Every municipality can participate in the Wild Boar Control Program by extending information to their rate payers about the impacts of Wild Boar at large, and making landowners aware of the control programs and compensation available for damage to crops through the Wildlife Damage Compensation Program run by AFSC.
There are currently 24 municipalities with sightings of wild boar, who could potentially be participating in the Wild Boar Control Program. Currently the whole sounder trapping is happening in:
- Lac Ste. Anne
- Two Hills
There are three municipalities that have signed up for the one year bounty pilot which allows private trappers to become certified for whole sounder trapping, or hunters in the area to turn in ears for compensation. Landowners who report wild boar in municipalities participating in the pilot are not eligible for the whole sounder trapping offered by the province and are referred to the municipality. Certified trappers and hunters can receive $75/pair of ears in the following municipalities:
To date, no private trappers have been certified and no ears have been turned in for the bounty.
What landowners can expect
Anyone who has seen a wild boar can report the sighting by calling 310-FARM or through an online submission form found on the Alberta.ca Wild Boar Control Program webpage. The form asks for the date and location of the sighting, and for contact information so program staff can reach out for clarification and to determine a response. Whenever possible a picture of a sighting or evidence of the boar is a good addition to the report, and there is a place to upload photos through the submission form. Once a report is made, program staff will be in touch.
Seeing one boar does not necessarily mean there is a sounder near buy. Researchers in SK found that a boar can have a range of up to 50km. Boars will often wander to find a sounder to join, to find food, or to escape hunting/predator pressure. Boars are social animals and will not stay solitary long.
If the sighting is in a municipality that is participating in the one year bounty pilot, the report will be handed off to the municipality.
If the sighting not in a municipality participating in the bounty pilot, staff at the Wild Boar Control Program will work with the landowner to gain access to the property and install cameras to confirm the sighting and establish if there is a whole sounder in the area. Once confirmed, pre baits and cameras are set out to monitor their movements and get them accustomed to being fed.
Wild boar a smart and flighty so any changes to their environment or disturbances from people at this stage can cause them to abandon the area or scatter increasing the time it will take to capture the sounder.
Surveillance and pre baits
At this stage cellular cameras are set up to determine the number of animals, their habits and where they are foraging. Pre baits are set out to get them accustomed to the bait and move them to a place where a trap can be set. Again, keeping the area free from hunting, livestock and human traffic is critical at this stage.
Trapping and eradication
Once the sounders are used to the baits, a trap will be set up with motion sensors and remotely deployed gates. Motion detectors send alerts to the trappers who monitor the trap and deploy the gates once the whole sounder is inside. The sounder is then eradicated and sent to a veterinary lab for research data collection including disease and parasite testing. This research is important for understanding the impact of this invasive pest on our envrionment and the threat to food safety.
The process from surveillance to sounder capture and eradication can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months depending on level of human disturbance during the surveillance and trapping phases, and the flightiness of the sounder.