Uprooted!

(Photo: Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Bugwood.org)

(Photo: Billy Higginbotham, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Bugwood.org)

 

In the twenty-eight years of living in Florida, I would say the subject of feral pigs have been brought up more than any other species in the state due to their invasive nature. Feral pigs are not native to Florida or North America. Those twenty-eight years were spent living twenty minutes from the Charlotte Harbor where travelers such as Hernando De Soto and Ponce De Leon first brought those pigs over here. It did not help when Florida and some hunters decided to release more pigs to increase their hunting. However the state has stopped doing this but the problem remains.

The scariest part about feral pigs is the fact that it is impossible to completely wipe their species out. Not even hunters who go as far as using turrets mounted on helicopters can put a dent into the invasive population. They are simply very fertile breeders and can be overwhelming. They tend to cause a lot of damage to the native plants and vegetation as well as farms. They will trample and uproot the ground in order to forage for food. Many farmers and golf courses suffer rom the high costs of those damages as well as those who use millions of dollars to prevent damages.

I believe they cause a disruption in the ecosystem since the pigs forced their way into the food chain. They will eat just about anything from nuts to livestock. Boars are wrecking the biodiversity of the area and causing millions of damage to humans at the same time. Our native species are having a hard time coping with those boars since they go after eggs and newborns as well as competing for food against deers and smaller animals native to Florida. Pigs are very aggressive and pose no fear to humans. They are truly invasive and we can only hope to bring their population under control before they control us.

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