NRI Associate Josh Helcel was recently interviewed about the severe feral hog problem in the state of Texas.
Wild pig control outreach and education
Wild pigs are one of the greatest invasive species problems in the United States. They impact water quality, agricultural crops and livestock, wildlife populations and their habitats, and more recently, suburban landscapes. Nationwide, the population is estimated at about 4 million animals — with 2.6 million in Texas alone.
Wild pig crop damages and control costs are reported to be greater than $1.5 billion across the nation and conservatively $52 million in Texas, annually. In areas where wild pig populations are concentrated or in and near streams, where they spend a significant portion of their time, they contribute bacteria and nutrients to water bodies. These populations can substantially impact water quality by eroding banks, increasing sediment loads and algae blooms, and causing oxygen depletions.
Through presentations, publications, smartphone applications, social media content and videos, we are helping the public understand these animals live, as well as improving the reduction measures used by landowners to control this pest. Our work has helped many stakeholders actively involved in implementing water resource management and protection programs in their watersheds. Providing education to landowners about effective removal and management strategies is crucial to successfully reducing wild pig populations and improving the water quality of Texas streams.
Read our latest Wild Pig newsletter.
SP-472: Feral Hog Population Growth, Density and Harvest in Texas
J. Timmons, B. Higginbotham, R. Lopez, J. Cathey, J. Mellish, J. Griffin, A. Sumrall, K. Skow
Read up on associate director Jim Cathey's insight for The Eagle on College Station's feral hog residents—some of Texas' most formidable foes have taken their destructive tendencies to the College Station Memorial Cemetery and Aggie Field of Honor.
Join the Bastrop County SWCD in McDade, Texas for their annual Field Tour to learn about wild hog management practices. Speakers will discuss the effects hogs have on the landscape, different trapping systems, and the rules and regulations for controlling populations on your property.
In this sixth issue, landowners will learn about wild pigs and mast crops, view the best of the wild pig photo and video contest, read about the origin of the wild pig species and get a peek at trending articles and videos.
In this fifth issue, landowners will learn about county-based cooperative wild pig abatement, see an evaluation of contraceptive viability in wild pigs and view trending articles and videos.
In this fourth issue, landowners will learn about wild pig control concerns, about considerations for hunting with dogs and get a peek at trending articles and videos.
In this third issue, landowners will learn about white-tailed deer management with considerations for wild pig control, read about considerations for the ethical harvest of wild pigs and get a peek at trending articles and videos.
In this second issue, landowners will get to see an urban wild pig video series, learn about the seasonal spotlight, emerging technology and innovation in wild pig management and hear about upcoming programs.
In this first issue, land stewards will meet the Wild Pig team, read the seasonal spotlight, learn about new Wild Pig continuing education courses and landowner cooperatives, hear about upcoming programs and much more...
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.
Wild pigs are considered opportunistic omnivores – meaning they will consume both plant and animal food sources available to them throughout the year. The vast majority of a wild pigs diet consists of plant materials, and an important, seasonal food source for wild pigs are mast crops (acorns, fruits or beans). Common mast producing species in Texas include oaks, hickories, honey mesquite, prickly pear cactus and persimmon. This article will highlight the research that has been conducted on wild pig competition with native wildlife for mast, the effects mast has on wild pig population trends and how wild pigs’ consumption of mast can influence forest composition.
Countywide wild pig abatement programs have been implemented across Texas for decades. Many of these programs are based on some type of bounty system, usually pertaining to a one- to three-month period when landowners bring physical evidence verifying animal harvest to a central location in exchange for money.
The continued expansion of wild pig populations in the Lone Star State has many Texans again questioning the viability of wild pig contraception as a means of control.