Feral hogs and turkeys are common at Salt Lake
WMA. Look for turkeys along the mowed powerlines. Herons,
egrets, roseate Spoonbills, blue-winged teal, purple
gallinules, clapper rails, osprey, river otters, Florida
softshell turtles, and alligators can be seen in and round the
area's three lakes. The salt flats which border Salt Lake offer
good opportunities to view numerous shore birds and wading birds.
Gopher tortoise and scrub jay may be seen in the scrubbier portions
of the property.
Wildlife Spotlight: Feral Hog
Feral hogs are not Florida natives. The first hogs
to go wild in Florida may have escaped from Hernando de Soto's
expedition through Florida (1539 to 1540). Today, Florida has more
feral hogs than any other state except Texas.
Also known as feral pigs, wild boars, and
piney-woods rooters, feral hogs are found throughout Florida in a
variety of habitats, although they prefer moist forests and swamps
and pine flatwoods. Feral hogs feed by rooting with their broad
snouts and can cause great damage to soils, vegetation, and native
wildlife. Most of the feral hog's diet is vegetation; however, they
are opportunistic and also eat snakes, grubs, and even carrion.
Hogs have a huge reproductive potential. Females give birth to
numerous litters every year, with 5 to 10 babies per litter.
With such high reproductive and destructive
abilities, feral hogs are hunted to keep their numbers-and the
destruction they cause-in check. At Salt Lake WMA during the first
hunting season (2004-2005), 19 hogs were harvested. The largest hog
was a 210-pound male.