Farmscape for August 16, 2013
A researcher with the University of Saskatchewan suggests a range of approaches will be necessary to regain control of expanding populations of wild boar in western Canada.
Wild boar were introduced to the Canadian prairies to diversify agriculture but some escaped, others were purposely released and their numbers are expanding.
A University of Saskatchewan survey shows feral wild boar have been seen in 110 of the province's 296 rural municipalities over the past three years.
Dr. Ryan Brook, an assistant professor at the University of Saskatchewan, says wild boar will eat almost anything, can survive in almost any habitat and a female will produce 10 to 12 young per year.
Clip-Dr. Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:
Manitoba has actually been much more aggressive and has been a leader in terms of getting on top of the wild boar issue and certainly I think we can learn a lot from what Manitoba's done.
For one thing they declared the whole province a wild boar control zone.
They've also used something called a Judas Pig where you release a wild boar with a collar on it and then wait until it mixes with other boar and you go in and use that to capture all of them.
Baited traps on the ground can be quite effective to try and capture entire groups.
Just hunting alone has been show to be minimally successful and at best a minor control effort, like a Band-Aid.
In terms of real control you need to have expert sharpshooters and teams of hunters supported by aircraft to really have significant effect because again with this reproductive rate you can kill half of the entire population every year and you still won't cause a decline.
You need to be getting in there and killing large proportions of them, again using very aggressive methods.
Dr. Brook says poison has been used in some areas but it's highly problematic.
He says there is work underway to find a targeted poison that will work on boar but not affect other animals.
For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork Council