Eurasian boars would off-limits for hunters in New York state if regulations proposed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation are approved.
Public comments are being taken through Jan. 25 on the proposed new rules, which would prohibit hunting or trapping free-ranging Eurasian boars anywhere in the state.
According to a media release from the DEC, the proposal is designed to ensure maximum effectiveness of DEC’s statewide eradication efforts. The species, which was brought to North America centuries ago, was previously found mostly in the southern United States, but populations have recently spread north. The boars are considered an invasive species in New York state.
“Eurasian boars are a great threat to natural resources, agricultural interests, private property and public safety wherever they occur,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in the release. “It’s important that we do all in our power to ensure that this invasive species does not become established in the wild anywhere in New York state.”
Since 2000, wild boars have been reported in many counties across the state, and breeding in the wild has been confirmed in at least six counties, including Delaware County, in recent years. DEC is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program to remove Eurasian boars reported in New York, but Martens said that hunting has made the task more difficult.
“Shooting individual boars as opportunities arise is ineffective as an eradication method, and this often causes the remaining animals to disperse and be more difficult to remove,” Martens explained.
The proposed regulations provide exceptions for state and federal wildlife agencies, law enforcement agencies and others to alleviate nuisance, property damage, or threats to public health or welfare.
Martens encouraged anyone who observes a Eurasian boar (dead or alive) in the wild in New York to report it as soon as possible to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office or to: firstname.lastname@example.org and include “Feral Swine” in the subject line.
Text of the proposed regulation was published in the New York State Register on December 11, 2013. The full text of the regulation change and instructions for submitting comments can be found on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/34113.html.