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Swine control at refuge

The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will conduct aerial feral swine control on refuge lands Tuesday through Friday.

In order to assure public safety, portions of the refuge public use areas will be temporarily closed during this time while control activities are underway, refuge officials said in a news release. On Tuesday, the closed areas will include Burma Road, Boulder Trail and Picnic Area, Lost Lake, Quanah Parker Lake, French Lake, Osage Lake and Dog Run Hollow.

On Wednesday, the closed areas will include Elk Mountain, Charon's Gardens Wilderness Area, Sunset Picnic Area, and Post Oak and Treasure Lakes. Refuge staff intends to have the areas re-opened to the public by noon each day after control operations have ceased.

On Thursday and Friday, control activities will continue in other areas of the refuge, which will not require any public use closures.

Feral swine are exotic and a nuisance species that compete with Oklahoma's native wildlife for food as well as cause significant disturbance to native habitat, refuge officials said. They also are disease reservoirs and pose a threat to the health of humans, pets, agricultural lands and native wildlife. 

Today, Oklahoma is home to an estimated 600,000 to 1.5 million feral swine. Their numbers and range continue to increase because of their high reproductive potential and the lack of natural predators. 

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