Hogs have existed on Cumberland Island for hundreds of years, and were likely introduced by Spanish missionaries and/or European settlers.
Feral hogs severely damage the island’s delicate ecosystem in a number of ways:
Adult sows are capable of breeding twice each year, resulting in an explosive population if unmanaged. The National Park Staff has one dedicated biologist with the authority to hunt; he spends nearly 500 hours doing so each year. The NPS also has an intra-agency agreement that allows support from the USDA’s Wildlife Services program as-needed.
The NPS hosts several managed hunts each year, open to the public with pre-registration; however, these hunts are not considered a reliable or effective means of population control.
The National Park Service does not produce annual reports on the hog population, horse population, or other invasive species management; however, an estimated 5,000 hogs have been removed from Cumberland Island since 2000.