For Release: Immediate
Contact: Dan McDonald, (580) 429-2161
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge to
Conduct Feral Swine Control Operations
Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge (Indiahoma, Oklahoma) will conduct aerial feral swine control
on refuge lands February 13-16, 2018. In order to assure public safety, portions of the refuge public
use areas will be temporarily closed during this time while control activities are underway. On
February 13, the closed areas will include Burma Road, Boulder Trail and Picnic Area, Lost Lake,
Quanah Parker Lake, French Lake, Osage Lake and Dog Run Hollow. On February 14, the closed
areas will include Elk Mountain, Charons Gardens, Sunset, and Post Oak and Treasure Lakes.
Refuge staff intends to have these areas re-opened to the public by 12:00 pm each day, after control
operations have ceased. February 15-16, control activities will continue in other areas of the refuge,
which will not require any public use closures.
Feral swine are exotic and a nuisance species that compete with Oklahoma’s native wildlife for food
as well as cause significant disturbance to native habitat. They also serve as disease reservoirs and
pose a threat to the health of humans, pets, agricultural lands, and native wildlife. The first
documented record of feral swine in the United States was in Florida in 1593. Introductions
followed in several other southeastern states, which led to established free-ranging populations
throughout the region. Populations then spread throughout the southeast and mid-south states.
Today, Oklahoma is home to an estimated 600,000 to 1.5 million feral swine. Their numbers and
range continue to increase because of their high reproductive potential and the lack of natural
Based on sightings, habitat disturbance, and current control efforts, feral swine remain a substantial
concern on Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. The detrimental effects are visible in every habitat
type and pose a serious threat to native wildlife throughout the refuge. Refuge staff routinely takes
action to help control the hog population through removal of individual animals. In 2015, the refuge
initiated another more effective method by adding aerial control. This provides very effective
control across the entire refuge with much less time and effort. It also allows for control operations
in less accessible areas of the refuge. Aerial shooting operations are conducted by one helicopter
using specially trained U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel, following policy and procedures
established to ensure safe, humane, and environmentally sound practices.
Although the refuge does not anticipate any changes to the above mentioned closures, the public is
reminded to follow all area restrictions and closure signage. The refuge will post specific closure
information at the Visitor Center.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife,
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in
fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources,
dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make
it happen, visit www.fws.gov/refuge/wichita_mountains.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
32 Refuge Headquarters
Indiahoma, OK 73552
For Release: Immediate