Aggressive Approach Needed to Gain Control of Canada's Wild Boar

CANADA - A professor with the University of Saskatchewan says an aggressive approach using several different strategies is needed to take control of a growing population of feral wild boar, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 23 September 2014
clock icon 3 minute read

As the result of escapes of farmed wild boar and on purpose releases the feral wild boar population in Saskatchewan has increased dramatically.

Dr Ryan Brook, a professor in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan, says wild boar are prolific breeders, producing two litters of young per year averaging six per litter, so it is very difficult to contain their numbers.

Dr Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:

Certainly one of the things we've heard a lot of people talk about is we just need to get hunters out there shooting them and that certainly can play a role given enough effort but the reality is that there's no evidence that hunting has any major impact because, say there's 10 animals out there, hunters may go out, they might shoot 3, 4, 5, maybe they shoot 8 animals.

You come back there next year and there's that many again. You've got 10, 12, 13 again the next year.

It seems to me that to be effective you need some kind of broader strategy and coordinated. You need extremely aggressive approach that involves lots of different techniques.

No one thing is going to fit.

The only really successful techniques that have worked in North America is where you identify a group, what they call a sounder or a cell of wild boar in the wild and you say O.K. there's 12 animals and through either helicopter, ground trapping or a very coordinated ground shooting approach where everybody says O.K we're taking out every single one of those animals.

If you miss one the entire program is considered a failure because that one is then going to find other boar and produce more boar and at 12 per year on average that's going to increase really quickly so an aggressive, diversified, coordinated approach is what we need.

Dr Brook suggests to have any real effect you need a national or even international approach because, if you eliminate wild boar in one region you'll still have wild boar moving in from neighboring areas.

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