Sweden has long had a large wild boar stock. Now, a greater herd is being established in Norwegian forests.
The county governor in Østfold does not know how many wild boar are on this side of the border, but it is becoming increasingly stable.
‘It seems that the wild boar have come to stay. In Østfold, Akershus and Hedmark, there has been an increase in the number of animals in forests and pastures in recent years,’ said Ingvild Herberg, counsellor at Anno Norsk Forestry Museum (Skogsmuseum).
She thinks it is time to find efficient ways to manage the presence of the wild boar in Norway.
‘The animal is a favourite target for many hunters, and the meat is a delicacy,’ said Herberg.
In the stone age the wild boar was a natural part of Norwegian fauna. The population probably died out more than 1000 years ago due to colder climate, increased agriculture and hunting.
They do cause damage
There are shared opinions about wild boars in Norway.
‘Some want the species out of it because it is on the blacklist. They think it has potential for causing injury, while others think the wild boar belongs in our natural world,’ said Åsmund Fjellbakk, countryside manager at Østfold County Council.
The big boars dig into the ground for food and roots.
‘All the cycles of the soil cause seeds to spread in the areas where the wild boars go, and the diversity of plants and crops increases,’ said Fjellbakk.
But for the farmer, wild boars can present a nuisance in the supply of crops.
‘They have a large appetite, and eat most of what they come across. Of agricultural crops, they prefer corn, peas, potatoes, vegetables and grains, but also dig for insects, worms,and nuts, he says.
The digging in fields and meadows can cause disruption in the grass harvested. So-called ‘soil fouling’ may cause cow’s milk to be discarded.
‘Although the wild boar offers some problems, I think we must ensure that the species becomes a part of Norwegian wildlife in some areas. Locally, the wildlife population, and spoilage problems can be managed through cooperation between landowners,and hunters’, he said.
400 kroner per kilo
There is great interest in wild game hunting among Norwegian hunters, and many people will use the meat. In Swedish shops, the fillet of wild boar is sold for over 400 kroner per kilo.
‘As with any other hunted animal, rules and guidelines are required that safeguard ethics and safety. In some areas, there may be conflicts of interest between hunters and farmers over how many animals you want alive or dead’, said Ingvild Herberg at the Norwegian Forestry Museum.
An adult wild boar weighs about 100 kilos. They hide in forests and shrubberies, and at hunt season, consumption is intense. The hunter must often shoot from close range.
‘Wild boar are, initially, not dangerous, but can act aggressively when protecting the flock, or if they are injured,’ she said.
The wild animal is closely related to the domestic pig, but is taller, and slimmer. They live in herds, and sows usually get one litter a year with six to eight kids.
‘It’s an older female that is the leader of the herd. She is in control of both adult boar and youngsters. Young boar are chased from the herd when they become sexually mature, at approximately 10 months old. After that, they go it alone, or in smaller groups’, said Ingvild Herberg.
Source: newswire.no / Norway Today