After our Information Forum in Hermiston, where J.D. gave a talk about feral swine in Oregon, we sent him some follow-up questions to get more information about Oregon's feral swine issue, including Oregon's next steps and what the public can do to help.
What are the next steps in the fight against feral swine in Oregon?
- Aggressive removal of all feral swine where they are known
- Increased public outreach
- Creating and fostering strong relationships between state/federal/local agencies, land owners and conservation groups.
How does Oregon's feral swine issue compare to other states?
Oregon is a level 3 funding state within the National Feral Swine Damage Management program. Level 3 funding acknowledges that eradication is possible, but not immediately possible. Other states within this funding level are: Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri. With cooperation among landowners and all agencies involved, Oregon can be successful in complete eradication within the near future.
What should the public know?
It should be known that no matter how enjoyable feral swine can be to hunt, they are not an animal that you want present on the landscape. Oregon has had feral swine on the landscape for some time now and has seen relatively low impact on the landscape; This will not continue if they are allowed to persist in Oregon.
They pose a significant threat to native wildlife (diseases), livestock (diseases), water resources and agriculture. They are also a threat to health and human safety; simply look at the case in California where an E. coli outbreak occurred that was directly linked to feral swine. To this point, the relative low negative impact on the landscape in my opinion is pure luck. Again, I cannot stress it enough, if feral swine are allowed to persist they will cause significant negative impacts to the Oregon landscape.
What should the public do?
I believe that is of the utmost importance that people immediately report sightings of feral swine. Be vigilant and educate yourselves on the damages of feral swine.
J.D. McComas is a Wildlife Biologist and Feral Swine expert with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
Contact J.D. at: John.firstname.lastname@example.org
Report all possible feral swine sightings by calling 1-888-268-9219
To learn more about OISC's Feral Swine campaign, visit our Squeal on Pigs webpage.