State conservation authorities are asking for help finding feral swine in St Lawrence County.
Feral swine are considered a pest. They are a destructive invasive species, not native to New York State. Wild Eurasian boar, escaped domestic pigs or hybrids of the two are all considered to be feral swine.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 6 Wildlife office in Watertown is reaching out to the public in an effort to curb the spread of feral swine.
Each year DEC wildlife staff in St. Lawrence County get a few feral swine observations, but it is likely that many sightings go unreported.
So far, they are believed to be found only in small numbers in a few isolated spots in the county. As a direct result of earlier sighting reports, some animals have been found and removed.
The DEC would like to continue the effort to remove these animals from the landscape before they establish a population of unmanageable numbers and far-reaching negative consequences.
Feral swine eat almost anything and can survive even in harsh North Country weather conditions. They are capable of reproducing at less than one year of age and can have two litters of young per year.
Feral swine compete with New York’s native wildlife species for food, damage natural habitat, and kill or displace ground nesting birds and small mammals. They can be aggressive towards domestic animals and destroy crops through their feeding and rooting activity.
Feral swine are known to carry several diseases that are harmful to livestock, other domestic animals, and humans, and they have been known to attack and injure humans and pets when threatened or startled.
If you see feral swine, DEC would like you to call the DEC Potsdam office at 265-3090, ext. 26130, or the Watertown Bureau of Wildlife office at 785-2263.