Josh Helcel

Project Coordinator

josh.helcel@tamu.edu (512) 554-3785 Curriculum Vitae

Josh Helcel is a Project Coordinator with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI). He specializes in educational programming and providing technical assistance to landowners and others seeking to control expanding populations of wild pigs. Josh has a Bachelor of Science in wildlife ecology and management from Texas A&M University. Prior to working for NRI, he worked as an interpreter and public hunting coordinator for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Currently, Josh is working within a 13-county area across the Lake Granbury, Leon River, Lampasas River, Gilleland Creek, Plum Creek and Geronimo Creek watersheds to reduce the environmental impacts of wild pigs. His emphasis on best management practices provides landowners with the outreach, technical assistance and resources needed to effectively abate the damages associated with exotic invasive wild pigs.

Josh also provides watershed-based educational presentations and resources through a variety of online and social media outlets including: the Feral Hogs Facebook page, the Feral Hogs YouTube page, the Wild Wonderings Blog and the new Wild Pigs website

 

 

Authored Articles


What's New with NRI’s Wild Pig Reporting System

NRI’s wild pig reporting web-page, developed by the institute’s data analytics team, provides a unique portal for data to be reported not only in Texas, but anywhere wild pigs are observed.

Wild Pig and Human Interactions

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have gained quite a reputation for being aggressive towards humans and companion animals.  A quick Google or YouTube search can easily lead one to believe these animals routinely grow to enormous sizes and will readily attack and eat humans or pets when given an opportunity.  The truth about human and wild pig interactions, however, is not nearly that sensational.  This article will explore research conducted on human-wild pig interactions, and will attempt to separate the facts from the substantial lore surrounding this topic.

Do Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Have a Place in Wild Pig Management?

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a growing concern across the country, and, unfortunately, Texas seems to have the largest population over other states. Landowners, producers and others concerned with minimizing damages associated with this exotic species often look to emerging technologies to reduce wild pig numbers.

Are Wild Pigs Safe to Eat?

NRI's Josh Helcel and the wild pig team spoke with Susan Culp with the Texas Animal Health Commission to answer a few questions about the safety of bringing home the bacon. Click read more to watch the video.

Private Land Stewardship: The Importance of Knowing Your Animals

It is important as a landowner to know which wildlife species frequent your property and how to alter your management practices in order to benefit those animals. Gaining a better understanding of common wildlife as well as species you may never encounter will not only make you a more informed wildlife enthusiast, it can provide you with a well-rounded approach to private land stewardship. Most landowners commonly observe generalist species like white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus) or raccoons (Procyon lotor) on their property, but among the ecoregions of Texas there is vast diversity in habitat that many species call home. 

The Origin of the Wild Pig Species

Nearly 160 years ago Charles Darwin published his “On the Origin of Species,” a work that would become the cornerstone of evolutionary biology. The book's 502 pages outlined the scientific theory of natural selection and species diversity through evolution across successive generations. If you’ve ever wondered where wild pigs (Sus scrofa) came from, why there are so many different names for them and how man has influenced nearly everything about them, well then what follows may be worth your minutes.