White Mountains Online



A small pig-like (though not related) animal, javelina, or collared peccaries, have a sharp sense of smell and relatively poor eyesight. Considered a range pest in the 1800's, javelina are now managed as a big game species and are enjoyed by hunters and wildlife viewers alike.

Description: A relatively small animal, javelina average about 1.5 feet at shoulder height and are about 3 feet long from nose to tail. Their average weight ranges from 40-60 pounds. Javelina travel in herds ranging from 8-27 animals. Their dorsal scent gland, coupled with their sharp sense of smell, helps each javelina identify members of their herd.

Habitat: Javelina are generally found in low to mid-level deserts and cactus-studded desert grasslands between 1,000 and 5,000 feet in elevation. Marginal habitat includes pinyon pine-juniper, oak, and pine-oak vegetation communities between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation.

Food Preferences: Javelina are essentially herbivores, although they will occasionally eat insects and other animal matter. They will readily eat cactus and other spiny and succulent plants, roots, tubers, forbs, and pods.

Breeding notes: Breeding occurs throughout the year, peaking in late winter and spring. Young, or "piglings," therefore, are born throughout the year, with high numbers born in June. A litter consists of one to four piglings, with an average of two.

Predators or Enemies: Coyote

Size Individual Range: 4 square miles

Distribution: 1,000-6,000 feet, mostly south of Mogollon Rim.

Live Weight: Male: 65 lbs. / Female 50 lbs.

Hunting hints: Javelina have small home ranges. Once found, they'll usually remain in the same general vicinity. Glassing an area with binoculars from a high point or good vantage spot in early morning or late afternoon is a good way to begin your hunt. An Apache/Sitgreaves National Forest map is essential.

Information courtesy Arizona Game & Fish Department, Region 1-Pinetop,AZ