Estancia at WiregrassPig

 

Feral Hogs (a.k.a. Wild Hog)

As with many areas in North Tampa, Wesley Chapel is no exception to the invasion of the “Feral Hogs” in our communities.  These animals negatively impact our wetlands and yards by “rooting” up the soil in search for food (i.e., grubs, insects, etc.) leaving pond banks, common areas and yards damaged.   The Southwest Florida Water Management District considers feral hog control an integral part of public conservation land stewardship in Florida.

Estancia is no exception to this invasion.  The District has contracted a “wild life trapper” to assist with this issue.  The way in which the Feral Hogs are controlled is to capture them using traps that are placed around the community. You may see these traps (large cages) throughout the Estancia property and we ask that you do not disturb them.  You may also see the trapper on property inspecting the traps and assessing the migration of the hogs.  Lastly, these hogs are humanely caught, removed from property and often donated to families who are in need.

If you should have questions or concerns, please contact Clifton Fischer, District Manager for Estancia at Wiregrass at (813) 949-1001.

What is a feral hog?pig2

Feral hogs are wild animals originated from domestic livestock. The Southwest Florida Water Management District (District) considers feral hogs an invasive
exotic species.
What kind of damage can a feral hog do?

They negatively impact wetlands and other habitats by “rooting” up the soil searching for food. They prey on native wildlife, compete with native species for food and transmit diseases to other wildlife, livestock and humans.

How did feral hogs get here in the first place?

Hernando de Soto brought the first hogs to the Atlantic Coast of Florida in 1539.

How can hog damage on District lands affect the environment elsewhere?

Severe hog-rooting disturbance along stream banks and river floodplain areas can lead to increased erosion and sediment loading, affecting sites downstream. Other wildlife species using the lands could be affected by disease transmission and competition for food. Additionally, hogs may facilitate the spread of exotic plant species by transporting seeds and/or providing germination
sites through rooting.

How many hogs exist on District lands?

The exact number of hogs on any large tract is impractical to determine. Land managers monitor population trends through visual sightings of animals and observing trends in rooting damage.

Why is the District in the “hog-control business”?

Just like invasive exotic plant control, feral hog control is an integral part of public conservation land stewardship in Florida.

Why don’t we get rid of the hogs altogether?

The technology does not currently exist to completely eradicate feral hogs from Florida landscape. The District’s objective is to minimize feral hog damage by controlling their numbers at minimum possible levels.

What happens to the hogs after they are trapped?

The hogs are taken to an onsite slaughter facility and used for human consumption.

Why can’t the hogs be released?

It is contrary to proper exotic species control to release the exotic species back into the landscape.

Isn’t there another way to control populations other than having them sent to slaughter?

Currently, removing the animals from the landscape through hunting or trapping is the only viable method of hog control in Florida.pig3

What do feral hogs eat?

Feral hogs are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. Plant material makes up the bulk of the hog’s diet, with acorn and palmetto mast being a large seasonal component. Animal material in the diet consists of invertebrates and small vertebrates, such as amphibians.

How big does a feral hog get?

A feral hog may exceed 200 pounds, but the average is less than 100 pounds.

How many young are produced in a litter and how many hogs reach sexual maturity?

Litter sizes vary. Some literature states the average litter size is four to six piglets and 55% reach sexual maturity. However, this varies from area to area. Feral hogs become reproductively active at 20 to 51 weeks of age and can produce up to two litters per year. Gestation period is around 116 days.

Are feral hogs dangerous?

Like any other wild animal, hogs can be dangerous if threatened or with young.

Can I get sick or can my pet get sick from contact with a feral hog?

Yes. Hogs can carry a number of diseases transmittable to humans or domestic animals. Primary diseases of concern in Florida are brucellosis and pseudorabies, which are generally spread through direct contact with an infected animal.

Are there any natural predators of feral hogs?

Large hogs have few predators on District lands. Smaller hogs may be preyed upon by bobcats and coyotes. Man is the primary predator of hogs.

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