Wild pigs can cause a lot of damage whether it's digging up and destroying cropland, wildlife habitat, pastures, or more.
Dr. Ryan Brooks and his team from the University of Saskatchewan are known for their work in monitoring and tracking the animals.
Wild pigs became popular in the late '80s, early '90s as part of a push on agricultural diversification.
Over time the animals escaped or were released, and with large litters, we've seen an increase in wild pig numbers across Canada and the US.
He notes there’s no real data available relating to the size and density of the wild pig population.
“When we first started, we were seeing groups of four to seven which were very common. I remember being quite excited when we saw a group of eleven, and now we're starting to see the sounder groups. Certainly, we've seen several photos, you know, in the order of two to three dozen animals. So we're definitely seeing more big sounders than we've ever seen before.”
They can quickly destroy acres of land and have become a real concern in a number of rural areas not only across the Prairies but into Ontario, Quebec, and various regions across the U-S.
Brooks says good quality fencing is most effective against the animals, adding that if you see them or are having problems it's a good idea to get the professionals in to help deal with the problem.
“In Saskatchewan, you just call Saskatchewan Crop Insurance, and they have people that shoot, snare and trap pigs, and they do it really, really well. They know exactly what they're doing, and they will take out the entire sounder groups. So, if it was my Back 40 and I had pigs in it, I would call them immediately and ask for their help.”
Dr. Ryan Brooks gave a webinar on Monday as part of the Speaker Series with the Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan.