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July

NPS Pig Policy

It’s been said that Feral Pigs eat anything they can catch. They can eat small game, bugs, eggs from birds and snakes and birds and snakes. They eat foliage, nuts and berries and some barks.

The one thing they eat a lot of are roots and tubers of some native species of plants and trees. This is where they enter the radar of wildlife and park area managers. In order for pigs to get to the roots they must dig up the surrounding area to get to the roots. That’s where the term “pig rootins” comes from. A number of pigs can turn up vast amounts of acreage in a relatively short period of time. Therefore if a pig population gets to big for an area the land and then the other wildlife can suffer. Or so the theory goes.

It is my belief that a pig population that is controlled could be a beneficial tool to use for the health of a lot of other animals. The “National Park Service” disagrees with that. Who is it that actually disagrees is an unknown. What we do agree with is that a normal control apparatus would come in the form of a hunting program. That’s close to heretical talk in Park Service terms. So we come to an impasse about how to control the wild pigs. And in this lies the real disagreement.

Even though hunting has long been an effective management tool the NPS doesn’t believe hunting should be allowed on “their” land. Who’s land it is is another issue for later. We do both agree that pigs will overpopulate without a control measure. We also agree that hunting could probably not eradicate all of the pigs. This begs the question, how has the pig population been controlled in Everglades National Park when there is a, or was a large healthy population on the lands surrounding the park? I don’t believe that pigs just didn’t like the park and therefore stayed out of it. I believe the Park Service has a control measure in place to eradicate the pigs. I also know that the overall mammal population in the park such as deer , rabbits, coons and the like are much lower in the park than in the surrounding areas where hunting is allowed.

What the park does to control animals it doesn’t want is ans unknown to me also. But i do know that the pigs have disappeared in the Big Cypress National Preserve just to the north of the Everglades National Park. The Park Service has been in charge of the preserve in recent years. Before them the FWC was in charge and they kept the pigs under control and thy also managed a very healthy deer herd. Now after the pigs are gone the deer are also disappearing at a very alarming rate. I know how this could be done and I suspect so does the Park Service. They may have an ulterior motive. For after the animals are gone so will be the hunters. And the Park Service can’t deny that would suit them just fine.

Since the health of the animals is a concern for many maybe it’s time for a few disassociated groups to think about joining up or at least sharing information. Namely the hunting population and PETA. An unlikely combination to be sure but who knows what could be discovered. I’m just saying…

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