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New thermal camera to be used to track Forest of Dean's wild boar numbers

By citizengibbon  |  Posted: March 15, 2013

Wild boar near Blakeney, picture by Adrian Worrall

Wild boar near Blakeney, picture by Adrian Worrall

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The first 2013 litters of baby wild boar are being spotted, as campaigners take proactive action to help manage the controversial animal.

Annual culling of boar ended in January and a new state-of-the-art thermal imaging camera will be used to try to gauge the size of the population before it starts again in the autumn.

It comes as campaign group UK Wild Boar Trust (UKWBT) met with Forestry Commission rangers in a bid to foster better relations and agree to work in partnership.

A statement from the Forest-based UKWBT said: "Both parties have agreed to work together on the management of the Forest of Dean wild boar population and any upcoming culls.

"UKWBT will continue campaigning to ensure that if a cull is to go ahead, it will only happen if absolutely necessary and on the back of an accurate or logical estimation of population numbers."

The group said it is against using lethal methods to manage the boar but said it understands it is the only practical way to do it at present.

Ian Harvey, chief wildlife ranger for the Forestry Commission in the Dean, said: "The cull ended in January and we are back into a monitoring stage now.

"UKWBT is doing its own census, getting people to report sightings and we are grateful for that information.

"We met to establish lines of communication and they understand it's a sensitive subject but we are moving the subject forward now."

Boar have divided opinion in the Forest and it is difficult to accurately tell how big the population is.

A new state-of-the-art thermal imaging camera has been bought by Forestry Commission England which will be used for night sightings before a cull target is set for next year.

Culling should begin again in September, Mr Harvey said.

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14 comments

  • Diddakoi  |  March 19 2013, 5:44PM

    Oh I think that there is enough publicity about the boar! ...and do we really need any more tourists asking where they can hand feed their children to the feral boar ......no wait that should read allow their feral children to feed the boar ...no wait....

    |   -1
  • ForestWolfie  |  March 18 2013, 5:29PM

    Tell you what geraint2010 - they're fast enough when they want to be! If you're cycling on the track by Cannop ponds and you get a family of boar between the track and the water they have nowhere to go, so they come up fighting! They haven't got me yet, but they give you plenty of motivation to pedal as fast as you can. I'm not sure they're family friendly...

    |   -2
  • geraint2010  |  March 18 2013, 10:07AM

    SG1970, Did I suggest boar should be allowed to breed freely and unchecked? I most certainly did not! Yes of course boar numbers have to be managed just as feral deer do - what I do NOT agree with, however, is our age-old tradition of annihilating anything that poses even a minor nuisance. The win-win solution is to work with nature, give people the opportunity to watch the boar running free in their natural habitat, and – if they so desire - sample their excellent meat!

    |   3
  • jonno2010  |  March 15 2013, 5:35PM

    Zinboya,if you want boar burgers you need to go to Stantones in Cinderford theyve been selling them for ages.

    |   -2
  • SG1970  |  March 15 2013, 4:59PM

    Geraint - Boar will fight or attack anything that threatens their litter, regardless of size. They have no predators in the forest, so will breed freely and unchecked. They will rapidly become a problem.

    |   1
  • jonno2010  |  March 15 2013, 4:32PM

    Totally agree with TimMessanger,its about time the Forestry Commision got ther act together and culled the lot of them they are destroying the Forest.

    |   -6
  • jonno2010  |  March 15 2013, 4:31PM

    Totally agree with TimMessanger,its about time the Forestry Commision got ther act together and culled the lot of them they are destroying the Forest.

    |   -4
  • nonrules  |  March 15 2013, 1:31PM

    I would like to have a boar pelt if one is available !

    |   -5
  • lordigaga  |  March 15 2013, 12:49PM

    Franks big cat's will keep them in check, tho, don't seem to any sighting's lately

    |   -2
  • zinboya  |  March 15 2013, 11:39AM

    How about culling them and turning them into boar burgers.

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