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Thread: Cull orders on wild boars

  1. #1
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    Default Cull orders on wild boars

    Cull orders on wild boars
    Mir Ayoob Ali Khan, TNN, Aug 16, 2010, 01.44am IST

    HYDERABAD: Buckling under pressure from farmer lobbies, the chief wildlife warden (CWW) has authorized divisional forest officers (DFOs) to kill the wild boar, a commonly found animal in the wild that is accused of destroying crops.

    The permission granted last week is perhaps the first of its kind in AP for culling a wild animal. The order issued by CWW also says that the DFOs could assign the job of culling wild boars to hunters and others. Though the CWW has put certain conditions for the killing of the animal, wildlife experts believe that since the authorization is for the entire state and transferable to hunters, the possibility of its misuse becomes huge.

    A wild boar which belongs to the Suidae biological family, that also includes domestic pigs, is known for rampaging agricultural and horticultural crops. In some cases, the animal has also attacked and killed humans. The nocturnal animal roves in groups of about 20 and with its pair of sharp extended canines could dig up ground to extract tubers and roots. It mostly eats nuts, berries, carrion, refuse, insects, small reptiles, etc. The districts of Chittoor, Anantapur, Kurnool, Adilabad, Mahbubnagar, East Godavari and West Godavari are affected by wild boar forays. Farmers have been killing wild boars by setting up snares and fencing of fields by live electrical wires.

    According to sources, reports of crop damage by wild boars first came from Chittoor, the home district of minister for forest and environment Ramchandra Reddy, about six months ago. It was claimed that the wild boars have eaten away nearly two third of the groundnut seedlings in the district. The Chittoor district DFO was given permission to deal suitably to what was termed as wild boar menace. Soon after, the CWW was told that the problem is not restricted to Chittoor alone and he should therefore include the entire state in his order. Faced with an unprecedented situation, CWW Hitesh Malhotra reportedly sought direction from the government which quickly responded that since the problem is widespread he should give orders to all his field officers to cull the animal.

    According to wildlife experts, the order should not have been so sweeping in nature. The government should have asked the department to deal with the wild boar problem on a case-by-case basis. There are certain districts from where no complaint of wild boar attack has been reported. Though the CWW has struck a few notes of caution in his orders such as the presence of a range officer during the culling of the animal by hunters, declaring the dead animal property of the government and burying the body three feet under the ground, experts believe that such guidelines are not practical. The DFO would not be able to spare a range officer (RO) on every wild boar hunting expedition and even if the RO is assigned the job he would not be able to keep a tab on the hunters. The hunters could be killing many animals but claiming that they have hunted only a few of them.

    Experts believe that the permission would lead to massacre of wild boars. However, defending the decision a forest department officer said that it has been given only on an experimental basis. The forest department would review the situation next year and decide the future course of action. But it is anybody's guess how many wild boars will be gone for ever till then.

    Read more: The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...#ixzz0wsKmyQuU
    Mrudul Godbole

  2. #2
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    We often hear disturbing news from Andhra Pradesh. One wonder what is the wildlife left in the state despite having good forest cover.

    What an ill-conceived plan this culling is.. Wildpigs are gregarious and prolific breeders. When their numbers swell, it is obvious that we have thinned out its predators - primarily leopards, tigers and wilddogs.

    Extending stringent protection to predators will ensure biological control on pig numbers. Culling is not an option.

    For time being score of other options are available to keep them off the fields which officials should explore in a wide manner. A central African country had similar concern with warthogs (African version of wildpigs) and they had effectively reduced the conflicts through novel innovative ideas.

  3. #3
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    New Delhi


    I agree with Laxminarayanan. People don't realise that nature maintains a balance. The population of one species explodes whenever its natural predators die or are killed. Unfortunately, we never look for the root cause of the problem. So our knee jerk reactions result in further muddying the situation.


  4. #4
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    This is a really irrationally thought out move. The repercussions of such an activity on a large scale can grossly shift the balance which exists in biodiversity.
    With the sharp decline in the number of vultures, Wildboar have become the primary scavengers along with hyenas. Their presence is therefore vital for the ecology.
    The officials should understand this before releasing such orders.
    Bibhav Behera

  5. #5
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    Hyderabad A.P.


    A lot is said about the cull of wild boar (pigs) here in A.P. I have been working on a lot of issues regarding wildlife, conflicts etc. Most wild boar live within or near crops and horticulture gardens. Wild boar take shelter in sugar cane, maize and gram fields and also in patches of Lantana and Prosopis. There is therefore no predator worth its salt to keep wild boar in check. People are injured, crops destroyed - result - electrification of fields, poisoning of feed etc. And what happens? The wild boars with their keen sense of smell and / or prior experience give it a wide berth while blackbuck, monkeys, jackals and domestic livestock fall prey to these devices. So, to contain the wild boar menace maize coated percussion explosives are used. Some die on biting this 'feed' the larger ones though have their snouts blown off and live to die a very agonising death. So a better option is to shoot them. But there should be a season (when high value crops are grown) and not a year round open season.

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