Feral swine to be removed from Currituck Banks Reserve this week

The Currituck Banks Reserve will be closed April 8-12 while feral swine, an invasive and destructive species, are removed and their damage surveyed.

Feral Swine are not native to the U.S. They are the result of recent and historical (1500s Spanish explorers) releases of domestic swine and Eurasian boar. [USDA APHIS photo Laurie Paulik]
The state Division of Coastal Management is closing the reserve for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services program to conduct the aerial wildlife damage management operation for feral swine on lands north of Corolla village, the state Department of Environmental Quality announced Wednesday.

All activities are to be performed in collaboration with reserve personnel, local law enforcement and other participating landowners, DEQ said.

“Feral swine pollute and degrade water quality, reduce forest regeneration, and kill or displace many kinds of native wildlife,” according to the department. “They compete with native wildlife for resources, specifically food, habitat and water. Feral swine also prey directly on the nests, eggs, and young of native ground nesting birds and reptiles.”

This operation is not taking place during regular public feral swine hunting season, which is from the beginning of September through the end of March. To hunt feral swine at Currituck Banks Reserve during season, hunters must hold a valid state Wildlife Resources Commission hunting license and a permit from the reserve. More details can be found on the Currituck Banks Reserve website.

The reserve is north of Corolla village and includes the area near the northern beach ORV ramp.

Currituck Banks Reserve is a component of the state Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program of DEQ’s Division of Coastal Management. The reserve is a network of 10 protected sites and protects more than 44,000 acres of estuarine land and water.

Wildlife Services is a program in the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The mission of Wildlife Services is to provide federal leadership and expertise to resolve wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist. Wildlife Services works collaboratively with numerous federal, state, local and private partners to reduce damage caused by invasive feral swine.


  1. News flash the pigs are not invasive they have been there as long as the horses have. The horses do far more damage to the marshlands than the pigs do. The pigs don’t eat the marsh grass like the horses do. Instead of shooting them out of helicopters maybe you should alow baiting for swine outside of deer season to insist ethical hunters in controlling the population of pigs. Not just shoot them from the air and let them rot.

  2. Tommy Bowden kept domestic hogs in a pen on the Swan Island Hunt Properties, Inc. property behind North Swan Beach. Section 2. The pens were near where he set his travel trailer that served as his “office” and camp when he was a paid marsh guard. When he tenure protecting the marsh from waterfowl poachers ended, and SIP, Inc was preparing to sell the lands that included the big pens, the pigs were released. Mike Nash of Duck Village purchased the lots adjacent to the site of the pens. I think this release occurred in the 1995-1998 time frame. Additionally, there were always some that escaped.
    The hogs on the Currituck Outer Banks are not native.

  3. Chris is correct. The earliest explorers and colonists brought pigs from Europe and dropped them off on any island they could find. that was their way of “penning” them. Ever notice how many Hog Islands there are up and down the Atlantic Seaboard? Pigs are ten times smarter than dogs and can escape easily. They become feral in 2-3 generations. As a child, back in the 1950s-1960s we saw them ALL the time from Sandbridge to Kitty Hawk. Be careful what you wish for. The “Gubment” might deem you “Not Native To The U.S.” and send helicopters. Then only Elizabeth Warren will be safe.

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