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Montana starts campaign to contain invasive wild pigs from Saskatchewan, Alberta

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Montana starts campaign to contain invasive wild pigs
WATCH ABOVE: Montana has launched a campaign to locate any wild boars that cross the 49th parallel – Nov 25, 2019

A University of Saskatchewan researcher has been tracking wild pigs and hopes the latest move by Montana’s state government will help send a message to policy-makers in Saskatchewan.

The Department of Livestock and the Montana Invasive Species Council have teamed up to create the “Squeal on Pigs” education and outreach campaign.

Ryan Brook leads the Canadian Wild Pig Research Project and said this is a positive step as Canada’s wild pig population flourishes.

No wild boars have been seen in Montana, but there are concerns about them crossing the border given the population size in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

“Unfortunately we’re well on track right now to have more wild pigs than people in Saskatchewan. We could easily support over a million pigs. We have about 1.1 million people in the province and we’re well on track to be more than that,” Brook said.

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Click to play video: 'Wild pigs an ‘ecological train wreck’ for Canada, especially in the Prairies: study'
Wild pigs an ‘ecological train wreck’ for Canada, especially in the Prairies: study

He added there aren’t solid numbers on the number of pigs in Saskatchewan, but it’s in the thousands and has increased since the species was first noticed in the 1990s.

Brook said the hogs take on 80,000 square kilometres of Canadian territory per year partially due to their birth rates.

While native Saskatchewan species like moose, deer and elk can have between one to three babies per year, boars can have around 12.

Brook said Alberta has a solid plan in place to combat the population growth and with Montana looking to address the issue, he hopes a Saskatchewan plan is put in place before it’s too late.

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