Mississippi State University's Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts recently announced the addition of two new staff members to address the growing challenge of controlling the state's wild hog population.
Mississippi State alumni Cliff Covington and Steven Tucker will coordinate and conduct educational workshops, field days and seminars with a primary focus on wild hog damage mitigation.
"Cliff and Steven bring a wealth of hands-on experience to the center," said Bronson Strickland, MSU Extension Service wildlife specialist and associate director of Extension and outreach for the center. "Their expertise in the field will translate well as they work alongside Extension and natural resource management personnel to teach landowners how to develop and implement wild hog management programs. They will also contribute to solutions for other management issues dealing with human-wildlife conflicts."
Covington has worked for the MSU Extension Service for 26 years as Extension agent and coordinator in Claiborne County, and as area livestock agent in southwest Mississippi. He is president of the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, the southwest district director of the Mississippi chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and he serves on the board of directors of the Catch-A-Dream Foundation. Additionally, Covington founded the Mississippi branch of the Quality Deer Management Association and remains active with the organization.
Tucker has spent the last 12 years as the animal care facilities coordinator for the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture at MSU. He was responsible for the captive animal research facilities and conducted educational programs for more than 20,000 visitors. Tucker also traveled throughout the state delivering wildlife ecology educational programs to more than 40,000 elementary students and adult groups. He will continue to deliver educational programs in his new role with the university.
Covington and Tucker will work to inform residents about wild hogs, human-wildlife conflicts and invasive species throughout Mississippi. Covington, based out of the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond, will provide programming for south Mississippi residents and organizations. Tucker, based out of the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, will provide programming for north Mississippi residents and organizations.
The Center for Resolving Human-Wildlife Conflicts finds resolutions to human-wildlife conflicts through research, education and outreach. It is a collaborative venture between the MSU Extension Service, the Forest and Wildlife Research Center, and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station at MSU.
For more information, visit humanwildlifeconflicts.msstate.edu.