Invasive Feral Hogs Continue to Threaten Roan Highlands

2019 marks the fifth year of coordinated efforts to manage invasive feral hogs in the Highlands of Roan. These hogs damage the fragile, globally important ecosystems of Roan as they “root,” eating rare species and tearing up the terrain. They also spread multiple diseases and pose a safety threat to outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

“Since feral hogs can have devastating impacts on plants and wildlife, as well as human and livestock health, the situation requires coordinating a broad group of partners,” explains Marquette Crockett, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s Roan Stewardship Director. “This includes federal and state agencies in both NC and TN.”

Feral Hog Working Group partners represented at a recent meeting included: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Services NC (USDA APHIS TN), U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Animal & Plant Health Inspection Services TN (USDA APHIS TN), NC Wildlife Resources Commission, NC state parks, TN Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), TN Dept. of Energy and Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Cherokee National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and private landowners in the Highlands.

Although trapping efforts have removed 40-50 feral hogs from Roan each year, it’s still not enough to effectively control the population — which would require more time and resources than currently allocated.

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