The Straits Times says

Wild boars need careful management

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News that wild boars are likely to recolonise the whole of Singapore in the next decade might baffle some. What it means, according to a recent study, is that the boars have naturally recolonised most of the viable green spaces in the country except for the southern forests, but are likely to do so in the next decade. Spectral prospects of citizens being chased out of the Republic by hordes of wild pigs are not true, of course. While wild boars pose a problem, it is one that can be solved through human ingenuity and discipline. At the very least, the arrival of African swine fever here in early February is likely to decimate the wild-boar population because of the disease’s mortality rate of more than 90 per cent.

Even in that case, however, survivors will remain and continue to pose an environmental problem. According to the National Parks Board (NParks), the wild boar is a native animal which can weigh up to 100kg and has a lifespan of more than 20 years. It is omnivorous but feeds mainly on seeds, tubers and young plants. Each female can begin to reproduce at 18 months and can produce four to six piglets a year. Thus, in two decades, wild boars have spread rapidly and increased in many forest patches, their demographic presence in nature exacerbated by abundant food sources, the absence of predators, and a complete ban on hunting in Singapore. When overabundant, they can hurt ecosystems by changing plant compositions in forests through foraging and nest-building, by causing local plants to go extinct, and by damaging the forest’s ability to regenerate. They also have intruded into human life violently, as in the case of a woman who was knocked unconscious in Yishun in 2022. The culprit was caught and euthanised.

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