The research is essentially broken up into two different projects that are investigating wild boar distribution in Canada.
Masters student Ruth Kost is surveying hunters, landowners, aboriginal people, farmers, conservation officers, biologists and other wildlife experts across Canada to systematically document sightings of wild boar. This, along with trail camera photos submitted to our team, will ultimately create a baseline map of confirmed occurrences that can be monitored over the years to determine the spread of wild boar and to potentially support management efforts.
Masters student Ryan Powers has been putting GPS satellite collars on wild boar in Saskatchewan to better understand their movements. Goals are to determine home range use and seasonal habitat selection, identify daily movement patterns, and assess areas of spatial overlap between feral wild boar and agricultural production (including domestic swine operations). The collared animals may also be used as “Judas pigs”, leading researchers to where additional groups of boar are on the landscape. This could be useful for management, allowing detection of sounders (groups) that could be removed for disease testing and/or population control.
Community engagement is a major part of the wild boar study, with the team presenting at several schools, trade shows and other gatherings to raise awareness of the issue of feral wild boar and seek information on sightings.