Forest Services announces plans to eradicate feral swine at Lusk Creek in Southern Illinois
Operations to eradicate feral swine in Southern Illinois were planned
The U.S. Forest Service/Shawnee National Forest, in cooperation with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection, APHIS-Wildlife Services, planned operations to eradicate feral swine (wild pigs) in the Lusk Creek Wilderness Area of the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois.
The plans were announced in a news release which was posted on the Shawnee National Forest website.
The Forest Service explained that feral swine are a non-native invasive species which were recently documented as living and breeding within and around the Lusk Creek Wilderness Area.
It is believed that the population is relatively small due to early detection, the Forest Service said.
Feral swine are an invasive species that compete with wildlife for food resources and prey on turkey and quail nests, reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife including threatened and endangered species.
Feral swine are seen as a serious threat to forest and wildlife resources in Illinois through competition with native wildlife for food and cover, destruction of habitat, and destruction of sensitive natural areas.
Infected feral swine can transmit diseases and parasites to humans, wildlife and domestic livestock (horses and cattle).
Natural habitats among Shawnee National Forest lands, including sensitive wilderness lands, are not capable of sustaining damage from feral swine without significant ecological consequences.
The Forest Service said that in order to ensure public safety and to support these operations, it would be necessary to temporarily close Lusk Creek Wilderness and surrounding national forest area in Pope County.
A temporary forest closure order was issued for the period from March 30 through April 3 for the operation area.