Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 5:47 PM
Parts of Sabine National Wildlife Refuge and Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge will be closed next week so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can manage feral hog populations, which one official said is needed to protect native coastal prairie and alligators.
Rob “Goose” Gosnell, a wildlife biologist for the Southwest Louisiana National Wildlife Refuge Complex, said the Wildlife Service has done feral hog management since 2009. He said the effort prevents wildlife refuges from being destroyed by the hogs.
“It’s an epidemic almost,” he said. “The hogs are tearing up marsh and getting into muskrat mounds, (and) they are also getting alligator eggs from nests, which affects wildlife and income for the state.”
Gosnell said controlling the population of feral hogs is difficult because they breed every 115 days, with as many as six surviving in a litter. He said 70 percent of the feral hog population would have to be killed after each breeding to stabilize the population.
This year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service received $1.3 million in federal money to control feral hogs in several Southeastern U.S. states. Gosnell said professional gunners are brought in to shoot the hogs from a helicopter. Cameras are placed around the refuge to monitor the hogs’ movement, and traps are set.
Gosnell said the feral hog management in the Cameron Prairie refuge is an “experimental effort,” but at Sabine refuge, it is a full operation.
The Sabine refuge will be closed Aug. 21 and Aug. 23. The closure includes all boat access from La. 27, from the north and south boundaries and west to Sabine Lake. The Cameron Prairie refuge will be closed Aug. 22, which will prevent access to Pintail Wildlife Drive and Bank Fishing and West Cameron Prairie roads. Law enforcement will staff nearby waterways to prevent people from entering both refuges.
During the closure, recreation areas along La. 27 at the Sabine refuge that can be reached by vehicle will remain open, along with boat launches with access toward Calcasieu Lake.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Feral Hog Management Plan, feral hog carcasses “may be disposed of by gift to public or private institutions, non-profits, used for free Refuge community events, or left on the Refuge for use by scavengers.” Refuge staff will not use hogs for personal use. If large numbers of hogs are collected some carcasses may be buried.
Posted By: Ken On: 8/31/2012
Title: Feral Hogs
Read the article that the wildlife biologist Rob "Goose" Gosnell tells the American Press . Some of the carcasses may be left for scavengers, (that will sure smell good) some may be burried, some may be butchered to be eaten at certain events. I think they will probably do whatever is the easiest. Which will leave them for scavengers & digging a hole and putting them in it. What is wrong with hunters taking care of the problem??????? They could help some people with food, maybe even make some money??? NO, INSTEAD THEY HAVE TO SPEND TAX DOLLARS, TO TRY TO TAKE CARE OF THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!
Throw money at it, waste the resource, the government will fix it?????
Posted By: OnHigh On: 8/31/2012
Great for Louisiana! Wish all states would get this federal money for control as these animals are destroying our habitat!