• baby boars

    Sure, these young boars look cute, but in Saskatchewan, wild boars, which are non-native to the province, are becoming a huge problem for farmers and conservationists. (Photo: Natally Klaric/Can Geo Photo Club)

They’re big, bad and bristly, and they’re tearing up parts of Saskatchewan at an alarming rate.

Wild boars, which escaped or were released from their pens after being introduced to the province in the 1990s as part of an agriculture diversification initiative, are an “ecological train wreck,” says Ryan Brook, an associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources. “They eat anything, have a tremendous impact on agricultural and native vegetation, harass livestock and can spread disease. They’re as close to an ideal invasive species as one could find.”

Brook has created a map of rural municipalities where wild boars have been spotted and tells the CBC sightings have risen dramatically, but adds it's difficult to know exactly how many boars are in the province. 

This graphic explains some key features of the porky pests, and the impact they’re having on the local habitat.

Wild boar facts

(Photo illustration: Ksenia Nigmanova/Canadian Geographic)