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Mississippi South Delta Feral Swine Control Pilot Project

Points of Contact

Kurt Readus, State Conservationist
USDA-NRCS State Office
Suite 1321, McCoy Federal Bldg.
100 W. Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39269
601-863-3944

Kristina Godwin, State Director
USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services
Room 200 Thompson Hall
775 Stone Boulevard
Mississippi State, MS 39762
662-325-3014

Project Area

The south Delta Region is being considered as the priority area for the first round of project proposals in Mississippi. This area includes the entire counties of Issaquena, Sharkey, Warren, and Yazoo with a total of 1,550,514 acres in the project area.

Land use in these counties consist of:

  • 493,349 acres cropland
  • 717,284 acres private forestland
  • 77,294 acres of pasture/hay
  • 64,268 acres urban
  • 5,089 acres associated ag lands
  • 81,584 acres water
  • 111,646 acres of state and federally owned land.

Approximately 93% of the area is in private ownership. There are approximately 995 farms within these four counties, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture.

Mississippi South Delta map 1

Photo #1 – Mississippi Feral Swine Pilot Area

 

Hiring of Trapping Technicians

NRCS funds are available for partners to hire technicians to assist with feral swine trapping efforts under the supervision of APHIS.

  • 3 Partner Trapping Technicians (1 per county for 3 counties) 
    • All trapping activities, under the oversight of APHIS 
    • Assist with Outreach programs
    • Gather information through interviews conducted with farmers about extent and history of feral swine problems, current land use, damages, and damage reduction.
    • Positions would be funded for the life of the project

Estimated Equipment Needed

NRCS funds may be used for the equipment necessary for the pilot project. Further questions about the equipment needed, the amount, and use of the equipment should be directed to the point of contract for the project. It is expected to that the following equipment will be crucial for the implementation of the project with the pilot area:

  • Traps
    • 40 low tech corral traps with drop door
    • 4 smart traps per county 
    • To be used by partner trapping technicians, APHIS employees, or trained landowners
    • Could remain in the control of partner for landowner use after the life of the project
  • Drone and battery for monitoring and evaluation
  • Baiting for Traps - 10,000 pounds of corn/county x 4 counties/year for 3 years
  • Cameras - 10 cameras with lock box and cable lock per county for 4 counties for low tech corral traps; 1 camera for smart trap with annual data plan for 3 years
  • Cell service - annual data plan for 4 smart trap cameras for 3 years; cell phones for 3 Partner trapping technicians
  • Trailers for hauling Traps – 4 trailers (1 per county)
  • Transportation - 4WD vehicle for 3 trapping technicians to move and check traps on locations at landowner’s property (potentially including ATV’s for remote trapping sites) and to conduct outreach and monitoring activities with landowners throughout the county.

Monitoring/Evaluation Requirements of Partner

Due to the new nature of the pilot program, it will be crucial to collect, monitor, and evaluate data regarding feral swine populations, agricultural damage, and environmental concerns. For this project, partners are expected to: 

  • Make initial site assessments of damage being caused
  • Conduct post project assessment of damage reduction and site rehabilitation
  • Collect information through interviews conducted with farmers to obtain information about extent and history of feral swine problems, current land use, damages, and damage reduction

Anticipated Partnerships within the Project

It is important that the partner be able to work with the below entities, as well as state and local governments that work in the pilot areas.

  • Mississippi State University Extension Service will be making available a feral swine app for cell phone users which can also capture feral swine damage information in real time in the field
  • Mississippi State University Extension Service conduct open Feral Swine Workshops in each county

Outreach/Education Expectations

Education and outreach will be essential aspects of the project to ensure landowners are educated on the need for removing feral swine, approved techniques, and methods for controlling feral swine populations. Partners are expected to assist with outreach and education activities in the following ways:

  • Outreach to landowners
    • 1 meeting per county for 4 counties for 3 years
  • Landowner training opportunities
    • 1 open group training per county for 4 counties potentially conducted by Mississippi State Extension.
    • Individual training from APHIS for each participating landowner

Additional Partner Requirements

  • Trap distribution, operation, and maintenance of trapping equipment