A plan to cull the population of wild pigs in the San Diego County backcountry was approved by the Board of Supervisors this week, according to KCET.
The pigs number about 1,000 and are widespread, with sitings from Palomar Mountain in the north, throughout Cuyamaca State Park all the way to the border with Mexico, since they were first spotted in the area 10 years ago. They have caused significant damage by rooting for food and wallowing in water, according to a county report.
“They’re a big problem in the (East County) region, and it’s high time that we get this problem under control before they spread into other areas,” board Chairwoman Dianne Jacob told KCET. “Obviously, these feral picks have already caused some serious damage at Lake Morena.”
The county’s plan calls for Department of Fish and Wildlife to develop a plan to manage the pig population through hunting and trapping of the pigs.
Pigs (Sus scrofa) are native to Eurasia and northern Africa. In the early 1700’s Spanish and Russian settlers introduced domestic pigs to California as livestock and many became feral, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In the 1920’s a Monterey county landowner introduced the European wild boar, a wild subspecies of Sus scrofa into California, which bred with the domestic pigs. The result of these introductions is the wild boar/feral domestic pig hybrid roaming the wilds of San Diego County.