Hardy boar move in where people are aging and dying
Hardy boar populations are on the march worldwide and increasingly taking over where human populations shrink.
More humans live on planet earth than ever before. However, their population growth is not evenly distributed. Humans thrive in some parts of the world while diminishing in others. Aging populations and natural disasters are among the main causes for this phenomenon.
On the other hand, hardy boar and feral wild pigs are thriving worldwide wherever they occur. The warming climate produces good mast years more often than in the past, increased cultivation of corn, and other favorite boar foods are causing the seemingly unstoppable expansion of boar populations. At least, that is what wildlife biologists found in their studies.
Expanding boar populations overflow into areas that are sparsely populated or abandoned altogether by aging human populations. And as people move out of areas that have become dangerous to the health of those who live there, such as around Fukushima, hardy boar are moving in taking over untilled fields and houses that are slowly falling apart from neglect.
A prime example of this development is found in Japan. Aging Japanese move out of a region or simply die out boar are taking their place. Many Japanese towns and cities suffer from the effects these unwelcome newcomers have on their towns.
Cities in southern Japan struggled with this problem for many years. Now it has spread to the northern parts of the country. Aging groups of humans cannot chase the boar away. After all, many farmers are on average 60 years old and older. For example, hardy boar outnumber people three to one on a small Japanese island where people are getting old or have moved to find a profitable job somewhere else.
The boar, on the other hand, are numerous and they become increasingly accustomed to the presence of humans. As a consequence, boar rampage through the center of towns, marketplaces, and even colleges almost with impunity. Japanese news media are filled with reports of boar encounters of the third kind.
Wild pigs in a store, in parks, town squares, and even schools are no longer rare events. On the contrary, they are becoming almost the norm in certain areas of Japan and in other parts of the world.
Consider Denmark. More boar live there than people. And let us not forget the well-established urban boar population in Berlin, Germany. In many city parks and in the suburbs, people and boar mingle freely. The wild pigs have shed their natural fear of humans.
However, in doing so they are creating a dangerous situation. Conflicts between people and boar are becoming more likely and more severe. Just think of a female leading her piglets through a park full of human park visitors.
Hunters need not worry about a shortness of boar
As daunting as the negative effects of rapidly expanding wild pig populations can be to most people in the affected areas, for boar hunters more hardy boar in more places, closer to human activity centers are good news.
Since the United States also experience a rapid increase in feral pig populations, hunters will benefit from more wild pigs in more regions of the country. Boar hunters need not worry about running out of boar to harvest. Short of protracted government campaigns of poisoning the animals, that is.
Yet, many state and local agencies are promoting this concept because, they argue that hardy boar are an invasive species and need to be eradicated to reestablish the habitats and their native populations to their original, pristine status.
In the process, I guess, there is much money to be made by the manufacturers of poisonous chemicals and professional eradicators alike. And money talks. That concerns me.