Feral Friday: Have you Seen Feral Swine?

Hunting season is almost upon us and hundreds of thousands of Michigan sportsmen and women will be headed out into the field. It’s important to keep your eyes open for feral swine or signs of them in order to protect our state’s agricultural and natural resources. They cost farmers tons of money from crop damage and negatively impact our native wildlife. Stay tuned for next week’s blog about why we don’t want them here and the problems they cause. Every Friday now until the end of October will feature blogs about feral swine as a part of our new “Feral Friday” series.
Below are some important identification signs that feral swine could be in the area. Educate yourself on how to spot them and keep the USDA Wildlife Services number in your phone to report signs as soon as you see them. Really, put 517-336-1928 ext 23 in your phone now and do your part to help rid Michigan of feral swine.
Tracks
Feral swine scat is distinct from native species, and a very good sign they’re in the area. Photo from USDA Wildlife Services Feral swine scat is distinct from native species, and a very good sign they’re in the area.
Photo from USDA Wildlife Services
Feral swine scat is pretty distinct, there should be little problem telling it apart from native species.
Damage
Feral swine damage can come in a few identifiable forms; wallows, rooting, and nests. Wallows are shallow areas dug out in the mud that feral swine use to roll in. Covering themselves in mud lowers their body temperature and protects them from biting insects. Rooting is when feral swine dig up large areas of land looking for earthworms, grubs, roots, or tubers. Feral swine cut and pile vegetation into nests which can be easily identified. The pictures below are some examples of the damage you can spot throughout Michigan.
Trail cam photo of feral swine during the day in Midland County (2014). Photo from USDA Wildlife Services Trail cam photo of feral swine during the day in Midland County (2014).
Photo from USDA Wildlife Services
You can report all signs and sightings to Nate Newman at USDA Wildlife Services (517-336-1928 ext 23) or online to the Michigan DNR ( www.michigan.gov/feralswine )
Still not sure if what you saw was from pigs? Call Nate Newman at USDA Wildlife Services (517-336-1928 ext 23) to get your questions answered.
Keep an eye out for upcoming blogs about:
  • Why feral swine are bad for Michigan
  • Shoot on sight regulations
  • Feral swine diseases
  • Feral swine regulatory issues
  • Feral swine problems around the country

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.