Faculty members Stephen Ditchkoff, Mark Smith, Todd Steury, Robert Gitzen, Graeme Lockaby, and Edward Loewenstein in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences received a $861,833 grant from the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR-WFF) to study to the impacts and control of wild pigs in Alabama.
Wild pig population have spread dramatically across the state in the past 20 years and now cause well over $50 million per year in damage to Alabama agriculture as well as untold millions in damage to natural ecosystems and native wildlife. This 5-year study will occur at the ADCNR’s Lowndes County Wildlife Management Area just west of Montgomery where researcher will use GPS transmitter collars to monitor the movements, habitat use, and survival of wild pigs on the area.
In conjunction with data on wild pigs, researchers will also examine their impacts on water quality, regeneration of hardwood trees, and other wildlife such as squirrels before and after wild pigs are systematically removed from an 8,000 acre portion of the management area. The project builds upon previous research to further develop and refine best management practices (BMPs) for controlling wild pig populations.