Pigs just one of many invasive species in Wisconsin

Posted at 7:34 PM, Nov 16, 2016

Wisconsin has a feral pig population. Several types of animals and plants that are not native to the state are considered invasive species, including pigs, and are being monitored by state and federal agencies.

Dan Hirchert with USDA APHIS Wildlife Services says they're encouraging hunters during the upcoming gun deer season that might see one to report it, or even shoot the animal if possible.

“We’re actually in a detection phase of trying to find any remnant populations, so we’re asking the public to make reports of any sightings of (the pigs),” Hirchert said.

“Hundreds of thousands of hunters will be out on the landscape. Any time that they see a feral pig we’d like them to go onto the DNR’s website and report that sighting, and if they’re on property where they have permission to do so, we’d just as soon they shot that pig, too,” Hirchert said.

Hirchert says they’re on the lookout for remaining feral pigs in Southwestern Wisconsin, although their numbers are low. He says they can cause crop damage and even be aggressive, but no incidents of aggression have been reported in Wisconsin.

Another invasive species being monitored are mute swans. Hirchert says they compete with native Wisconsin swans for resources.

“Our native swans, where we’re trying to promote their populations the mute swans are more aggressive and end up forcing them away and they’re unsuccessful at propagating,” Hirchert said.

Hirchert spoke as part of a symposium presented by the Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium, Inc. in Milwaukee on Wednesday.