Officials want feral pigs stopped before they go hog wild

NANAIMO – Feral pigs have been spotted on multiple occasions in the Barkley Sound area north of Bamfield

Wild pigs

Wild pigs

Conservation watchdogs are eager to make bacon out of the latest invasive species threat facing Vancouver Island.

Feral pigs have been spotted on multiple occasions in the Barkley Sound area north of Bamfield.

And the Invasive Species Council of B.C. wants the animals removed from the region before they begin to spread, wreaking porcine havoc on indigenous plants and animals.

“They are an animal that is not part of the natural eco-system,” ISCBC executive director Gail Wallin said. “Pigs root and as they become wild, they become aggressive. They can absolutely devastate the vegetative cover.”

Wallin said she had no knowledge of how the animals – which have been seen near Carnation Creek on the south shores of Barkley Sound  – were introduced to the area. Given the nature of the region, an abandoned attempt at a pioneer-style homestead is as likely a theory as any.

Because the pigs have only been reported on an anecdotal basis, it is not known how many exist.

“I don’t have numbers, and I don’t expect there to be a lot,” she said.

Revelations of the pigs’ presence on the Island came during a three-day invasive species conference held this week in Richmond.

Delegates reported ongoing damage to crops and property in the Chilcotin, Cariboo and north Okanagan regions, on the heels of more serious issues in the United States.

Rooting wild pigs attack the eggs of ground-nesting birds, destroy crops, and create erosion problems. They can also be a source of infectious disease.

In an attempt to address the issue, the B.C. government declared open season on feral pigs in 2014, a situation that remains in force today. Anyone with a proper licence is free to hunt any feral pig within authorized areas.

Even though the presence of the pigs on the Island seems slight, Wallin said now is the time to be concerned. She points to the American bullfrog, a species that has devastated birds and small animals throughout south Island wetlands after being introduced following a failed frog leg farm experiment.

“We don’t want your pigs to become your frogs,” she said. “If the frogs were taken care of before they became a big issue, they wouldn’t be a big issue.”

Pigs not the only battalion in this invading horde

The Invasive Species Council of B.C. is a non-profit group dedicated to battling the spread of invasive plant and animal species and raising awareness about how they are introduced.

Members want people to know preventing the introduction of problem species can be as simple as determining the suitability of any flora before planting, or not releasing the contents your aquariums and terrariums into the wild.

“We want people to be responsible,” executive director Gail Wallin said.

Among the current species plaguing Vancouver Island are giant hogweed, which produces a burning sap, and European fire ants, which deliver a painful sting. Species authorities are trying to prevent from being introduced include zebra mussels, which can clog pipes and water intakes.

For more information on invasive species threatening the Island and the rest of B.C., please click here.

 

Just Posted

Saanich police took a suspect into custody after a store employee on Cedar Hill Cross Road was assaulted Wednesday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Employee assaulted at Saanich store after asking suspected shoplifters to leave

June 16 incident saw worker taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

There were 255 babies born in Victoria in May 2021. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pandemic baby boom makes for a busier Vancouver Island Father’s Day

Victoria’s 255 babies born in May up almost 10 per cent over last year

Residents encouraged to fill out online survey to provide feedback on regional needs. (Pixabay)
Toronto alternative band July Talk will be performing at the Royal Theatre in December. (Courtesy of July Talk)
Victoria ticket sales begin Friday for live July Talk concert

Juno-winning band scheduled to perform at Royal Theatre at Christmastime

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read