You might not think it’s a problem. But it is.
And it’s a BIG one.
*As of 2006, in Texas, there was an excess of 2 million. And there are over 4 million nationally.
That was 6 years ago. Breeding several times a year with litters of 2 to 8 offspring, you can well imagine how much those numbers have multiplied in the last 6 years. Puberty begins most often between 6 and 10 months old, although it’s not unheard of at 3 months. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this means the population can triple in a single year.
In 2007, they were **documented in at least 39 states, including the northern states of Michigan, North Dakota, and New York.
Yep. Wild, or feral, hogs are a REAL problem.
***”Without question, wild pigs do sometimes consume eggs and chicks (Thompson 1977, Tolleson et al. 1993); still, little conclusive evidence exists to suggest that pigs prefer these or any other food item.” 😯
The United States isn’t alone in this problem.
Here’s a map of wild boar populations of the “in the European part of the Russian Federation (2010, 2006), Ukraine (2010) and Belarus (2008) at the fi rst administrative level (oblast); and Moldova (2009), Lithuania (2007), Estonia (2007) and Latvia (2008) at the national level.” [Figure 6]
Australia also has its hands full: “Feral pigs are a continuing threat, and are now found across 40% of the Australian continent (Hone 1990, in Spencer and Hampton 2005) at densities ranging from 0.1 to > 20 pigs per km2 (Pech and Hone 1988, Choquenot et al. 1996, Saunders and McLeod 1999, in Spencer and Hampton 2005). Estimates of the total Australian population size vary between 13 and 23 million, depending on environmental conditions (Hone 1990, Choquenot et al,/i>. 1996, in Spencer and Hampton 2005).”
Still think this is a joke?
Even National Geographic has written about this problem, because it’s not like they aren’t just damaging crops- they are also spreading disease.
A Pickup Load of Pigs- The Feral Swine Pandemic: Trailer
Part 1, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Natural History
Part 2, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Damage
Part 3, A Pickup Load of Pigs: The Feral Swine Pandemic – Control
Any time you have non-native species of anything- plants, birds, or animals, there is an inherent risk of devastating damage to the natural environment that may well be non-recoverable.
Feral hogs ARE a scourge upon the earth in non-native environments.
People need to be aware of this eco-crisis and get involved. Awareness is the first step. Don’t be afraid to share this information with others, and to speak up, even if you don’t think this is affecting you personally.
It’s important. Do your part to contribute by sharing information.
Below, you’ll find some links to resources that have data and additional information. It’s important- take some time reading.
But first, for your viewing pleasure, here are pictures of some wild hogs:
Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of a writing challenge put forth by The Hobbler. There may be extra stuff on the side bar if this offering is deemed successful. Stay tuned.