New regulations are being proposed that will prohibit hunting or trapping of free-ranging Eurasian boars in the state so not to interfere with eradication efforts, the state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced today.
Eurasian boars first arrived in the country a few hundred years ago and have large populations today in the southern U.S. Recently, the boars have been seen in more northern states. At least six counties, Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan, and Delaware have confirmed sightings of the boars, the state said.
“Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, private property and public safety wherever they occur,” Martens said in a statement. “It’s important that we do all in our power to ensure that this invasive species does not become established in the wild anymore in New York State.”
The boars are often found in the wild after they escape from enclosed shooting facilities that offer wild boar hunts. In October, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that prohibited the importation, breeding, or introduction to the wild of any Eurasian boars. Hunting wild boars at hunting preserves will be allowed until 2015.
So far, more than 150 boars have been captured and destroyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the DEC. The two departments called the process expensive and time consuming.
“Many hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” Martens said in a statement. “As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our swine eradication efforts.”
When hunters shoot and kill a Eurasian boar, especially near a baited trap established by the DEC, their shots will make a group, or “sounder,” of boars scatter and the boars rarely return once scared off. The baited traps are usually useless afterwards and counterproductive to their eradication efforts, Martens said.
Anyone who observes a Eurasian boar is asked to report it to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or email email@example.com and use “Feral Swine” in the subject line.
Residents are asked to report the number, date, and exact location of the swine seen. Photographs can be included too.