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Eurasian boars spreading in NY

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(NY Department of Environmental Conservation) (NY Department of Environmental Conservation)
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

State wildlife workers are working to eradicate a population of Eurasian boars in New York State.

There are small numbers of Eurasian boars in New York but there are concerns that they might become an established population. Wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state since 2000, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties (Tioga, Cortland, Onondaga, Clinton, Sullivan and Delaware).

More than 150 of the animals have been captured and destroyed in recent years. However, eradication is expensive, time consuming and requires a great deal of manpower, according to the state.

Eurasian boars were brought to North America centuries ago and wild populations numbering in the millions are now present across much of the southern U.S. but they didn't start appearing in the north until much more recently.

A new regulation prohibiting hunting or trapping of the boars was formally adopted state Department of Environmental Conservation. Regulators blame escapes from enclosed shooting facilities that offer "wild boar hunts" for the growing numbers seen across the state.

“Hunters have offered to assist our efforts by hunting for boars wherever they occur, but experience has shown this to be counter-productive,” Commissioner Joe Martens said. “As long as swine may be pursued by hunters, there is a potential conflict with our eradication efforts.”

Hunting wild boar will still be allowed at enclosed hunting preserves until September 1, 2015.

Because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish a domestic pig, pot belly pig or Eurasian boar based solely on a description, reporting of all free-roaming swine is being encouraged by the general public. Photographs of the animals are especially helpful, regulators say.

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