Wild Animal Menace Triggers Aerial Shooting

By Arnab Ghosh, Gaea News Network
Thursday, January 27, 2011

AUSTIN (GaeaTimes.com)- To tackle the growing menace of feral wild hogs at the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge near Austin, helicopter shooting has been planned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. For several years the staff at the refuge has tried controlling the population of wild pigs by killing as well as trapping them but these measures have proved to be inadequate. The hogs have already caused significant damage to the crops. This refuge was set up in the year 1992 to save the habitat of two songbirds marked as endangered species. It is spread over an area of 23000 acres and covers Williamson, Travis and Burnet counties. The evidence of the wild animals disturbing the birds have not been found though. However, they make the life of the other animals in the refuge a burden.

To combat these wild animals activities the Feral Hog Management Plan was sanctioned in 2001. The plan now may be amended so that the hunters can shoot down the wild hogs from helicopters. This aerial shooting method is known to be cost effective in places where wild animal stay in packs. It is being expecting that the aerial shooting can take place next month since the birds start nesting in March each year.

The trapping method does not work much for the hogs as few wild animals fall in them every year. The state director of Texas Wildlife Services Mike Bodenchuk says the ravages caused by wild hogs have become a state-wide problem. As of now there are 2 million pigs and they are capable of causing damage worth $2 million per year.

will not be displayed