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Texas Red River 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 Red River Watershed represents a priority area for mitigating feral swine impacts to agriculture and water quality. The watershed identified for this project is the border between Oklahoma and Texas and includes the Texas counties of Hardeman, Wilbarger, Wichita and Clay. This project area is adjacent to a similar pilot project proposal for Oklahoma. Feral swine are significant agricultural pests in these counties and remain a risk for water quality. The pilot project area in Texas will be delineated by the four counties, thereby assuring feral swine do not have easy access to repopulate the watershed.

The project area is 3,425 square miles (2,192,000 acres) of which 26,944 acres (1.2%) are lakes and streams. The vast majority is private land with 2 small State Parks (totaling 2,317 acres) Cropland represents 28% of the project area with wheat, corn, pecans, grain sorghum, and hay crops predominating. Range and pasture represent 61% of the landscape in the four counties.

Texas Red River 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
    • 24 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​