Urban Boar are becoming your new neighbors
Welcome urban boar to your neighborhood. They find human population centers very much to their liking. More and more of them are moving into our cities.
Urban boar, wild pigs moving into and living in human centers, have found that living close to humans has its advantages. But they are not the only animals that find centers of human habitation attractive habitats.
New York, for example, has the highest density of breeding peregrine falcons followed closely by peregrines in London. In Germany, wolves returning from near extinction decided to seek refuge in cities. Wolves on occasion visit population centers in Denmark, Luxembourg, and Holland though they are not breeding there.
( DEA/S Vannini/De Agostini/Getty Images)
Still not convinced that animals are moving in with us?
In the United States coyotes find city life easy, safe, and safe attractive.
How about Sika deer in Japan? Fallow deer in London and White-tailed deer in Minneapolis and Saint Paul?
(Mark Bridger/Solent News)
And in Europe, large predators like bears, the Eurasian lynx, and Wolverines are at home in nearly one-third of densely populated Europe.
What does that have to do with urban boar, you ask?
Well, Rome, the eternal city, now has its own eternal problem with urban boar that like the abundance of food and the ease with which they can find it.
Wild pigs In the United States, especially in states with fast-growing feral pig populations, also have discovered that city life is quite easy and generally safe. They find plenty of food for the taking, cover, shelter, protection from the elements to some degree, and last but not least a safe haven from large predators.
Pigs are among the smartest mammals. Therefore it is no surprise that urban pigs are quickly and superbly adapting to their new metropolitan environments once they arrive there and decide set up shop.
In their natural habitat, wild pigs have relatively large home ranges. Daily and seasonal movements within the home range are optimizing the resources within the range. T achieve this, the feral pigs travel long distances regularly. Male boar range farther and cover more territory than their female counterparts.
Urban boar, on the other hand, need not move around that much in pursuit of food. They find it right there in front of them in parks, gardens, front yards, and in trash cans.
In addition, urban boar do not have to fear hunting. Municipalities do commonly forbid hunting within city limits. Boar reap the benefits.
However, there is also a downside to this new coexistence between urban boar and their new neighbors. The boar are not always welcome and not everywhere. After all, the feral pigs like our parks and gardens very much because there is food there. Easy to get and plentiful.
Humans welcome wildlife to our population centers quite often because if gives them an opportunity to connect with nature and to enjoy the exotic. It’s a feel-good kind of situation.
On the flip side, urban pigs can outlive their welcome very fast by destroying our manicured lawns and groomed gardens in search of food. That’s when harmony ends and loud demands for culling the nuisance boar become the norm.
Most of our other new neighbors of the wildlife kind coexist with humans much better. Though living among us, their world and ours exist on different temporal planes. Humans sleep at night. Many of our wild neighbors, on the other hand, sleep during the day and are active at night. It makes for a temporal separation between us and them with beneficial effects for both.
Not so urban boar. In their natural state and free of fear of hunting, they are diurnal. Hunting pressure and other human interference has made them more nocturnal or at least crepuscular.
This distinction is lost quickly in a safe urban environment. An interaction between urban boar and humans, therefore, is becoming more common. With negative effects for both.
Nevertheless, the feral pigs are to stay and to enjoy the blessings of urban life whether we like it or not.
Rod Pinkston of Jager Pro collected data on feral pigs in their original habitats. He found that there is only a one in three chance of spotting wild hogs during daylight hours. The fewest sightings occurred between eleven in the morning and four in the afternoon. I
I did already mention that years ago in my book on hunting wild boar in California. You are wasting your time if you try to find and hunt wild hogs during those hours. The boar are taking their well-deserved rest. They become active again in the late afternoon when they prepare to search for food during dusk and the night. Activities slow down with approaching dawn and subside completely in mid-morning.
According to Pinkstone only thirty percent of wild pig sightings are made during daylight hours. This percentage is slightly higher during mast season and in fall.
Urban boar are accustomed to people and are less afraid of them than their truly wild cousins. As a result, boar in the city are far more active during daylight hours. Sows and their piglets sometimes even visit parks during daylight hours when people are present.
However, hunting would change that quickly and the wild hogs would revert back to their nocturnal ways. No question about that.
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