Ask any farmer or landowner from the southern United States and they will tell you feral pigs, otherwise know as the Eurasian Wild Pig are one of the biggest nuisances they face. With populations at unprecedented levels and their presence being felt in 39 states (or more), these beasts terrorize farmers and landowners by destroying crops and rooting up land. Simple put they are the definition of invasive.
So why discuss them on a blog centred around Southern Ontario?
It seems we too may soon have to deal with these invasive pests according to recent memorandum released by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Apparently feral pigs have been spotted in the united counties of Prescott and Russell which are located east of Ottawa between Ottawa and Hawkesbury. According to the memorandum, the MNR have authorized farmers and hunters to kill feral pigs under the authority of a small game licence (See a copy of the memorandum below).
All pertinent hunting rules and regulations regarding safety still remain in effect while hunting these animals and all kills or sighting should be reported to the ministry of natural resources at 1-800-667-1940. Those interested in more information on Wild boars in Ontario are also encouraged to contact the MNR. In addition, “Wildboars in Canada” is a website dedicated to tracking sightings and encounters across the province.
Invasive species can be a problem for any ecosystem and those found in Ontario are no exception. Do your part and report any sightings of feral pigs, or any other invasive species for that matter, to the MNR.
P.S (If you see one, don’t be afraid to leave a comment below or send an email. I make a mean smoked bacon and I have no problems travelling!)
A Sunday or two ago my wife and I decided to take a walk near the water front in down town Kingston with our little one. The night was calm and cool and it was a perfect evening to be out and about downtown. We had no destination in mind aside from some ice cream at white mountain and we ended up strolling along the water front near confederation basin. Once along the shores we were greeted by a pretty large flock of mallard ducks interdispersed with some geese and other birds dabbling in the harbour. This excited my little one to no end and as she played I realized how often I have overlooked these birds. Bobbing the in waters of the harbour, chasing each other around or dabbling for food. They seemed like part of the background or worse, are considered nuisances because of the amoutn of feces they produce. On an easy night like tonight though, they seemed to appear just as beautiful as the wild ones I encounter in the blind. As my little attempted to feed the quacking mass my thoughts drifted towards these birds and how such vibrant things could exist in the middle of a city.
Upon further reflection I marvelled at these birds and that no matter how much we change the landscape, destroy habitat, pollute our environment, life still seems to find a way to survive and flourish. Mallard ducks and Canadian geese for that matter, are a prime example of this as they seem to flourish when living near humans. While enjoying the relative safety a downtown park brings, the ducks and geese are provided with ample food from passers by, grassed lawns and number of other plant species that thrive in our harbours. We have essentially created a custom fitted, bread laden paradise for these little creatures.
Although its not their naturally intended setting, its nice to see that in this case, destruction of natural habitat has actually ended up having the exact opposite effect from what would be expected. Further, its nice to have this aspect of nature still prevalent in our downtown cores. Perhaps next time folks get upset about the amount of duck and geese poop on their lawn or in a field we should take a moment and imagine what it would be like if they weren’t there.
I wonder what my little one could feed during our Sunday evening walks then…..
Cheers from the wild in the middle of town,
Its easy to forget how diverse the flora and fauna in Ontario really is. So, to remind my readers of the amazing things you can see outdoors I decided to start posting info on all the crazy creatures I stumble across on my forays into the wild.
First up……. The Dragon Fly!
Ontario is home to approximately 172 species of Odonates, commonly called Dragonflies or Damsel flies. These little beauties are major predators in the insect kingdom eating smaller insects including mosquitos, wasps, flies and ants.
Some other interesting facts about Dragonflies:
-maximum speed of a dragon fly was recorded at 97 km/h!
-eggs are laid in or near water!
-the larval stage of a dragon fly can last as long as 5 years!
What an amazing little insect!
Cheers From the Wild