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Thread: Wild boar and effects on vegetation and other fauna

  1. #1

    Wild boar and effects on vegetation and other fauna

    In the Netherlands a nature organisation and the Ministry of agriculture are thinking of a joined pilotproject where in an area (roughly 6000 hectares) no more wild boar will be shot.
    They want to see what will happen to the population itself (will they regulate themselves after xx years), and what will happen to other fauna populations and flora/vegetation (predation of animals and plants).

    In the UK wild boar have been extinct for a while, now the population is building in certain area's. I am looking for data or experience with changing in the biotope/habitat of animals and plants in area's where wild boar became a part of the biotope/habitat. Can any member on this forum help me with this information?

    I ask this because i am part of an organisation of united regional hunters and landowners, who have reservations about this pilot project and want to gather data.

    Thank you for any structural comments !

  2. #2
    I'd have thought that with no predators the population will rise quite rapidly until it either reaches its maximum for the food available or gets dense enough for disease to set in and reduce the numbers. To me that means the plant life is likely to be pretty trashed! Ever seen what a paddock full of pigs looks like after they've had a good rummage through it? Not saying it's going to be that extreme in the wild but it can't be good!

    I did see somewhere that Boar are considered good for commercial woodland though. They wreck all but the trees pretty much, so the understory is kept under control.

  3. #3
    Wayne Davies is your man to ask on this one.

    i went out one evening with a member of this site, well the damage these boar do to the headlands is quite alarming.

    Jonathon

  4. #4
    A wild boar does quite a lot of damage to crops but has a good impact on woodland. Especially in conifer forests they do quite a good job eating ground larvae etc. They might damage some young trees when digging after a mouse or mole too deep or plow a road but they are generally ok in woodlands.

    An experiment will be a short one as boar population at least doubles every year (you shoot at least 80-100% of the number counted each spring to keep the population stable, in some parts 130-150% as they tend to breed twice a year when worm and a lot of food...). They would probably develop some disease as it happened in early 90s in eastern Europe.

    Greg

  5. #5
    Wild boar are one of the few animals which will seek out and eat Bracken roots and they can be a very effective method of bracken control. That is something I wish we could do more effectively.

    However, like deer, with no natuaral predators, an over population will end up causing too much damage.

    The issue then, is not the wild boar being present, but too many of them being present.

    Where you have a lot of bracken one model which might work would be to leave the boar alone until they reach a population level which allows the benefits, then carry out a cull to keep the numbers at or below that level.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Nix Niveus
    Wild boar are one of the few animals which will seek out and eat Bracken roots and they can be a very effective method of bracken control. That is something I wish we could do more effectively.

    However, like deer, with no natuaral predators, an over population will end up causing too much damage.

    The issue then, is not the wild boar being present, but too many of them being present.

    Where you have a lot of bracken one model which might work would be to leave the boar alone until they reach a population level which allows the benefits, then carry out a cull to keep the numbers at or below that level.
    Good answer!

  7. #7
    I think it might work only if there is nothing better to eat than bracken...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by glogin
    I think it might work only if there is nothing better to eat than bracken...
    Not really, they view the roots/tubers as a bit of a delicacy and will actively seek them out. Not totally effective though as some of then can be a metre below ground and an acre of bracken might only have half a dozen single plants, all part of the same root system.

    Rooting around will also expose the surface roots to frost and help kill them.

    I'll see if I can find the link to the research.

    Edit : here it is http://www.treesforlife.org.uk/fores...han200805.html

    Note that in this case they also seemed beneficial to natural regernation and seeding fo the trees.

    Shame rabbits didn't like them, we'd have our bracken gone overnight.

  9. #9
    Not really, they view the roots/tubers as a bit of a delicacy and will actively seek them out.
    I guess it might be specific to a local boar group. I have seen boars digging in bracken but never too much. They usually prefer acorns, beech fruit etc. or go off the forest. Your observations might be true in conifer woodlands/open hill boundary where is not much to eat


    Greg

  10. #10
    In truth, I wouldn't mind one or two on my patch.

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