Canada: Invasive pigs are going hog wild as they spread through Canada - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaInvasive pigs are going hog wild as they spread through Canada

18:02  15 may  2019
18:02  15 may  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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They go by many names: wild boar, wild hog , razorback, Eurasian boar Since 2004, invasive wild pigs have been moving northward at an alarming pace. In addition, the invaders began spreading throughout regions of Canada in 1982 and are threatening to expand their range into the U.S. from

The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the wild swine, Eurasian wild pig , or simply wild pig , is a suid native to much of Eurasia, North Africa, and the Greater Sunda Islands.

For the first time, wild pig researchers have mapped the animals' range across Canada and found the invasive swine are expanding at a rapid rate.

Wild pigs are now Canada's most prolific invasive mammal, according to what the University of Saskatchewan says is the first-ever published survey of their distribution in Canada — and they're causing an "ecological disaster," researchers say.

"They'll root up the vegetation like a rototiller," said researcher Ruth Aschim. "They're rolling around in the water, defecating in it."

"There is crop damage, disease transmission, even automobile crashes with these pigs."

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The wild pigs are the legacy of a failed attempt to diversify meat production with wild boars.

The porcine pests were imported from Europe in the 1980s and 1990s for livestock or "penned game" for hunters.

Many boars escaped their pens and mated with pigs, said Aschim, and they're now causing damage wherever they go.

Invasive pigs are going hog wild as they spread through Canada© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting CorporationResearchers say wild pigs are an emerging crisis as their territory continues to expand across Canada. (Dan Sakal)

From B.C. to Quebec

The wild pigs are rooting and wallowing from B.C. to Quebec.

While most are in the Prairies, there are pockets in Ontario, Quebec, northeastern B.C., the B.C. Interior, and possibly even the Vancouver suburb of Langley.

Only the Maritime provinces and the territories lack populations.

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Wild invasive pigs are wreaking havoc on North American ecosystems, a new report warns. Researchers say that number is likely to rise as wild pig populations continue to grow and spread Their conquest could happen even quicker if boars introduced into Canada continue to move

Feral pigs are becoming a wild problem in the United States. They have a remarkable knack for causing trouble, ranging from eating threatened species like dune lizards and spreading invasive weeds to carrying and transmitting more than 30 different kinds of diseases to humans, livestock and

They currently range over more than 750,000 square kilometres — an area larger than Chile — and their territory has increased by 88,000 square kilometres per year, on average, over the past decade, researchers found.

"The public is not overly aware of the wild pig problem, because they are elusive and nocturnal," Aschim said.

'Pigloos'

Researchers say wild pigs are very hard to eradicate.

They grow as big as 115 kilograms (250 pounds), can eat almost anything, become sexually mature in four to eight months and have about six piglets in a litter.

Researchers add they're hardy in the winter as well, burrowing into "pigloos" in the snow.

The survey, published last week in Nature Scientific Reports, warns that wild pig populations and range will "continue to expand exponentially" over the next decade at least, if aggressive management policies are not implemented soon.

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