Feral Swine are a major threat to our natural resources and watersheds, especially in Windward Oʻahu. They uproot, eat, and trample all vegetation, including native. When this happens, the impacted environment becomes an easy target for invasive species to colonize. Feral Swine can compact soil, making it difficult for water to percolate, or for plant roots to penetrate. This may lead to ponding on the soil, which encourages the presence of mosquitos. Mosquitos are a threat to our native bird population, as they are transmitters of avian malaria. Overall, feral swine are a threat to biodiversity, our ecosystem, and natural resources.
In the State of Hawaiʻi, two feral swine management practices are currently recognized: fencing and hunting. Fencing is expensive and doesn’t actively reduce the feral pig population, it only relocates them. Hunters are limited by access and time, and there are not enough hunters to keep up with how fast feral swine are able to reproduce.
In response, the Oʻahu Feral Swine Control Pilot Project was created. This project is a dual-phase, three-year project. In the project’s first phase (January 2021-September 2023), low elevation ag lands will be targeted in order to refine trapping methods. In the project’s second phase (January 2022-September 2023), high elevation ag lands will be targeted to deploy mobile traps. This project aims to mitigate the threat feral swine pose to agriculture, native ecosystems, human health, and animal health by identifying farmers, landowners, and land managers on the Windward side of Oʻahu who have a feral swine presence on their landscape. Producers with property that is easily accessible by vehicle will be given priority, as will producers who grow crops that promote cultural stewardship, grow local produce, and/or produce anything that brings economic benefit to the community.
Identified participants in the project will receive an organized response force made up of project partners. This organized response force will build a site profile to determine the best place for traps, deploy three different trap designs, do trap checks, work with participant(s) to measure the total value of resources protected, and dispose of swine carcasses. Project partners will utilize public hunters for meat salvage. Trap effectiveness will be determined by the total number of pigs removed versus the total number of trap days.
This project is in partnership with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW), U.S. Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (USDA-APHIS), Pono Pacific, Oʻahu Resource Conservation and Development Council (ORC&D), the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), the Soil Water Conservation District (SWCD), and the Koʻolau Mountain Watershed Partnership (KWMP).
Mahalo for your interest in the Windward O’ahu Feral Swine Control Project. We’re currently in the beginning phase of this project, focusing on identifying sites to potentially participate. If you are interested in participating, have questions, or would like to be kept in the loop about project developments, please fill out the intake form below. For those who are interested in potentially participating, answering all questions is necessary. Thank you!