The Science of Sustainability

Hog Wild

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In 1924 a hunter purposely released a handful of wild boar in Monterey County. Now the pigs number in the hundreds of thousands and reside in all but two of California's 58 counties. Big, fast, smart and hungry, these animals often out-compete native species and damage fragile native ecosystems. Now hunters are stepping up to be part of the solution.

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Category: Biodiversity, Biology, Environment, Television

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About the Author ()

Chris Bauer is a Freelance Media Producer with over 20 years experience working in broadcast television; producing sports, history, technology, science, environment and adventure related programming. He is a two-time winner of the international Society of Environmental Journalists Award for Outstanding Television Story and has received multiple Northern California Emmy Awards. Some of his Quest stories have been featured in the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, United Nations Association Film Festival, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and the Environmental Film Festival in Washington DC. A 5th generation Bay Area resident and a graduate of St. Mary's College of California, his hobbies include canoeing, snowboarding, wood-working and trying to play the ukulele. He and his family live in Alameda, CA.
  • jane frommer

    Thank you for treating this topic with rational thought, countering lawn-owners' hysteria. If the pigs are here to stay, as mentioned in the video, then green lawns are self-defeating landscaping.
    However, has the approach of baiting the pigs with food containing sterilizing agents been pursued? Stem the tide by going to the source of their reproduction mechanism.

    I look forward to receiving the Educator Guide

  • Phillip


    For what it's worth, I can tell you that work is in progress on sterilization/contraception options, but currently there are no viable products. Even when a product is available, the complexity of making sure it's administered in proper doses to the right animals will be a big challenge.

    It's also worth noting that administering oral contraception to problem animals, such as deer, has been pretty ineffective except in geographically isolated locations (such as small islands). Hogs are many times more fecund than deer, capable of having three litters in just over a year. It would take a highly effective delivery mechanism with a highly potent medication to provide significant population control.

    Stay tuned, I suppose, as I'm betting you haven't heard the last of feral hogs or the efforts to control them.

  • Luke Young

    Wow this is very interesting. I didn't know feral pigs existed up in the bay! I'll be sure to stay out of their way… Unless I'm a hunter, but then again I saw a video of a hunter trying to shoot one of those things and he missed and almost died. So I'll probably just stay at home and read about them instead… While enjoying my Ham sandwich of course! :)

    OO here is the video

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