PUEBLO, Colo. – All known feral swine have been eliminated from Colorado thanks to a near 15-year state and federal partnership comprised of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services (WS), the USDA Forest Service (FS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).
The partnership formed in the early 2000s as a task force to manage invasive feral swine, which root up crops and pastures causing billions in damage nationwide each year. Feral swine also spread disease to livestock, wildlife and humans. Ground-nesting birds and other wildlife are easy prey for feral swine. And the swine put native wildlife at risk by competing for resources and destroying habitats and ecosystems.
Feral swine are incredibly hardy animals and can survive, even thrive, in almost any habitat. That combined with high reproductive rates makes their ability to establish new populations extremely effective.
"The eradication of feral swine will help protect and benefit Colorado’s agricultural crops and livestock as well as wildlife, wildlife habitat and private and public lands," said Travis Black, Deputy Regional Manager of CPW’s Southeast Region.
"This achievement points to the value of collaborative efforts in staffing, funding and resources to accomplish a common goal," said Wayne East, CDA Agriculture Wildlife Liaison.
“Partnerships are important to completing complex tasks and we have done something great for agriculture and the wildlife of Colorado by eradicating feral swine,” said Martin Lowney, USDA APHIS WS, State Director.
The Colorado feral swine task force will continue to monitor to ensure the state remains free of this invasive species and the damage they can inflict.
You can help keep Colorado free of feral swine.
· Spread the word that in Colorado it’s illegal to possess, transport or release feral swine, wild swine species or hybrids.
· Report sightings of feral swine or transportation activities to USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-4-USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-297-1192.
For more information about the National Feral
Swine Damage Management Program, visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/wildlifedamage/operational-activities/feral-swine