When it comes to invasive species, it can be hard to find success stories. The Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership is bucking that trend and seeing success in eliminating feral hogs from private and public lands – including U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Harry S. Truman, Pomme De Terre and Stockton lakes in southern Missouri.
Established in 1998, the Partnership, headed by the Missouri Department of Conservation, has united private landowners, universities and over 15 federal and state agencies under the common goal of eliminating feral hogs from public and private lands throughout Missouri to protect public health, agriculture and natural resources. Achieved over time, the approach is multi-faceted and includes legislative actions and enforcement, education, control measures and population and disease monitoring. Since implementing hog hunting prohibitions on state (and elective federal) lands in 2016, the Task Force has removed 54,000 hogs (statewide), and is seeing an overall downward trend in populations despite increasing acres surveyed – a measure of success in a very long battle.
USACE has aided in this goal by adopting hunting prohibitions on feral hog hunting activities on federal lands, promoting messaging and working directly with MDC, USDA-Wildlife Services, and the University of Missouri partners to eliminate populations. As of fall 2021, feral hogs have been eliminated from Harry S. Truman, Pomme De Terre and Stockton Lake watersheds. Monitoring continues and efforts have progressed to sampling tributaries for feral hog DNA. A winning trend staff are hopeful will continue with this successful partnership model.