The real reasons for the proliferation of wild boars in France

Did you know that wild boars have not always swarmed in France? In the 1970s, there were 20 times fewer than today! But then, why would it be necessary to regulate them now, and what are the inconsistencies in the discourse of hunters?

Eurasian boars (Pig sow), are the wild cousins, but nevertheless of the same speciesspecies, domestic pork. Present in France since prehistoric times, they are naturally present in a large portion of Europe and Asia. They are animals that are said to be ubiquitous, that is to say that they can be found in various environments thanks to their ecological flexibility, which allows them a wide geographical distribution.

When the native animal becomes cumbersome

But, as an integral part of the ecosystem, the wild boar population should not pose a particular problem. The predators of suids in Europe are usually carnivores such as wolves, bears, but also lynx which can attack wild boars. This is the first problem, these animals have been decimated or have even disappeared from France, before repopulating, sometimes timidly, their territory for a few decades, while the number of wild pigs has multiplied by 20 in 50 years.

The climate changeclimate change, the reforestation of France and the abundance of food available to them in increasingly profitable agricultural crops are also relatively hard-to-control phenomena that favor the unprecedented development that has earned them the status of “pests”. But there is one factor that seems surprisingly tenacious despite the deplorable situation, and that is the role of hunters in this demographic explosion. Several actions commonly practiced by the latter have had very tangible consequences on the growth of the pig population, such as sparing breeding sows (female boars), releasing farmed boars into the wild, or crossing these with domestic pigs to create more fertile hybrids (sometimes called “pigs”). But the most decried practice is undoubtedly that of agrainage.

This consists of feeding wild pigs directly in their environment, most often with butbut. This practice is legal but subject to strict supervision (even if many cases of illegal feeding have been reported), and should in principle be used to “deter” wild boars from attacking crops by attracting them away from them. But the effectiveness of this strategy is debated, and its major side effect is to accustom a population of wild animals to find a regular and constant source of food on its territory, which significantly increases its reproductive output.

Logically, the regulatory activity dear to hunters would be more effective by abandoning these counter-productive practices, possibly by focusing efforts on the protection of crops, which suffer from the damage inflicted by wild boars.

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