Feral Swine CO
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory programs Greg Ibach says the agency is stepping up it's public outreach to California and other states where feral swine have become one of the most expensive invasive species.
"Over 6-million feral swine can now be found in 32 states and the annual damage caused by feral swine in the United States is estimated at over 1.5 billion dollars."
Biologists at the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins have begun tracking the invasive animals by looking for tiny traces of them in mud and water.
The wild pigs use their snouts to root up the ground in search of food, including roots, fungus, and other items. As omnivores, they also consume garden landscape plants and agricultural crops.
Ibach says the USDA is spearheading a National Feral Swine Damage Management Program. It includes increased outreach to landowners about the part they can play to help control the feral swine population.
Feral swine are known to carry 30 diseases and 40 types of parasites. California law allows wild pigs to be hunted with permits. The California Fish and Wildlife Department has information on permits other forms of eradication. In the meantime the USDA is asking people to never relocate feral swine, to spread the word about feral swine damage to neighbors and to report any sightings of feral swine or swine damage to state wildlife managers.