NEWS & UPDATES
The Nature Conservancy Archive, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
Feral swine, also known as feral pigs or wild boars, have become a nuisance in NY along with many other states in the U.S. The term feral swine can be given to any domestic pig that escapes or is released, a wild boar native to Eurasia, or cross-breeds between the two. This explains why there is so much variety in their coat colors.
Most of the populations in New York can be traced back to escaped and abandoned Eurasian boars in captivity and hunting preserves. Breeding populations can be found in Cortland, southwest Onondaga, and southern Tioga counties as of 2011. Feral swine can reproduce at as young as 6 months and have a gestation of 115 days. Their litter sizes range from 1 to 8 piglets, allowing their population to triple in one year if the conditions are right.
They are classified as an invasive species because they eat hard mast, outcompeting the native species such as deer, bear, and turkey, kill livestock, eat and destroy almost any agricultural crop. Feral swine also pose a threat to humans by carrying diseases and displaying aggressiveness. They destroy wildlife habitat, foul water supplies and pretty much destroy everything in their path.
The DEC's goal is to eradicate feral swine from the state's landscape. While shooting can be used to contol the populations, trapping is recommended to remove entire families of feral swine. Specially-designed corral traps with heavy metal fencing andmechanical doors are used to trap them. Eradication is so important because these animals do a lot of damage to our agriculture and our economy in a very short period of time. If you see, shoot, or trap feral swine please report it to your regional NYS DEC Wildlife office.
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