Report wild boar
If you see a wild boar at large, dead or alive:
Wild boar at large
Wild boar are an invasive species in Alberta and an agricultural pest when at large. Under the Agricultural Pests Act, landowners are required to control or destroy pests and prevent them from becoming established on their land.
Image 1. Wild boar at large
Wild boar refers to:
- Eurasian wild boar
- Hybrids of domestic pigs and Eurasian wild boar
- Wild or feral pigs
History of wild boar in Alberta
Wild boar are not native to Alberta. They came to the province in the 1980s and ‘90s as livestock. At the time, there were no requirements for secure containment and over the years, some escaped and established several feral/wild populations.
Image 2. Distribution of wild boar in Alberta
Impacts of wild boar at large
Wild boar are farmed in Alberta as livestock. When they are not being raised as livestock, they are considered to be ‘at large’ and an invasive pest that can:
- damage property, agricultural crops, pastures and the environment, including through rooting (digging)
- endanger people and animals
- harass livestock and consume their feed, prey on young livestock and wildlife
- spread diseases that could be transmitted to wildlife, livestock, pets and people
- alter the ecosystem, including through wallowing that can contaminate water supplies, promote erosion and destroy fish habitat
- compete with wildlife and destroy other sensitive natural habitats
- consume the eggs of ground-nesting birds
Signs of wild boar
Signs of boar activity include:
- tracks in the snow or mud, or trails of groups (sounders) of boar
- signs of boar digging or rolling around (rooting and wallowing)
- signs of boar eating your livestock feed
- boar droppings
- trampled or destroyed crops
Image 3. Crops damaged by wild boar
Image 4. Aerial view of wild boar crop damage
Image 5. Damage caused by wild boar wallowing
Image 6. Tracks from a sounder (group) of wild boar
Image 7. Wild boar nest
Non-professional (recreational) hunting of wild boar at large can actually make it harder for organized control efforts. Boar are very smart – hunting can make them learn quickly to avoid humans, disperse to new locations and become nocturnal.
As well, wild boar’s high reproduction rate means hunting is not an effective means of control. If you have wild boar at large on your property, call or email Agriculture and Forestry instead. They and the municipality will work with you to find a solution.
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