Invasive species are those animals that are not native to a specific location yet quickly populate that location, often at the expense of the native species and a balanced ecosystem. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources encourages hunting to get rid of these pesky intrusive animals.
Here are three of Indiana's invasive species and recommendations for hunting each:
1. Feral Hog
Feral hogs in Indiana travel in families across the state’s plains preying on native species and threatening the natural balance of the ecosystem. These animals are black or brown in color and have large unruly manes as adults. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources permits public hunting
of these animals, but emphasizes the illegality of hunting them on private land. The department encourages hunters to hunt or trap entire families as opposed to individuals as trapping an entire feral hog family is a more effective means of decreasing the population size.
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2. Gypsy Moth
Both as a caterpillar and as a blossomed feathered moth, the gypsy moth, is beautiful. Yet every year this invasive species is responsible for the destruction and deforestation of forests across the nation, including in Indiana. Elimination of the moth requires a strategic process set forth by the National Slow the Spread of the Gypsy Moth Project.
This project is a product of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Lovers of Indiana's forests may naturally feel the need to get rid of these invasive animals in order to preserve trees, but the Indiana Department of Natural Resources cautions people from taking their elimination into their own hands. Instead, the department encourages participation in the movement set forth by the USDA.
3. Mute Swan
The Mute Swan was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s by Europeans hoping to beautify the public parks and landscapes. It is invasive in Indiana only because it is not native to the state. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources permits the destruction of these swans nests on public property, but recommends both education and training before destroying nests. To learn more, the department suggests contacting a local district wildlife biologist.
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This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.
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