There has been a lot of talk about wild or feral pigs. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. At the time, there were no requirements for secure containment and over the years, some escaped and established several feral/wild populations.
Feral pigs are one of the most devastating invasive specie because of the amount of damage that they can do to a wide variety of native species and different environments. They can damage property, ruin & consume agricultural crops, pastures and the environment, including through rooting (digging), endanger people and animals, harass livestock and consume their feed. They also prey on young livestock and wildlife as well as they can spread diseases that could be transmitted to wildlife, livestock and pets. Through their wallowing they can contaminate water supplies, promote erosion and destroy fish habitat all while competing with native wildlife.
Another problem with feral pigs is that they reproduce very quickly. They become sexually mature at 6 months and can have two litters per year with 4-10 piglets each time. This is one of the reasons that feral pigs have spread from their original farms in Alberta to now being spread throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba and are now making their way into Ontario with sightings as close as Pickering in November of this year!
So as much as we do not want invasive species, these WILL be the next one to invade Ontario. To do your part in protecting our native wildlife and our environment please report any sightings through either email at wild firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at 1-833-933-2355 or the Invasive Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711.