Wild pigs are one of the greatest invasive species problems in the United States. They impact water quality, agricultural crops and livestock, wildlife populations and their habitats, and more recently, suburban landscapes. Nationwide, the population is estimated at about 4 million animals — with 2.6 million in Texas alone.

Wild pig crop damages and control costs are reported to be greater than $1.5 billion across the nation and conservatively $52 million in Texas, annually. In areas where wild pig populations are concentrated or in and near streams, where they spend a significant portion of their time, they contribute bacteria and nutrients to water bodies. These populations can substantially impact water quality by eroding banks, increasing sediment loads and algae blooms, and causing oxygen depletions.

Through presentations, publications, smartphone applications, social media content and videos, we are helping the public understand how these animals live, as well as improving the reduction measures used by landowners to control this pest. Our work has helped many stakeholders actively involved in implementing water resource management and protection programs in their watersheds. Providing education to landowners about effective removal and management strategies is crucial to successfully reducing wild pig populations and improving the water quality of Texas streams.



Jim Cathey

Dr. Jim Cathey is an associate director for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute. Jim is a regional and national expert in wildlife management, Extension outreach and programming, feral hog management and conservatio…

Josh Helcel

Josh Helcel is a project coordinator with the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI). He specializes in educational programming and providing technical assistance to landowners and others seeking to control expanding…

James Long

As a project coordinator for the Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute, Jay specializes in educational programming and provides technical assistance to landowners and others seeking to reduce expanding populations of wild…


    Laying a foundation for feral hog removal

    High Plains Journal — Brought over on ships by Spanish explorers as traveling food sources, feral hogs have slowly built up their numbers over the years. Feral hog populations have reportedly been established in 35 states, but sighted in 48. Read more to learn about the complexities of feral hog population management and damage control where the potential for dedicated resources and funding is steadily growing.

    Wild Pig Wars: Controversy Over Hunting, Trapping

    While Louisiana has a stout wild pig population, and Missouri presumably has a relatively small population, Texas wears a painful crown at the top of the porcine heap in the U.S., as home to roughly 3 million wild pigs. The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI) places the control rate to maintain wild pig populations at 66%. In stripped-down parlance: Texas needs to remove approximately 2 million wild pigs per year to keep 3 million wild pigs on the landscape...

    Texas A&M launches new online tool for reporting feral hogs

    National Hog Farmer: Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute has released a new online tool to help in the growing effort to control the feral hog population in the state. The wild pig website offers Texas landowners and homeowners an easy-to-use tool to report sightings of feral hogs and the damage that may have occurred from them.

    Seen Any Wild Hogs Lately? Tell the State

    KETR: The Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute is making it easier to report wild hog sightings in the state. The NRI has a new webpage where Texas residents can provide details of how many hogs they saw, where they saw them, and what kind of damage the animals cause – such as crop or fence damage, wallowing, or rubbing.

    Texas A&M releases online tool for reporting wild hog sightings

    KLTV: A new online tool from the Texas A&M National Resource Institute may aide in the growing effort to control the feral hog population in East Texas. They say it will help them locate areas of high activity as well as manage the growing population in the state.

    Wild Pig Fall Season Newsletter

    This edition discusses aerial gunning as a tool for wild pig control as well as available options for Texas landowners and wildlife managers. Also addressed is research related to various baiting and head gate options for trapping wild pigs.

    Spring Wild Pig Newsletter is here!

    In this issue, readers will learn about the effects of abatement efforts on wild pig behavior, the impact wild pigs have on water quality, and get the opportunity to read trending articles and much more!

    Fall Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this sixth issue, landowners will learn about wild pigs and mast crops, view the best of the wild pig photo and video contest, read about the origin of the wild pig species and get a peek at trending articles and videos. 

    Summer Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this fifth issue, landowners will learn about county-based cooperative wild pig abatement, see an evaluation of contraceptive viability in wild pigs and view trending articles and videos. 

    Spring Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this fourth issue, landowners will learn about wild pig control concerns, about considerations for hunting with dogs and get a peek at trending articles and videos. 

    Fall Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this third issue, landowners will learn about white-tailed deer management with considerations for wild pig control, read about considerations for the ethical harvest of wild pigs and get a peek at trending articles and videos.

    Summer Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this second issue, landowners will get to see an urban wild pig video series, learn about the seasonal spotlight, emerging technology and innovation in wild pig management and hear about upcoming programs.

    Spring Wild Pig Newsletter is Here!

    In this first issue, land stewards will meet the Wild Pig team, read the seasonal spotlight, learn about new Wild Pig continuing education courses and landowner cooperatives, hear about upcoming programs and much more...

      Blog Posts

      Podcast Ep. #5: Life Skills and Wild Pig Management with Jay Long

      Managing species of all kinds from endangered to invasive, we were honored to have NRI’s Jay Long for Episode #5 of The Land Steward Podcast, “Life Skills and Wild Pig Management”. In true spirit, this episode is full of relatable challenges and prescriptive solutions that you can use today—what a great time to be a land steward.

      Separating Fact from Fiction: The Threat of Canada's "Super Pigs"

      Recent reports from popular articles  and Canadian news outlets have made sensational claims about wild swine (Sus scrofa), suggesting that a new breed of “super pigs” is expanding their range to the United States. Accounts generally allege that this new breed, weighing ~600 lbs, now exists through natural selection within existing wild pig populations or hybridization between feral swine and Eurasian boar. Are these accounts accurate, or is the media exaggerating a small number of reports? Without concrete scientific date, we can only examine the legitimacy of a new, larger breed of ‘super pig’ by stepping through some questions and scenarios:

      Feral Hog Control Workshop and Resources Available to Landowners

      Landowners in Hardeman, Wichita, Clay, Wilbarger, Milam, Williamson and Nueces counties interested in participating in a wild pig workshop and training can join us for free this fall to learn more about effective management practices and to become familiar with smart trapping techniques.

      A wild pig interview with students

      When it comes to wildlife research, our foundational methods for capturing data and learning don’t change very often—the key is in how we study what we’ve learned and how we remain stewards of discovery together.


      Feral Swine Trap Loan Program Available to Landowners in Clay, Hardeman, Wichita and Wilbarger Counties

      The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is working with the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Texas Wildlife Damage Management Association (TWDMA), Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute (NRI), and four local Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) to help address the issues that feral swine pose to agriculture, ecosystems, and the health of humans and animals.

      What's the rub: Why wild pigs rub on trees, poles and posts

      New video: Have you ever wondered why wild pigs leave rub markings on trees, poles, posts and other surfaces? Learn the three most common reasons why we find these rubs in various places, what they mean and how this behavior impacts vegetation and structures.

      Update: Wild pigs negatively impact ground-nesting birds

      Abatement efforts to reduce the negative impacts associated with wild pigs remain essential to the conservation of natural resources and native wildlife. Learn more about the impact of wild pigs on ground-nesting birds in our latest short video.

      Sodium Nitrite: A Potential Toxicant in the Fight Against Invasive Wild Pigs

      The use of toxicants for the management of wild pig populations is another potential tool to reduce damage and prevent populations from growing and spreading. Research is ongoing to answer critical questions regarding efficacy and humaneness as well as any potential environmental impacts prior to the use of toxicants, like sodium nitrite, on wild pigs in Texas.

      What's New with NRI’s Wild Pig Reporting System

      NRI’s wild pig reporting web-page, developed by the institute’s data analytics team, provides a unique portal for data to be reported not only in Texas, but anywhere wild pigs are observed.

      Wild Pig and Human Interactions

      Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) have gained quite a reputation for being aggressive towards humans and companion animals.  A quick Google or YouTube search can easily lead one to believe these animals routinely grow to enormous sizes and will readily attack and eat humans or pets when given an opportunity.  The truth about human and wild pig interactions, however, is not nearly that sensational.  This article will explore research conducted on human-wild pig interactions, and will attempt to separate the facts from the substantial lore surrounding this topic.

      Do Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Have a Place in Wild Pig Management?

      Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a growing concern across the country, and, unfortunately, Texas seems to have the largest population over other states. Landowners, producers and others concerned with minimizing damages associated with this exotic species often look to emerging technologies to reduce wild pig numbers.

      Are Wild Pigs Safe to Eat?

      NRI's Josh Helcel and the wild pig team spoke with Susan Culp with the Texas Animal Health Commission to answer a few questions about the safety of bringing home the bacon. Click read more to watch the video.

      The Origin of the Wild Pig Species

      Nearly 160 years ago Charles Darwin published his “On the Origin of Species,” a work that would become the cornerstone of evolutionary biology. The book's 502 pages outlined the scientific theory of natural selection and species diversity through evolution across successive generations. If you’ve ever wondered where wild pigs (Sus scrofa) came from, why there are so many different names for them and how man has influenced nearly everything about them, well then what follows may be worth your minutes.

      Wild Pigs and Mast Crops

      Wild pigs are considered opportunistic omnivores – meaning they will consume both plant and animal food sources available to them throughout the year. The vast majority of a wild pigs diet consists of plant materials, and an important, seasonal food source for wild pigs are mast crops (acorns, fruits or beans). Common mast producing species in Texas include oaks, hickories, honey mesquite, prickly pear cactus and persimmon. This article will highlight the research that has been conducted on wild pig competition with native wildlife for mast, the effects mast has on wild pig population trends and how wild pigs’ consumption of mast can influence forest composition.

      County-based wild pig abatement co-op positive alternative to bounty programs

      Countywide wild pig abatement programs have been implemented across Texas for decades. Many of these programs are based on some type of bounty system, usually pertaining to a one- to three-month period when landowners bring physical evidence verifying animal harvest to a central location in exchange for money.

        Related Projects