Canada’s Wild Pig Problem
Date: November 29th, 2017
Time: 12:00 - 1:00 pm Pacific
Presenter: Dr. Ryan Brook, Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources
Overview: The first step is admitting you have a problem. Despite considerable denial across the country, it is now very clear that Canada has a serious Wild Pig problem that puts our agricultural industry and conservation and hunting program all at serious risk. Domestic Wild Boar were brought to Canada in the 1980s and 1990s to diversify agriculture and provide a source of unique meat for restaurants, however, many escaped and were intentionally released to the wild. These furry pigs, which range from 40 kg to over 300 kg in size have thrived despite Canada’s cold winters. Wild Pigs have been found in all provinces west of the Maritimes and they are well established in the prairie provinces. They are very destructive to native ecosystems and will feed on all types of plants and animals. They also can be very destructive to farm crops and will harass livestock. With their incredibly high reproductive capacity, they are in many ways the ‘perfect’ invasive species. Ryan will share his perspectives on monitoring and managing invasive species by integrating quantitative ecology with citizen science, local knowledge, and diverse engagement activities, including youth engagement and social media.
Presenter Bio: Dr. Ryan Brook is an Associate Professor at the University of Saskatchewan in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. His research program is focused on the wildlife-agriculture interface and he has worked on risk of bovine tuberculosis spread from elk and deer to cattle, Chronic Wasting Disease, crop damage by wildlife, farmland moose in Saskatchewan, and he has been studying wild pigs in Canada and beyond over the last 7 years. Ryan places a high priority in facilitating youth learning science, conservation, and traditional knowledge from elementary school to university to ensure they have the necessary tools to communicate, think critically, and be passionate about their community and their environment.