Feral hog survey over Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve using high-resolution thermal infrared imagery

Science Center Objects

The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve (JELA) in southeastern Louisiana is being invaded by feral hogs (Sus scrofa) and in need a systemic survey to determine where and how many hogs exist within the park boundary. Feral hogs are able to reproduce and increase their range rapidly, they are highly destructive to streams, wetlands, native plants and farm fields, and can spread disease to native wildlife populations. The Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center (UMESC) and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Surveys Branch (MBSB) have been contracted to collect thermal infrared and 4-band aerial imagery of JELA for the detection and counting of feral hogs within the National Park boundary.

UMESC and MBSB will collect high-resolution thermal infrared imagery to locate and count feral hogs in and around JELA during the winter of 2020. The early-morning thermal image acquisition will be complemented by a mid-day natural color flight over the same area. This dataset, building on previous work documenting feral hogs in Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in southeast Missouri, will provide detailed landscape context to the grayscale thermal infrared imagery.

Thermal infrared image of feral hogs on Mingo National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri

Thermal imagery of feral hogs collected at 2,000 feet above ground level with a 25mm lens on December 14, 2016, Mingo NWR in southeast Missouri

(Credit: Brian Lubinski (USFWS) and Larry Robinson (USGS). Public domain.)