APN-Hyogo International Symposium on Wild Boar Management in Urban Areas

1 August 2015, Hyogo, Japan — An international symposium on Wild Boar Management in Urban Areas was organised by APN and the Hyogo Prefectural Government at the Hyogo House, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture.

The symposium, attended by about 300 participants, featured four presentations on wild boar management particularly highlighting the issue of human-wildlife conflict. Aiming to learn from the experiences of experts and gather insights on the various techniques of wildlife management from abroad, the symposium also featured a panel discussion focused on the current situation of Hyogo and existing measures being taken in managing wild boar intrusion in urban areas and addressing the interrelated impacts on human livelihood and settlements.

Intensive discourse on wildlife management were delivered by the invited speakers prior panel discussions.

Prof. Marco Apollonio, University of Sassari, Italy, made a comprehensive presentation of the issues involved on the spread of wild boars ranging at the urban cities of Europe.

Dr. Mark Smith, Auburn University, United States of America, shared the case of the massive explosion of feral pig populations in the US and mentioned that feral hogs are one of the most destructive invasive species in the country. In solving this issue, he enumerated the various management systems and lethal and non-lethal countermeasures that are being undertaken by the US government.

Prof. Lee Woo-Shin, Seoul National University, South Korea, cited current challenges concerning the numbers of wild boars on the rise in Seoul and described ongoing research on predicting distribution of wild boars using MaxEnt, a tool used in ecological niche modelling. Prof. Lee stated that climate and global change affects the distribution of wild boars in such a way that when climate gets warmer and species’ natural habitat shrinks because of constant development, individuals tend to migrate and intrude human-occupied areas in search for food. Furthermore, he added that climate change can further exacerbate problems arising from wild boar intrusion (e.g. wild boars as potential carriers of disease) and emphasised that wild boars respond to global warming by both an increase in local population densities and expansion of their geographical range.

Providing the last presentation focusing on the current status and recommendations to wild boar management in Mt. Rokko, Dr. Mayumi Yokoyama, Hyogo Wildlife Management Research Center (WMI Hyogo), Japan, talked about WMI’s present work on the population dynamics of Japanese wild boars (Sus scrofa leucomystax) in Hyogo Prefecture and the gave insights about the clever biological and behavioural traits of the species. She also stated that the problem of wild boars in Hyogo is rooted in the wrong perception about the species and the incorrect human practices that alter its behaviour (e.g. feeding the wild boars). 

Key messages were drawn from the speakers at the end of the symposium. These key points include:

  • Hyogo Prefecture is on the right track in terms of wild boar management, it is highly suggested that the government proceed with its ongoing efforts and be extremely consistent.
  • Changing people’s perception of wildlife is an important component of management.
  • Recommended action to considering removing wild boar individuals in the urban areas as quickly as possible to control spread and proliferation.
  • Wildlife management and control in urban areas is a social and cultural issue. Research on the subject is still not sufficient, and issues should be dealt with in a case-to-case basis as management schemes, technology and availability of resources differs from one country to another.

(Reported by Christmas de Guzman, APN Secretariat)