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Alberta has success in its fight against wild boars

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar26,2024

L’Alberta is successful in its fight against wild boars

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Wild boars were introduced to Alberta in the 1970s and 1980s. (Archive photo)

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In Alberta, 314 wild boars have been eliminated since the launch in 2021 of a provincial campaign against the proliferation of these omnivorous mammals considered invasive.

Since the program's launch, wild boar reports have doubled, says Megan Evans, executive director of the Alberta Invasive Species Council.

Between 2018 and 2021, 66 wild boars were killed thanks to trapping efforts.

Wild boars were introduced to Alberta in the 1970s and 1980s. It's unclear how many there are in the province, but officials are working to collect data on their population.

Along the same lines, students at the University of Calgary deployed networks of surveillance cameras last summer to try to obtain population estimates. The results will be known this summer.

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We know, however, that the wild boars have established themselves in the north center of Alberta, particularly in a strip stretching from Whitecourt to Lloydminster, says Hannah McKenzie, wild boar specialist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Wild boars trample natural habitats, devour crops, harass livestock and contaminate water sources by wallowing in wetlands. They carry diseases that can be transmitted to domestic pigs.

According to Hannah McKenzie, landowners who work with trappers find that the anti-wild boar campaign has its fruits.

Farmers no longer see the same damage to their farms as before.

A quote from Hannah McKenzie, Department of Agriculture and Irrigation

According to her, trapping teams are also seeing land recovery, particularly trail networks created by wild boars.

Two other government programs, launched in 2022 to reduce the wild boar population, have not been successful, says McKenzie. The hunting bonus program ended in March 2023, while a wild boar trapping incentive program will end at the end of the month.

None of these programs were able to kill a single wild boar.

Hannah McKenzie explains this by the fact that only four counties – Bonnyville, the Municipal District of Peace, Stettler and Wetaskiwin – participated, noting that none of these localities have many wild boars.

Wild boars are nocturnal and difficult to capture. The program's website has photos that help identify clues to their presence.

The information is then passed on to trappers who use a corral trap, a circular enclosure with a funnel-shaped entrance, to catch them. This is really the only way to be effective in managing their populations, maintains Megan Evans, who specifies that the animals which escape the trap transmit this information to their offspring.

Breeding females have a gestation period of approximately 115 days. They can have a litter of six piglets every two years. Piglets reach sexual maturity between 6 and 10 months.

This is why it is important to eliminate all individuals from the group , and that's how we can effectively manage their populations, says Megan Evans.

With information from Kashmala Fida Mohatarem

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my natasha@thetimeshub.in 1-800-268-7116

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