Feral wild boar in Forest of Dean expand despite cull. A cautionary tale for Ireland.

Population of feral Wild boar in Forest of Dean continue to expand despite cull. A cautionary tale perhaps for Ireland.

The original population established in woodlands after escaping from a wild boar farm in the area during the 1990’s. However, in 2004 a group of around 60-farm reared wild boar were dumped in an illegal release nearby and by 2009 it was clear that the two populations had merged. Last year there was an estimated 1,000 animals and this year the population is estimated at about 1,500 despite a cull programme being in place since 2008.

Experts note that in other European countries boar populations are also kept under natural control by harsher weather conditions and reduced food availability in winter.

Photo: Saxifraga-Jan-Van-der-Straaten
Photo: Saxifraga-Jan-Van-der-Straaten

Feral pigs are not known to be established in Ireland. There have been 39 verified sightings of feral pig in Ireland since 2009 with a scattered distribution in Ireland and no verified sightings in Northern Ireland. Most sightings are in upland areas and are thought to be escaped or released animals. A group of 7 animals recorded on Foynes Island (Co. Limerick) in 2014 is believed to have been a deliberate release.

 

feralpig_biomap_oct2016
Verified sightings of feral pig in Ireland

View all records in the interactive Biodiversity Map: http://maps.biodiversityireland.ie/#/Species/11929

Please submit all suspected sightings of feral pigs in the wild in Ireland and include a photograph if possible http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/…/invas…/submit-sightings/

For more information see:
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-gloucestershire-37688651
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-9fyfc5
http://invasivespeciesireland.com/species-alerts/wild-boar/

Feral pig species profile: http://species.biodiversityireland.ie/profile.php?taxonId=119291&taxonName=Sus%20scrofa