“Canada’s Growing ‘Super Pig’ Problem Threatens Northern US States”

by Ryan Lee
Super Pigs Invasion

A surging population of resilient “super pigs” in Canada is now posing a significant threat to the northern states of the United States, including Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana, as they take measures to prevent the invasion.

In Canada, wild pigs in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have become a concerning issue. These pigs often result from crossbreeding between the rugged Eurasian boar, known for its survival skills, and domestic swine, prized for their size and prolific breeding capabilities. The outcome is a formidable “super pig” population that is rapidly expanding beyond control.

Ryan Brook, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading authority on this problem in Canada, has described feral swine as “the most invasive animal on the planet” and likens them to an “ecological train wreck.”

It’s important to note that pigs are not indigenous to North America. While they have roamed certain regions for centuries, Canada’s pig problem only emerged in the 1980s when farmers were encouraged to raise wild boars. The market subsequently collapsed after reaching its peak in 2001, prompting some frustrated farmers to release the animals by cutting their fences.

These adaptable and resourceful pigs, equipped to endure harsh Canadian winters, pose a multifaceted threat. They have voracious appetites, consuming crops and wildlife alike. Their rooting behavior damages the land, while they also have the potential to spread diseases like African swine fever to hog farms. Adding to the concern, they reproduce rapidly, with a single sow capable of having six piglets per litter and raising two litters annually. Even if 65% or more of the wild pig population were eliminated yearly, their numbers would still increase.

Surprisingly, hunting exacerbates the problem, with a success rate as low as 2% to 3%. Consequently, some states have prohibited hunting as it makes the pigs more cautious and nocturnal, making them harder to track and eradicate.

In the United States, wild pigs already cause approximately $2.5 billion in crop damage annually, with the majority occurring in southern states, notably Texas. Furthermore, these pigs can be aggressive towards humans, as evidenced by a fatal incident in Texas in 2019.

While eradication in Manitoba and Saskatchewan may no longer be feasible, hope remains in other areas. A few U.S. states have successfully eliminated wild pig populations. The key, according to experts like Ryan Brook, lies in early detection and swift action.

Brook and his team have documented 62,000 wild pig sightings in Canada, even close to the Canada-North Dakota border and within 18 miles of Minnesota. The imminent question is how these states will address this encroaching threat.

Montana has taken a proactive stance, banning the raising and transportation of wild pigs within the state. Vigilant strategies, including ground traps like the “BoarBuster” and net guns fired from helicopters, have been considered. Crowdsourced tracking programs, such as “Squeal on Pigs,” have been embraced in some regions. Poison options like sodium nitrite have been studied but carry the risk of harming other species.

Minnesota is among the states working to prevent wild pigs from establishing a foothold. Their Department of Natural Resources is set to release a report identifying gaps in their management plan and recommending new preventive measures. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is employing aircraft and drones to enhance surveillance along the northern border.

Although Minnesota was once declared pig-free after a group of feral pigs were eliminated in 2016, no truly wild pigs have infiltrated the state to date.

According to the USDA, feral swine have been reported in at least 35 states, with an estimated population of around 6 million. The National Feral Swine Management Program, launched in 2014, aims to eradicate these pigs in areas with low or emerging populations and mitigate damage in already established regions, such as Texas and the southeastern states. While progress has been made in states with smaller populations, complete eradication remains a distant goal.

For more information on invasive species, you can follow AP news at https://bigbignews.net/invasive-species.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Super Pigs Invasion

What are “super pigs,” and why are they a concern in Canada?

“Super pigs” are a hybrid of wild Eurasian boar and domestic swine that possess both survival skills and high fertility. They are a concern in Canada because their population is rapidly increasing, posing ecological and agricultural threats.

How did the wild pig problem in Canada originate?

The wild pig problem in Canada traces its roots back to the 1980s when farmers were encouraged to raise wild boars. The market collapsed in 2001, leading some farmers to release these animals into the wild by cutting their fences.

What makes wild pigs so problematic?

Wild pigs are highly adaptable, resilient, and prolific breeders. They have voracious appetites, damage land when rooting for food, can spread diseases to hog farms, and reproduce quickly, making them challenging to control.

How does hunting affect the wild pig problem?

Hunting exacerbates the issue, as the success rate is low (about 2% to 3%). In response, some states have banned hunting to prevent pigs from becoming more cautious and nocturnal, making them harder to eradicate.

What is the economic impact of wild pigs in the United States?

Wild pigs cause approximately $2.5 billion in crop damage annually in the United States, primarily in southern states like Texas. They also pose a threat to human safety.

What measures are being taken to address the wild pig invasion?

Efforts include early detection, proactive state bans on raising and transporting wild pigs, the use of traps and net guns, crowdsourced tracking programs, and surveillance using aircraft and drones along the northern border.

Is complete eradication of wild pigs feasible?

Eradication may no longer be possible in some regions like Manitoba and Saskatchewan, but it remains a goal in areas with emerging populations. The focus is on mitigation and prevention where eradication is challenging.

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JaneDoe123 November 22, 2023 - 8:18 pm

wow super pigs? sounds like a crazy prob in canada! they can do a lotta harm & they r tricky to get rid of. bettr watch out 4 them in the us too.

CarEnthusiast77 November 22, 2023 - 8:36 pm

even the automotive market might be affected by these super pigs. gotta deal with ’em fast!

CryptoKing45 November 23, 2023 - 7:34 am

super pigs, eh? never thot i’d see the day. but 2.5 billion in crop damage? holy smokes, that’s a lot of $$$.

EconGeek22 November 23, 2023 - 2:15 pm

this is real bad news 4 farmers, super pigs r no joke. and they say hunting makes it worse? omg that’s no good.


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