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Texas Leon Feral Swine Control Pilot Project

Points of Contact

Lori Ziehr
ASTC-Programs 
USDA-NRCS
101 S. Main St. ·
Temple, TX 76501
254-742-9881

Michael J. Bodenchuk 
Texas State Director 
USDA-APHIS WS
P.O. Box 690170
San Antonio, TX 78269 
210-472-5451

Project Area

The Upper Leon River Watershed represents a priority area for mitigating agricultural impacts to water quality. The watershed in located in northcentral Texas and is contained within Eastland, Erath and Comanche Counties. Feral swine are a significant agricultural pest in these counties and remain a risk for water quality. The pilot project area will be delineated by the three counties. Thereby assuring feral swine do not have easy access to repopulate the watershed.

The project area is 2970 square miles (1,900,800 acres) of which about 14,140 acres are lakes (<1%). The vast majority, approximately 1,602,250 acres, is private land with minor (<2,000 acres) Corps of Engineers land associated with Proctor Lake. The Corps has collaborated with feral swine control for several years. Cropland represents 19% of the project area with wheat, corn, pecans, grain sorghum, and hay crops predominating. Range and pasture represent 66% of the landscape in the three counties.

 

Texas Leon Feral Swine Control Pilot Project Map

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.

  • 2 Partner Trapping Technicians
    • All trapping activities, under the oversight of APHIS
    • Manage the trap loaning program
    • Funding for the life of the project
    • Coordinate with APHIS technicians in operating traps in each county
    • Train and assist landowners in equipment use
    • Provide outreach, education and training to landowners in the project area
    • Assist in collection of agricultural land damage data

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 that the following equipment will be crucial for the implementation of the project within the pilot area:

  • Traps
    • 18 smart traps
    • To be used by partner trapping technicians or trained landowners
    • Could remain in the control of partner for landowner use after the life of the project
  • Bait
  • Cellular service for smart traps
  • 30 trail cameras

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:

  • Monitor the smart traps daily
  • Collect and enter damage assessment data into the feral swine monitoring database

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.

  • Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute is expected to assist with monitoring and data collection.

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:

  • Community level outreach
    • Workshops
    • Web-based outreach
    • Press releases
    • Demonstration days (e.g. coordinating demonstration of feral swine damage restoration)
    • Promoting the pilot project at local meetings
  • At a minimum, 1 workshop per county for each year of the project
  • At a minimum, 1 demonstration day per county for each year of the project​