Feral hogs have caused widespread damage to the island ecosystems of the Cumberland Island Wilderness. Feral hogs compete with native species for food and shelter, and destroy the nests of endangered sea turtles and ground nesting birds, including shorebirds.
The feral hogs’ foraging and rooting activities have also greatly disturbed the island’s plant communities, interfered with essential nutrient cycling and patterns of plant succession, removed vegetation vital for stabilizing the fragile dunes, and even destroyed archeological sites.
Feral hogs feed heavily on endangered longleaf pine seedlings, affecting the regeneration of this important plant species. This disruption of the island’s flora directly impacts the island wildlife that is dependent on those various plant communities for food, shelter, and nesting.
For the past few years, the National Park Service has employed a hunter to shoot all hogs on the beach. The beach hunts have been effective in reducing sea turtle nest depredation; only four nests have been reported as depredated by feral hogs since 2002.
But hundreds of feral hogs still roam the island. The Park Service acknowledges that all feral hogs should be removed from the island, A significant and sustained effort to hunt and trap all the feral hogs is the best long-term solution.
Please take action on this issue by sending this form letter to our National Park Service representatives