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Posted on: January 17, 2020

Public presentations feature history and impacts of feral hogs

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THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS (January 17, 2020) – Learn about the history and impacts of feral hogs from wildlife experts at two upcoming public presentations:

  • Feral Hogs in a Suburban Landscape
    Dr. John Tomecek will speak Wednesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. at The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming, 6464 Creekside Forest Dr., as part of the Walk in the Woods Lecture series. Dr. Tomecek, a leading expert in the State on feral hog biology and control, provides an in-depth look at feral hogs in Texas, their environmental and economic impacts, and best practices for homeowners needing to manage damages themselves. Registration required.
  • Feral Swine: Challenges and Control
    The Township has partnered with The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N., a locally-based environmental education non-profit, to have Chris Watts speak Thursday, February 20 at 7 p.m. at HARC, 8801 Gosling Rd. Mr. Watts, a Wildlife Damage Management Biologist with the Texas Wildlife Services Program, will walk through the history and impacts of feral hogs, wildlife-human interactions, and urban feral hog management practices and strategies. Registration required. For questions, please call 936-672-2244.

The presentations are free, but space is limited; be sure to register early! For more information, please contact enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov, visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/wildlife or visit www.thewoodlandsgreen.org.

The Woodlands Township has increased efforts to combat feral hogs such as the two presentations above, equipping residents with the knowledge and resources to respond effectively. Accounts of feral hog activity in The Woodlands have risen over the past year. A heavy acorn crop, which helps fuel reproduction, is partly to blame. Sightings have been common as have reports of foraging impacts, mostly in the form of uprooted lawns and landscapes.

Descendants of domestic hogs and European wild hogs, feral hogs (Sus scrofa) were likely first introduced to Texas by Spanish explorers in the 1600s. Over the ensuing 300+ years they have expanded to become one of the most destructive invasive species in our state, wreaking ecological havoc, spreading disease, uprooting crops and lawns, and costing the state over $50 million in damages annually.

The remarkable success of feral hogs in Texas, which are now estimated at nearly 4 million, owes to a variety of factors. They’re highly intelligent, they locate food and avoid traps easily. In addition, sows will start breeding as early as 6 months of age and will produce up to two litters a year. And, as residents of The Woodlands have experienced, they’re adaptable to a variety of habitats including suburban neighborhoods.

The Township reminds residents that they can submit a report of feral hog activity to the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute website. Photos of the animals or their impacts are accepted. For technical assistance and, in some cases, direct control of feral pigs contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension - Wildlife Services website at https://agrilife.org/txwildlifeservices/.

PHOTO: Learn more about the history and impacts of feral hogs with two presentations to the public. To register, please visit http://www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/environment.

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