Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Wild Boar Cull Update & a Few Pics

The wild boar have been present in the Forest of Dean for nearly 10 years now and for the last 6 or 7 of these, the anti-boar brigade come out of hiding at this time of the year with their rants.
The rants have been at a surprisingly low level compared to recent years, except for one local area, or Hamlet as the local press refers to it.

Two gentlemen who live in the quaint little Hamlet, tucked deep into the Forest of Dean recently went to the BBC with their complaints regarding the wild boar.
If you are interested, the article can be found HERE
As they were quick enough to go to the BBC with their concerns and comments, I am sure they will be more than eager to know what other people think. 

So here goes...

Now I have no objection to people complaining as this is their right, but to move (recently) into an area, which is about as deep into the forest as you can get, where wild boar are known to be and have been living wild for many years, and giving that the one residence is a pub. Surely they expected wildlife on their doorstep?

To do this, knowing very well that the boar were there and to now ask for the wildlife to be exterminated is basically, in my opinion, sick!

The Forestry Commission are currently culling (managing) the wild boar in the Forest of Dean, but this isn't enough for certain folk, as they are saying "not enough are being killed" and they want them completely eradicated.
What I would like to know is where these people stand when it comes to wildlife ecology? Do they have a PhD in wildlife management, wild boar, wildlife/forest ecology? No they don't, so their venting is based on a pure hatred for this animal and nothing more.

Everyone has a right to live in any area they want to, but if you choose to live in an area where you know "what wildlife is present" and then ask for it to be exterminated because you don't like it and want perfectly manicured Forestry Commission land outside your boundary fence is ridiculous and persecution beyond words.

At least the wild boar has some heavyweights behind them, backing them up in the form of Andy Rouse & Chris Packham who became our Patrons last year.

Andy Says... (photo coming soon)

"The Wild Boar was a native species in the UK for thousands of years playing an intrinsically important role in our landscapes ecology.
Now it has returned to some areas we need to adapt to accept its presence and manifest a rational tolerance to its behaviours and impacts on our lives.
It is a real and very positive agent amongst our impoverished and persecuted fauna.
Please live and let the boar live too"

Chris Says...

Chris Packham - Patron to UKWBT

I am sure that the professionals, charged with the management of the wild boar in the Forest of Dean will not bow down and give in to these persecutors and do what is right for the animal and the forest, and manage them correctly.

What I would love more than anything, is for either one of the gentlemen screaming for the boar's blood to ask me to "put up with it" as I would gladly swap my modest town home for a home, deep in the forest surrounded by wildlife. I would be in heaven and I can only but hope that they take me up on the offer, but I don't think this will be happening!

One of the main problems with wild boar hanging around residential areas is down to the fact that people are feeding them and although UKWBT has spend hundreds of pounds on more than one campaign to help see this stopped, unfortunately it is still happening and we are still getting reports of feeding and tame boar throughout the Forest of Dean.

The image below shows a male boar nicknamed (Freddy the Freeloader) at a popular picnic site in the Forest of Dean, walking brazenly amongst locals and tourists during the summer.
Now ask yourself this question. Is this the fault of the animal or is this the fault of the people responsible for habituating him, causing his to lose his natural fear of humans be feeding him?
Remember, every wild animal we tame, we are forever responsible for. 

Freddy - Fed regularly and lost his fear of humans

Well, I suppose we only have to take this persecution until late January early February and then the grass will grow back and the boar can breath a sigh of relief until the Autumn of 2014, when the rants will start again!

Now, to put you in good spirits here are are a few images from the archives. I haven't been able to get out recently due to a ruptured disk in my back, but with Autumn around the corner at least we have some wonderful colours to look forward to (I'm just glad boar can't climb trees!!!)

Pond Skater

Melanistic Adder Basking

Female Adder Basking

Same Female - Macro Portrait

Autumn - Forest of Dean

Autumn - Forest of Dean

Autumn - Forest of Dean

Amethyst Deceiver 

Extra Large Fungi!


Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Wild Boar - More Dangerous than Guns & Drugs?

Forest & Wye Valley Review - Wednesday 2nd October 


Tell me something PLEASE, is it just me or is wild boar rooting in the Forest of Dean more important than guns and drugs being seized in the county?
So why is it that the Review Newspaper seems to think it is?

Has the FoD gone mad, or maybe just the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review with it's wildlife hating editor?

Yes, of course boar rooting is an issue for some and deserves a place in the media, but this newspaper (The Review), nor any of the other local publications for that matter actually takes the time to go into detail as to why this happens "at this time of year, every year."
Do they even know why the boar root at this time of the year?

And I wonder who chose the words - "Questions are being asked about the future of wild boar in the Dean."
The Editor again no doubt? So, Mr. *****, please don't forget that you are talking about a living creature, which has as much right to live as any other creature on this planet, including human beings. They are being killed as we speak so don't bloody say nothing is being done to control them either!!!

Someone, or rather a few are getting very rich off these animals and it doesn't need a mathematician to work out that there are hundreds of boar being killed legally and illegally every year, as I have detailed below.

Where is the money going?
Do this animal some justice and do some PROPER research and please answer this in your next article Mr. Editor.

Consider yourself lucky that no other mammal alive today has the capability to cull as we do, as you can be sure, we would be No1 on the list!

You will find below, some simple arithmetic, which will hopefully show that, like I said, hundreds of boar are being slaughtered right under our noses every year.
Why doesn't this make it into the media? Because like I said, someone is getting very rich off this and as well as upsetting these people with guns, it also means someone has to do some "real reporting."

The below is based on averages, with each sow giving birth once a year and successfully raising 4 young.

Year 1
100 boar present with 50% being female
50 females successfully raise 4 young per season (average)
Coupled with original 100, this gives us 300
20% mortality rate - Legal/illegal killing, RTA's & natural death
This leaves us with 240

Year 2
240 boar present with 50% being female
120 females successfully raise 4 young per season (average)
Coupled with original 240, this gives us 720
20% mortality rate - Legal/illegal killing, RTA's & natural death
This leaves us with 576


Year 3
576 boar present with 50% being female
288 females successfully raise 4 young per season (average)
Coupled with original 576, this gives us 1,728
20% mortality rate - Legal/illegal killing, RTA's & natural death
This leaves us with 1,382

Year 4
1,382 boar present with 50% being female
691 females successfully raise 4 young per season (average)
Coupled with original 1,382, this gives us 2,073
20% mortality rate - Legal/illegal killing, RTA's & natural death
This leaves us with 1,658

Year 5
1,658 boar present with 50% being female
829 females successfully raise 4 young per season (average)
Coupled with original 1,658, this gives us 4,975
20% mortality rate - Legal/illegal killing, RTA's & natural death
This leaves us with 3,980

I photographed my first wild boar late in 2004. That is nearly 10 years ago, not five as detailed above, so you can add at least another 2,500 to this number = 6,480 boar unaccounted for.

It was recently admitted by the Forestry Commission that we currently have, in the region of 535 boar in the Forest of Dean in 2013.
So how do they account for the FIVE THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE BOAR, which should be here?

To all the critics who say that wild boar can have multiple births per-year AND have in excess of 12 offspring per-birth, "YOU" can quadruple this number.
So, if you "THE SO CALLED BOAR EXPERTS" are right, where are the 23,780 boar?

I have no idea how much is paid on the black market for wild boar meat, but let's just say it is £2 per-pound and that each animal weighs an "average" of 150lbs.
£300 per animal multiplied by a modest 3,000 boar = £900,000. Yep, that is close to ONE MILLION POUNDS!

Now, this is aimed directly at the people who "ARE" getting rich off these animals. How about anonymously donating some money to the unfortunate people who lose their lawns, football pitches and see high vet bills?
Surely £300 from £900,000 is hardly going to break the bank is it?

To the Review - Please try and report the whole facts instead of just persecuting an animal, which didn't ask to be here in the first place by the way?