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.
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.”
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.