Mount Diablo Monthly Update

Joan’s photos & writing about Mount Diablo: After the Fire

Wild Pigs, Increasing in Numbers on Mount Diablo, Expand Into New Turf

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This article is part of a monthly series of photos and articles on the transformation of Mount Diablo following the 2013 Morgan Fire, funded by special donations from Bay Nature readers. You can find our stories, as well as event listings, iNaturalist sightings, and magazine features, at baynature.org/diablo.

Wild pigs are nothing new in Mount Diablo State Park. But this year they’ve rototilled large swaths of grassland where pig damage was unusual in the past, says State Parks environmental scientist Cyndy Shafer.

A pig trap on Mount Diablo State Park. (Photo by Joan Hamilton)

A pig trap on Mount Diablo State Park. (Photo by Joan Hamilton)

The reasons are unclear. The pig population is likely larger—as evidenced by a 42 percent rise in pig captures in the park last year. But last year’s 3,000-acre Morgan Fire may also be implicated. “I suspect that the pig activity is a combination of the Morgan Fire and the drought,” Shafer says. “Possibly the pigs have to work harder to find food, so more areas are rooted up.”

Pig damage, evidenced by upturned soil in the Morgan Fire area. (Photo by Joan Hamilton)

Pig damage, evidenced by upturned soil in the Morgan Fire area. (Photo by Joan Hamilton)

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