The wild boar populations in Ontario have been increasing in the last few years, despite efforts made by the province to stop their spread. The issue began with wild boar farms, as over the years, populations escaped and began to breed in the wild. The boars are very prolific, having up to 2 litters per year, regardless of the season. They cause massive amounts of damage to every aspect of our society, damaging agriculture, personal properties and especially to natural ecosystems. They turn up the soil and their broad omnivorous diet leads them to consume many native species of both plants and animals. The boars can get to be very large and have rough/coarse dark hair with longer hair that sticks up on their upper back. They can also have large tusks, the babies are easily identifiable as they are a lighter tan colour with white lines or spots on them. The babies will often be seen accompanying older boars.
There have been sightings of wild boars as far north as Montreal and Sault Ste Marie, while the majority of the population is still concentrated to the south of those locations. Native to Asia and Russia these boar cause billions of dollars in damage in the United States alone. A major threat is the spread of disease and the effect on domesticated pig farming operations.
It is advised that if you think you have sighted a wild boar, take photos if possible and note down the time, date and location. Also, try to take a count of how many you can see, then email all of this data to email@example.com
Currently, efforts are being made to ban the farming of wild boar in order to eliminate further introductions. There is also a response team that travels to hotspots and sets out traps and euthanizes the animals once caught. Open hunting has been suggested in order to control the animals but due to their intelligence, this may actually force them to spread further and develop a negative connotation with humans.
Lookalikes– Some large domesticated pigs can be dark in coloration similar to the boars but domesticated pigs are not as hairy as wild boar and do not have tusks. They also tend to have shorter snouts but this is not a major identifying feature.