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The Problem of Invasive Species in America

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In America, we have a growing issue of feral hogs, and they are becoming very destructive. Hogs are not native to America and are considered an invasive species also known as an alien species. Invasive species are a major problem that must be understood and controlled. Invasive species, as defined by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), are organisms that cause ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native. Alien species affect native species by taking over their habitats, overpopulating, reducing all the natural food resources, then eventually pushing out the native species. Most of these organisms are unintentionally introduced into new areas. These species can be introduced by the simplest mode of transportation such as the propeller on boats or even by the bottom of someone’s shoe. Barnacles, clams, or muscles can attach themselves to the bottom of boats and can travel hundreds of miles before detaching themselves and inhabiting new areas. When tourist explores caves such as the mammoth cave in Kentucky, they can walk through spores, funguses, mosses, and molds. They then can spread to multiple areas before eventually removing their shoes. Invasive species are responsible for approximately forty-two percent of endangered or threatened species. Most of these invasive species are harmful but in rare cases they can benefit the new environment. One of those rare cases is when Canada introduced wolves into the Northern United States to control the population of elk.

The southern part of the United States is unfortunately being affected by feral pigs. Pigs are not native to America and were first introduced around 1539. These pigs were brought to America as domesticated animals for a food source. Over time these pigs have escaped, and by natural selection they have become larger and more dangerous creating the feral pigs. These pigs are causing a great deal of damage to farmers’ incomes and their farms. They are causing a staggering two and half billion dollars’ worth of damage a year (CNBC). These hogs ravage farmers’ fields during the night, they uproot and tear the ground up. Depending on the size of the group of hogs, they can destroy several acres of crops in one night. To a small-town farmer these few acres could be very devastating to their income. For just of the few reasons mentioned these feral pigs, people need to understand the issues they are causing to America’s agriculture economy, and they must be controlled.

Farmer, Richard Beyer, speaking to CNBC stated, “Feral swine have been around as long as he can remember but it used to be one or two caught occasionally in fields and they were manageable. They’ve gotten a lot worse, so bad that you can’t hardly trap them anymore because the numbers are so big.” An effective method to control these animals before they become too overpopulated is trapping, but as Beyer said once they have overrun your area trapping is nearly ineffective. Another method of removal is night hunting. This method is simply the process of staking out a bait stash or a field where pigs are known to be and using night vision optics to shoot and kill these pigs. Although this method will not eliminate the total population of pigs in your area it is an easy and cheap way to reduce them. A higher tech approach is by hunting or trapping them from above in a helicopter. One company named, HeliBacon, has taken Advantage of this opportunity. They take rather wealthy hunters on a hunt of a life time. HeliBacon takes these hunters up in the air putting the odds in the hunters favor to decimate the wild hogs’ population. These trips can cost upwards to thirty-five thousand dollars, in return of HeliBacon taking care of the farmers hog issues the farmer often gives them permission to hunt their property for free. Invasive species are a major problem and should be taken more seriously. Feral pigs are destroying many southern U.S. farmers and we must act to eliminate this issue. We must do more research to understand these animals and start to better control them.

Works Cited

  1. “A Plague of Pigs in Texas.”, Smithsonian Institution, 1 Jan. 2011,
  2. “Invasive Species.” National Wildlife Federation,
  3. Daniels, Jeff. “Feral Hogs Cause $2.5 Billion in Damage a Year, so the Government Is Boosting Efforts to Fight Them.” CNBC, CNBC, 11 Aug. 2018,
  4. Davey, R. J. ‘Hogs.’ Dictionary of American History, edited by Stanley I. Kutler, 3rd ed., vol. 4, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003, pp. 145-146. Student Resources In Context, Accessed 15 Mar. 2019.
  5. McGrath, Jennifer. ‘Invasive species.’ The Gale Encyclopedia of Science, edited by K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, 5th ed., Gale, 2014. Student Resources In Context, Accessed 15 Mar. 2019.
  6. US Department of Commerce, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “What Is an Invasive Species?” NOAA’s National Ocean Service, 6 Aug. 2010,

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