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.
Joan Hamilton is producer of Audible Mount Diablo, a podcast for people who love the outdoors and want to know more about the plants, animals, and history of the Bay Area. Her interest in fires was sparked by the 2013 Morgan Fire in Mount Diablo State Park. She wrote two articles and numerous web posts for Bay Nature about nature's recovery from that conflagration, and has been a fire follower ever since. Most recently, she's been working on Diablo Range Revealed, a series that explores life in the inland coast range after the SCU Lightning Complex fire. You can find evidence at savemountdiablo.org/learn/diablo-range-revealed/.
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