Date of this Version
We conducted a survey of the impact of feral hog (Sus scrofa) on the natural resources of the Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP), a unit of the National Park Service. We worked in 3 management units: Lance Rosier, Big Sandy, and Turkey Creek. Random stratified sampling was conducted to assess impacts from hog damage on resources by vegetation type at a landscape scale. Landscape features such as topography, soil moisture, soil type, and dominant vegetative cover types were used to predict hog damage. The overall damage to vegetation from hog rooting or wallowing averaged 28% within the 3 units of the BTNP. In the Big Sandy unit, floodplains had the most damage (45%), whereas flatlands were mostly impacted in the Turkey Creek unit (46%), and uplands in the Lance Rosier unit (32%). These levels of damage were more severe and widespread than previously believed and support the premise that hog damage in the BTNP parallels the increase in hog abundance over the past 20 years.