Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wild Hogs of Ferral Hogs and their impact on Wildlife

(This Photo Taken at Cades Cove in GSMNP)
“An ungrateful man is like a hog under a tree eating acorns, but never looking up to see where they come from” - Timothy Dexter

The first true Pigs were brought to the United States by Hernando de Sota to the Atlantic Coast of Florida in 1539.  The First "Pure Russian" wild boars were brought into the US by Austin Corbin. They were released into a 20,000 acre enclosure in Sullivan County New Hampshire in 1890. Wile Hogs or Feral Pigs are now estimated to have a population in the Unites States of about 4,000,000 with 2,000,000 living in Texas.  They are found in 39 States and 4 Canadian Providences.  A sow reaches breeding age at about 7 or 8 months and can be responsible for about 1000 piglets in a five year period.  (Assuming 1/4 the piglets are breeding sows).  

Wild of Feral Hogs compete with deer, turkey, and other wildlife for food and habitat.   They have also been known to spread diseases and parasites to wildlife and farm animals.  They have also fouled water sources for wildlife and humans and cause their rooting causes excess erosion.  Studies are currently underway to quantify the damage to crops and wildlife in several states in the southeast.   National Parks such as the Great Smoky Mountain National Park have hired wildlife technicians to trap and shoot wild hogs.  While hiking the Appalachian Trail this past year I saw half a dozen traps, primarily in the southern half of the trail.  

A great blog with information on Wild Hogs can be found here.

Humor for the day - Ol' Fred had been a religious man who was in the hospital, near death. The family called their preacher to stand with them. As the preacher stood next to the bed, Ol' Fred's condition appeared to deteriorate and he motioned frantically for something to write on.
The pastor lovingly handed him a pen and a piece of paper, and Ol' Fred used his last bit of energy to scribble a note, then he died. The preacher thought it best not to look at the note at that time, so he placed it in his jacket pocket.
At the funeral, as he was finishing the message, he realised that he was wearing the same jacket that he was wearing when Ol' Fred died.
He said, "You know, Ol' Fred handed me a note just before he died. I haven't looked at it, but knowing Fred, I'm sure there's a word of inspiration there for us all."
He opened the note, and read out loud, "Hey, you're standing on my oxygen tube?"

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