USDA researchers use smart technology to trap feral swine herds

Camera sends images so trapper can study composition of the sounder and wait for all pigs to get in trap before closing gate.


Source: USDA

via National Hog Farmer - Jan 07, 2022


Feral swine continue to be a growing pest concern across parts of the country and according to John Kilgo, a researcher with the U.S. Forest Service, the damage has been extensive.


"Agricultural damage alone was about $1.5 billion a year and that was just damage to crops and costs to those operators of control," Kilgo says. "In forestry operations, they damaged planted trees, seedlings. On a more broad scale, their ecological influences range from mainly competition with other large animals that eat the same kinds of foods to actually preying upon small animals, ground nesting birds for example. They damage water quality."


These are just a handful of the reasons that researchers are looking at outside-the-box methods to control the growing feral swine population, says Kilgo.


"The way traps have worked historically is that it's some sort of enclosure with a trap door, some kind of door that swings closed," Kilgo says...


... "We now have the capability to put a camera on a trap that will send images of what's in the trap, which pigs are in the trap, and then can in turn, receive commands from the trapper to close the gate when the trapper is ready if you know the composition of the sounder you're trying to trap," Kilgo says...