Menacing Hogs in Tennessee Thwarted by Mobile Technology

When Pigs Fly!

How often have we heard this? In today’s day and age, pigs don’t fly; they run wild – or attempt to. Thanks to wireless technology deployed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) innovative technology – known as Hog Watch – is now in place to control wild hogs—a costly nuisance to the tune of $1.5 billion, nationally, in damage each year to agriculture, wildlife habitats and waterways. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation describes the hog as “Tennessee’s single most destructive animal.”

Two years ago, the TWRA began intensively working statewide on public land and assisting private landowners to address the loss of habitat and crop damage. To efficiently mitigate the state’s hog problem, TWRA collaborated with southeastern-based mobile video and security company, IC Realtime, to develop Hog Watch to reduce the number of man-hours needed to track and trap feral hogs. IC Realtime created a high definition (HD) video solution to monitor hog traps 24 hours per day.

The cameras notify officers when a hog has entered a trap, eliminating the need for officers to make regular trips to check the status of traps. Hog Watch harnesses the power of the sun to fuel its cameras and transmits video back to agency headquarters over Verizon Wireless’ 4G LTE data network.

“We believe this system can significantly reduce our labor costs associated with our trapping efforts,” said Richard Kirk, middle Tennessee Wildlife Program Manager.

The 4G LTE network allows these types of machine-to-machine solutions to be developed. Before Verizon deployed 4G LTE in 2010, no data service had the speed to transmit live HD video wirelessly from remote areas.