Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Alberta admits defeat in wild boar bounty hunt cull

A boar war that’s placed a $50 bounty on every ear turned in has yielded about 1,000 proof-of-kills since its start in 2008, says the province. But the results have dwindled, from a high of 199 ears in 2009 to 68 in 2015, leading to its end on March 31, said Perry Abramenko of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. As has happened in other jurisdictions battling the hooved pests, the clever fugitive boars quickly get wise to hunters’ tactics, he added. “If they only catch or kill one, the rest of the group will disperse and go elsewhere — they’re smart enough to know,” said Abramenko. “It hasn’t effectively reduced the population.” Experience has shown that, given the boars’ rapid birth rate, anything less than a quick 70 per cent reduction of a group’s numbers won’t have the desired effect, he said. Because they’re not a natural species in Alberta’s wilds, said Abramenko, “our predators didn’t evolve with them” to control their numbers. They’ve damaged crops, river banks and, through the use of a rigid nose, torn up wilderness areas while rooting for subterranean food. Fugitive porkers have even brought losses to livestock producers, said Abramenko. “They’ve been known to chase cattle away from their feed — ranchers might not even know they have a problem except their cattle’s gotten thin,” he said, adding the shaggy beasts can reach 400 pounds, though rarely...more

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