Populations of invasive and non-native (or exotic) animals can severely impact natural systems by outcompeting native wildlife, as well as altering the features of natural areas, hydrologic flow patterns, changing fire patterns and introducing foreign pathogens and parasites. Invasive, exotic animals found on Lee County conservation lands include the greenhouse frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris), Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), brown anole (Anolis sagrei), and wild boar/feral hog (Sus scrofa).
Feral hogs compete for food with deer, turkey, bear, squirrels, foxes, sandhill cranes and other native wildlife. Additionally, feral hogs directly impact natural areas through their destructive rooting and digging when feeding. As a result, this changes succession patterns, soil properties, and water infiltration rates. Feral hogs also have a very high reproductive rate, making it a formidable challenge for land managers to control the population of this invasive animal species.
Feral hog hunting and trapping
Lee County contracts with licensed trappers and hunting outfitters to control feral hog populations on Lee County conservation lands. Currently, there are no hunting outfitters actively scheduling hog hunts at select Conservation 20/20 preserves approved for hunting as a recreation activity.