played an significant role in Mountain Lion diet and survival. The 1990s Arizona study, revealed mountain lions in the Aravaipa-Klondyke area in southeastern Arizona, overall diet as determined from frequency of occurrence in 370 scats was 48 percent deer, 34 percent cattle, 17 percent Javelina, 6 percent rabbit, and 2 percent desert bighorn sheep. Texas studies in the 1970s and 1980s reported reliance frequency (via scat analysis) of 15 percent and 38 percent Javelina. Texas researchers suggested Javelina increase was the result of a declining deer population in the mountain lion range areas.
Bears, Bobcats and Coyotes
The 1980s Texas studies of bobcat and coyote revealed a very small frequency of occurrence of Javelina (via scat analysis) accounting for less than 3 percent in both cases. Studies of bears in Arizona suggested that bear reliance on Javelina as a food source was minimal, with most encounters occurring when bears moved to lower elevations to feed on ripened prickly pear fruit in the late summer.
I made darn sure the animal was expired before doing this (click on picture to enlarge). Photo by AP Jones.
Feral Hogs and Javelina
Potential for competition with feral hogs doesn't appear to be a significant concern in Arizona, or New Mexico. However, studies of feral hogs in Texas indicate some level of competition between the two. Numerous hunting preserves advertise the option of bagging Javelina and feral hogs on their preserves. Since both Javelina and feral hogs are omnivorous, and share similar diets (oak mast, grasses, forbs, fungi, roots and tubers, cacti, prickly pear fruits, mesquite beans, and animal matter) competition for food where home ranges overlap is assured.
If you were wondering, "reports" from the field are that the Javelina appear to be dominate and chase the feral hogs away when encountered, and no, they do not inter-breed.
Note to readers. The Javelina University section was developed from information derived from over 20 different Javelina related informational sources. Please visit the References page.
JavelinaHunter.com and JavelinaHunter are registered trademarks.