The Feral Hogs Community of Practice (CoP) is a resource area on eXtension concentrating on the control, adaptive management, biology, economics, disease risks, and the human interface of feral hogs across the United States. Over the past 30 years, feral hogs (also variously known as wild pigs, feral pigs, feral swine, Eurasian wild boar, European wild boar, and Russian boar) and distributions have grown dramatically and have now reached a critical level across much of the United States; causing significant economic, biologic, environmental, and natural resource damage. Between 1900 and 1990, the national population size and distribution of these animals in this country had been relatively constant, numbering between 500,000 to 2 million animals and being found in 18 to 21 states. The National Feral Swine Mapping System program currently reports 37 states with established populations of feral swine. Nationwide population are now estimated at more than 4 million animals; both of which makes them one of the most abundant large invasive animal species to be found in the United States at present.
Agricultural damage and control costs were reported to be >$1.5 billion annually across the US, and in Texas alone they cause an estimated $52 million annually of damage to the agricultural industry. Feral hog damage to natural ecosystems has been poorly researched but presumed to be equivalent, if not greater than, agricultural damages reported above. Feral hogs are quickly emerging as, and soon will be, one of the greatest wildlife damage management challenges in the United States and worldwide.
The goal of this CoP is to provide critical information, resources, and expert application of knowledge to meet the demand for timely and accurate information from a large Community of Interest. The Feral Hogs CoP not only from communicates the biology and management of this species, but also provides a roadmap to deal with other species of interest that potentially follow in the track of Feral Hog infestation (e.g., invasive plant species, disease). Understanding processes involved with Feral Hogs, as well as necessary education and outreach methods implemented through this CoP serves as a guideline to others dealing with occurrences of future species of impact.
How to join the Feral Hogs CoP
To join our communty follow the directions below:
For people with a Cooperative Extension affiliation (see list below), go ahead and Sign up for your eXtension ID. Make sure to check Feral Hogs as one of your Communities of Practice.
U.S. Cooperative Extension system
U.S. Government personnel affiliated with Cooperative Extension
Extension-related organizations working on projects with Cooperative Extension staff
For people without a Cooperative Extension affiliation
Get in touch with a member of the Feral Hogs in your region of the country.
Feral Hogs CoP Leadership Team
Jim Cathey, Associate Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Joseph Corn, Public Service Associate, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, University of Georgia
William Giuliano, Assistant Professor & Wildlife Extension Specialist, Department of Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, University of Florida
William Hamrick, Extension Associate II, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University
Amy Hays, Emerging Technologies Specialist, Texas Water Resources Institute
Billy Higginbotham, Professor and Extension Wildlife & Fisheries Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences
Jack Mayer, Research Scientist and Manager, Savannah River National Laboratory in Aiken, South Carolina
Rebecca McPeake, Professor and Wildlife Extension Specialist, University of Arkansas
Don Reed, Professor, Foresrty & Wildlife, Louisiana State University AgCenter
Samuel Smallidge, Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Mangement Specialist, New Mexico State University
Mark Smith, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Auburn University
Russell Stevens, Wildlife and Range Consultant, The Noble Foundation
Bronson Strickland, Associate Extension Professor, Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture, Mississippi State University
Ben West, Western Region Director, University of Tennessee Extension