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.