Hog Wild: Experts Say Feral Pigs Are a Serious ThreatBy Daniel Cherry | Published 05 Dec 2012 05:54pm |
Courtesy of MSU
Wild hogs have become a major threat to Mississippi wildlife and farmland, causing more than a billion dollars in damage each year across the nation. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, some Mississippi landowners are fighting back.
Brian Parker says on his land in Amite County, wild hogs are taking over.
"Growing up out there I can never remember seeing a pig. Just up until the last two or three years they moved in out there and just every year it's just more and more."
Now Parker says he can't control them from spreading across his property.
"Of course we've shot at them a few times and killed a few of them, but, you know, getting them one at a time isn't doing much good."
Feral hogs are an invasive species that reproduce at an alarming rate, can eat nearly anything, and have few natural predators. Earlier this week, Parker and others attended a conference to learn about trapping and other control methods. Some estimates say wild hogs cause about one and a half billion dollars in damage each year to farmland. Kris Godwin is Mississippi Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services.
"Those folks are suffering a lot of damage. Peanuts are coming back to the state. Peanut farmers are getting hit really hard. Same type thing with those fields getting rooted up as soon as they start planting them, or just right before peanuts are ready, they're getting torn up out of the ground."
Along with carrying numerous diseases, the pigs also prey on ground nesting birds, and small mammals. Ricky Flynt with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks says the pigs disrupt natural habitats.
"They are prolific where they exist. They'll utilize whatever food resources are most abundant, and the result of that can result in a lot of habitat damage that impacts our native wildlife."
Experts and landowners fighting their spread all agree something has to be done, even though many say, it's unlikely all wild hogs can ever be completely removed. Daniel Cherry...MPB News.
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