Farmscape for April 21, 2022
A researcher with the University of Saskatchewan says the prolific reproductive capacity of wild pigs has fuelled a massive expansion of their range and numbers.
Wild pigs destroy crops, reduce water quality, eat anything from an adult white tail deer to small mammals, birds and frogs and they can harbour disease and parasites.
Dr. Ryan Brook, an Associate Professor in the Department of Agriculture and Bioresources with the University of Saskatchewan, told those on hand earlier this month for Manitoba Pork's 2022 Annual General Meeting, when it comes to reproductive capacity, wild pigs are in a category of their own, typically producing six young per litter and multiple litters per year.
Clip-Dr. Ryan Brook-University of Saskatchewan:
Wild pigs currently occupy about one million square kilometers of Canada.
The overwhelming majority of those are on the Canadian Prairie provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and within each province there's one or two major hot spots.
In Alberta it's west of Edmonton, there's a major stronghold and most of the pigs are there.
In Saskatchewan, a bit in the Battleford area but mainly near the Manitoba border in that Melfort, Saskatchewan country and there are more wild pigs in that area than the rest of Canada combined so, to be really clear, that is the hot spot in the country.
In Manitoba they are spread across the southern half of the province with a few sightings over the last five years from the Whiteshell and the Ontario border south to the U.S. border and the Turtle Mountains and then lots and lots, the most pigs by far are in the southwest corner of the province.
Specifically Spruce Woods has the core breeding population.
What we see is that it almost looks like a shotgun blast.
If you shot Spruce Woods with a 12 gauge and lots of bullets, you'd see a cluster right at Spruce Woods with them emanating out from there and that's our biggest problem in Manitoba by far.
Dr. Brook says over 60 thousand unique occurrences of wild pigs have been documented across Canada and he encourages the public to share sightings through the “Squeal on Pigs” program.
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