We have seen an increase in wild animals in and around the Island of Montreal during the pandemic. There have been more and more sightings reported of coyotes, skunks and foxes. Just this past November a flock of wild turkeys took a romp through the Plateau-Mont-Royal area. Even raccoons and squirrels have become bolder in their choice of delicacies. However, it does not really compare to a Wild Boar seen in the Magog area in the Eastern Townships.
Residents of Magog have been asked to be on alert for a wild boar, an invasive species that has been spotted in the area. Municipal authorities were contacted by the Quebec Ministry of Forest, Wildlife and Parks, after a wild boar was seen on Chemin des Peres in the town. On the the Ville de Magog Facebook page a post was put up that read, ‘We are asking for your cooperation to report this animal to the ministry so that it can be collected as soon as possible. This wild boar can cause significant damage to crops and establishments. Those who spot the invasive animal are asked to call 1-800-463-2191’. Another notice also warned residents ‘to not approach the animal, but slowly and calmly move away from it… in addition, hunters are reminded that shooting a wild boar is not permitted.’ If not dealt with properly, wild boars can prove to be a very serious problem.
A scientific report found on Nature Research’s (a division of the international scientific publishing company Springer) explains: “Invasive species can spread rapidly at local and national scales, creating significant environmental and economic impacts. A central problem in mitigation efforts is identifying methods that can rapidly detect invasive species in a cost-effective and repeatable manner. This challenge is particularly acute for species that can spread over large areas (>1 million km2). Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one of the most prolific invasive mammals on Earth and cause extensive damage to agricultural crops, native ecosystems, and livestock, and are reservoirs of disease. They have spread from their native range in Eurasia and North Africa into large areas of Australia, Africa, South America, and North America. We show that the range of invasive wild pigs has increased exponentially in Canada over the last 27 years following initial and ongoing releases and escapes from domestic wild boar farms. The cumulative range of wild pigs across Canada is 777,783 km2, with the majority of wild pig distribution occurring in the Prairie Provinces. We evaluate eight different data collection and evaluation/validation methods for mapping invasive species over large areas, and assess their benefits and limitations. Our findings effectively map the spread of a highly invasive large mammal and demonstrate that management efforts should ideally rely on a set of complementary independent monitoring methods. Mapping and evaluating resulting species occurrences provide baseline maps against which future changes can be rapidly evaluated.”
If you spot any unusual animals or activity in your area, please contact your municipality as soon as possible.