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South Carolina Hampton Feral Swine Control Pilot Project

Points of Contact

Ann English, State Conservationist
USDA-NRCS
1835 Assembly Street, Room 950
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 253-3935

Noel Myers, State Director
USDA-APHIS WS
400 Northeast Drive, Suite L
Columbia, SC 29203
(803) 786-9455

Project Area

This Pilot Project will focus on Hampton County, SC and specifically, an approximately 13,000 acres located along the Savannah River with a growing feral swine population (Figure 1). Land use types affected are traditional cropland (corn, peanuts, soybeans, cotton, and small grains), pasture/hay land (Bermuda/fescue fields), and forest land (mostly bottomland hardwoods and some newly planted loblolly pines, traditional food plots, established native grasses, and native fruit trees).  According to the 2017 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service - Census of Agriculture, Hampton County had 242 farms encompassing 106,640 acres. The cropland acres accounted for 30% of the land area in the county.  There were 31 cattle operations and 12 hog operations in Hampton County in 2017.

Hampton County is bounded by the Combahee and Salkahatchie Rivers to the east and the Savannah River to the west and south. In Hampton County 303d Watersheds encompass about 60% of county. Hog Branch of Savanah River (HUC12 - 030601090107) is a 303d watershed with significant feral swine damage and approximately 31% of the watershed is in this project area. The treatment area will need to flux as necessary with landowner interest and feasibility of access. The noted TE species likely to benefit are as follows: red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis), gopher frog (Lithobates capito), and bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus).

South Carolina Hampton Feral Swine Control Pilot Project Map

 

 

South Carolina Hampton Feral Swine Control Pilot Project MapEstimated 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 that the following equipment will be crucial for the implementation of the project within the pilot area:

  • Traps
    • 18 corral traps
    • To be used by partner trapping technicians
    • Could remain in the control of partner for landowner use after the life of the project
  • Cellular service for cameras
  • Bait for traps

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:

  • Secure an organization to conduct before/after monitor and evaluation analysis for pilot project

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.

  • Organize educational workshops with partners such as South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University Extension, South Carolina Forestry Commission, and USFS

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:

  • Develop articles, newsletters, and other educational material
  • Organize educational workshops with partners such as South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Clemson University Extension, South Carolina Forestry Commission, and USFS

Additional Partner Requirements

  • Complete paperwork for logistics and work with landowners to apply for waivers as necessary
  • Develop an estimate of pastured hog and locations towards reducing the spread of disease to domestic farm pigs
  • Work with partners to locate private landowners with feral swine damage
  • Work with public landholders to combine efforts with controlling the hog population on public land
  • Work with partners on trapping feral swine and establish a trap loan program