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Feral Hogs Invade the Finger Lakes
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Gives Permission to Shoot on Sight
ks552@cornell.edu
| April 18, 2011
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[[image|id=312|size=large|align=right]] It’s the Invasion of the Hogs! Feral hogs (domesticated pigs that returned to a wild state) are creeping into the Finger Lakes region from the south to the immense displeasure of local farmers. Outside of professional population control, the migrating pigs can devastate the local ecosystem, as they are prolific breeders with few natural predators. If the population is left unchecked, the abundance of hogs can spread disease like E. Coli to wildlife, lifestock, and humans and compete with the natural deer population for food. Additionally, they damage crops, golf courses, woodland and homeowners’ yards and property. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warns that feral swine have razor sharp tusks and can be aggressive toward humans and their pets. Because of the threat of feral hogs to the ecosystem, the Department of Environmental Conservation has given hunters and others approval to kill the wild pigs on sight. Although hunting the hogs is effective, the best way to eliminate the population is to place walk-in traps that catch the pigs and allow officials to later cart them away. Unfortunately, this method is also the most expensive. Currently, environmental experts are working to stop the expansion into the Finger Lakes by studying the movement of feral hogs from the south so that their migration path may be cut off. The Department of Environmental Conservation asks that anyone who spots or shoots feral pigs to report the sighting at (607) 753-3095 or by email at fwwildlf@gw.dec.state.ny.us.
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