Saturday, 29 November 2014

ROADSIDE DIGGINGS ALMOST GONE

A survey carried out by Friends of the Boar has revealed that road diggings are 90% down on the same time last year.

"Both the area of diggings and degree of diggings is down to 2007 levels," states David Slater, Founder of Friends of the Boar.

The Forestry Commission has for years attempted to portray the length and degree of  roadside diggings as some sort of population indicator.  Using the Forestry Commissions own method of census, today's findings point to a huge population reduction.

This flies in the face of the Forestry Commission's recent Census using distance sampling and night-vision equipment.

"If the Forestry Commission succeed in promoting their scientific fraud of a census to the Forest of Dean District Council, with their aim of killing 400 wild boar next year, then the Forest of dean would not only loose all the boar, but the public confidence in the Forestry Commission too," says Slater.  "Our roadside diggings survey would suggest there are nowhere near 400 boar to kill right now, but of course that won't stop the Forestry Commission."  "They all too readily know that the mismanagement techniques they purposefully employ only lead to increase boar numbers for next year because of a natural rebound response in boar breeding behaviour."

Maybe it's time for the Forestry Commission to release some boar into the Forest?  Yes, that's right, just like they have done in the past.

11 comments:

  1. The're a nuisance. Kill them all.

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  2. I agree the FC are a nuisance, and maybe also folk who choose to live in a forest then rant on about killing the wildlife at their door. This includes squirrels, magpies, sparrowhawks, peregrines, wasps, wild flowers 9groewing in their gardens), etc. But killing these people is rather strong Alan!

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  3. Congratulations on a flippant and ill-considered response.
    1) Clearly you've also never given a moment's thought to the fact that maybe people moved into the area before boar became a problem.
    2) I've heard no complaints about the indigenous species that you mention, from any local, on top of which, these species (with the exception of the grey squirrel) have an unbroken lineage in the Forest.
    So, congratulations on comparing apples with oranges.
    Tell me: What effect have boar had in your area?

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  4. Certainly not flippant, unlike your previous two comments. Friends of the Boar are made up largely of people who live in the Forest of Dean. They are having a good impact on us nad the tourists who constantly ask us about them. Your initial flippant remark clearly deserved another, and one which we have heard all too many times from incomers to the forest, as well as, we admit, a small minority of usually older people. Boar in the Forest have a lineage that goes back to the Ice Age and before, until people began killing them for sport - mainly the aristocracy. We should have a duty to reintroduce them, especially because the Forest ecology depends upon them. A small minority believe the scaremongering rubbish in the local press and hence fear them for nonsense reasons. We see no logical reason to hate them as you do, but please give us your reasons.

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  5. No, the only lineage they had was eradicated. Therefore that lineage no longer exists, so if you're really serious about honesty I'd suggest you adopt it yourself and recognise that the boar currently in the forest are not of the same strain as that which was eradicated.

    1) "They are having a good impact on us nad the tourists who constantly ask us about them". Please supply a link to these statistics and your method of collecting this data. You consider yourself a stickler for the scientific method, so I'm sure this will be a simple task for you.
    2) My remark was that they're a nuisance and I have met others who also agree that they should be culled. Heavily.
    2) "We should have a duty to reintroduce them". Should we? Why should we? Shall we reintroduce wolves and bears, too?
    3) "...especially because the Forest ecology depends upon them". Does it, really? That being the case, how do forests manage to survive when there is a complete absence of boar? Or do you mean that an ecological system where boar proliferate is dependent upon the presence of boar? Because that's a circular argument. You like boar. It really is sufficient that you state that you like boar, rather than attempt to invent arguments simply because they suit your outlook.
    4) "A small minority believe the scaremongering rubbish in the local press...". And some of us have actually been on the receiving end of a boar charge. I don't read the local press.
    5) "We see no logical reason to hate them as you do". They do damage gardens. To reflect what someone else has said on your site, they do enormous damage to gardens, as they've done to mine. As mentioned, earlier, I have been charged by two boar.
    6) "Friends of the Boar are made up largely of people who live in the Forest of Dean". So that's you and your partner. Great.
    7) This one's priceless: "...and one which we have heard all too many times from incomers to the forest". Oh, of course. It's us "outsiders" who don't understand the boar, where you do. There's nothing quite like a bit of tribalism to desperately try to reinforce a weak position.
    That says a lot about you.

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    Replies
    1. DNA tests have proven that the Forest of Dean boar have no significant differences from European boar. However, since no previous British boar has been found capable of producing a DNA profile, the statement you pose may have some weight. But since Britain has not always been an island, it needs a good argument to state that boar in Europe never ventured as far as what is now Britain, especially given their willingness to travel.
      If we didn't reintroduce animals, including many of which have "broken lineages" (using your phrase), we wouldn't have Pied Flycatchers or Peregrines in the Forest, two very high profile animals here. Do you wish to exterminate them too because of your simple formula about "lineage"?

      Answers to the above are as follows:

      1) The University of Worcester did a survey some years back and it showed that people want the boar and found them an asset to the Forest of Dean. So did The Review in 2012, when 94% of those surveyed wished to keep the boar.
      2) You have no basis why they need culling, heavily, or otherwise, other than your personal preference. Do you hate people too? Just some of them maybe? Shall we kill just those things you personally hate?
      2) Reintroductions should be benficial to the environement, because the environment underpins all human life.
      3) Yes it does depend on animals like the boar. The Forest if Dean and many other Forests are so trashed because of Forestry operations, human disturbance, trampling, human litter, car ruts and introduction of alien species such as sheep, fallow deer and rabbits. Just because you can see a tree outside doesn't mean it isn't sick. In fact, The Forest of Dean trees are someof the sickest in the UK, hence why so much felling has gone on recently. This Forest needs help from the boar.
      4) Good, the local press are scaremongers and rarely ever get a story correct. Glad we agree on something.
      5) You are so very wrong! Most gardeners dig the soil to get better growth from plants. We dig the soil to plant the plants for goddness sake! Farmers do the same using a plough. Boar could make your garden very much better for the plants, but you'll have to sacrifice the trimmed edges. But, if you prefer manmade and manicured rather than natural and healthy, simply get your fence fixed and make sure you remove fallen fruit. This won't keep out those cats though from crapping in your veg patch or killing the birds at the feeder table. Can't help with that problem we're afraid.
      6) Friends of the Boar have no formal membership, but we are respected by the mainstream media. We have been interviewed many times, including this year, by Radio Gloucestershire, Radio 4's Farming Programme, BBC Springwatch and Autumnwatch, The Guardian, Independent, BBC Wildlife, The Daily Mail, and more.
      7) You are the one trying The Hegelian Dialectic here. Not to mention paraphrasing incorrectly.

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    2. Now this is the second time I've had to submit this rebuttal, as on the last occasion, posting my follow-up removed the original. How frustrating! Never mind.

      "But since Britain has not always been an island, it needs a good argument to state that boar in Europe never ventured as far as what is now Britain, especially given their willingness to travel". Just as well that I never attempted to say that they were never here. They were and then they became extinct. Firstly, Peregrines were never extinct and (according to the RSPB) their numbers dropped to about 20%. Secondly, neither peregrines nor pied flycatchers will charge at me, or damage my property, nor anyone else's. So that's not a very good analogy. Thirdly, I've not proposed any "formula". What are you on about? Peregrines and flycatchers are birds anyway and so we get a number of visitors to these shores and sometimes, with climatic change, populations may be eradicated or established, depending on the habitat available.

      1) What the University of Worcester may have done "some years back" is neither here nor there, because we are talking about boar with their numbers as they are now. Can you provide links to the study and the article in question? Even if what you state is correct, are you seriously suggesting that this issue should be solved by a simple democratic vote?
      2) Yes, I do have a basis for stating that they require culling, because their numbers will see them have an increasing impact on people's lives where they aren't wanted, which is precisely what's happening. A few years ago I hadn't even seen a boar and now they are in towns and villages and in my garden. "Do you hate people too? Just some of them maybe? Shall we kill just those things you personally hate?" That's a despicable thing to suggest. There are no depths to which you won't stoop, it seems.
      2) "Reintroductions should be benficial to the environement, because the environment underpins all human life". The environment does indeed underpin all life, but it's a non-sequitur to suggest that an environment that has actually been shaped by humans will necessarily benefit humans. Do you have evidence for this that you can link to?
      3) That whole paragraph is assertion after assertion while again, you post no evidence to corroborate any of your statements. You've basically used an argument along the lines of "someone has cancer, so let's give him an aspirin".
      4) I didn't agree with you on anything. I simply stated that I don't read the local press and that I've been charged by boar.
      5) "Most gardeners dig the soil to get better growth from plants. We dig the soil to plant the plants for goddness sake! Farmers do the same using a plough. Boar could make your garden very much better for the plants, but you'll have to sacrifice the trimmed edges". Lawn. Huge furrows and the look of rucked carpet all over it. Either you're finding this very difficult or you're deliberately avoiding addressing what I'm stating.
      "simply get your fence fixed and make sure you remove fallen fruit". Again, you've missed my point: The boar push fences and gates down and trample stock fences and I shouldn't have to worry about that because THERE WERE NO NOAR IN THE AREA WHEN I PURCHASED MY PROPERTY. Yet because of your hand-wringing over these animals; humans second, boar first. No. I don't accept that.
      6) "we are respected by the mainstream media. We have been interviewed many times". The fact that the mainstream media report your views says nothing about either your actual authority. It's just as likely done to provide balance, even if you are nut jobs.
      7) "You are the one trying The Hegelian Dialectic here". I don't think you know what you're taking about, there. I didn't paraphrase incorrectly, as I copy and pasted the words from your own posting.

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    3. Thanks Alan, we will try to answer your comments.

      1) The University of Worcester did a survey in 2011 and we believe has done another one very recently. This, and several newspaper surveys are the facts that you requested earlier to prove that people in the Forest of Dean wish to keep the boar and actually find them a positive experience. This democratic way of deciding is the means by which DEFRA have decided how to deal with wild boar, not us.

      2) Numbers of wild boar are not increasing and are not doing any more rooting than in previous years. This is nothing to do with culling either. Culling only makes numbers increase by giving survivors better food and shelter availability thus reducing natural mortality. Each year, boar leave the Forest according to the density of boar remaining. It has nothing to do with predators at all.

      3) When humans attempt to shape the environment it leads to all manner of ecological disasters. Many of this "shaping" is also accidental. We wish to see the true guardians of the countryside have their chance to rectify human mistakes. This includes boar, who are so brilliant at restoring a forest to health. This includes allowing dormant seeds to germinate and thus enriching insect populations and animals that depend on insects to feed.

      5) The boar rootings allow for natural plant growth and vigour, just like human gardeners wish to do. Boar also reduce invasive plants such as bracken. The boar are now here and wild and have been for almost 20 years. They have been in the UK continuously for a thousand years or more in farms or as feral animals put out to pannage. They only became exterminated (not extinct) in the wild because of poor science and capture (for breeding and meat), and therefore they are a priority species to reintroduce. Why? Because of the damage the humans have done with the forests and countryside since the boar were put into farms. There is actually no evidence at all to prove boar ever disappeared in the wild. It is only lack of historical writing that makes it an assumption. Escapes from farms has always been happening and therefore boar have always been a part of the UK countryside.

      6) No, we have helped with scientific papers, books on the ecology and behaviour of boar, and have helped magazine editors and writers on articles about the boar. This has been done without any need for opposing viewpoints but for science.

      Your opinion on what reintroductions make a nuisance to humans versus what flies in the air and doesn't harm anyone needs more thought. Goshawks (reintroduced bird) and Peregrines are two birds hated and persecuted by pigeon racers and gamekeepers alike. Arguing to eradicate a species in an area just because some section of the community doesn't like them is ludicrous and also divisive. If a boar ventures onto youir property, you are entitled to scare it away or even shoot it. This is less protection than domestoc cats get. Cats are hated as bird killers and garden shitting mammals yet we can't shoot the cat because it is has an owner.

      The divisive way in which people form camps of lovers and haters of wildlife will always continue. But some people, especially the press, prefer to stir this hatred and division up, and hence the Hegelian tactic of divide and rule.

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  6. Incidentally, given your propensity for continually twisting my words, the point regarding the eradication and the continued lineage of boar in the UK remains: This is that boar were eradicated by the 17th century, at the very latest. This does not mean that the populations of wild boar that were extant in the 16th century weren't genetically related, since they are clearly all suidea.
    This doesn't change the fact that "lineage" in terms of their existence in this area of Europe has been interrupted, whether or not you like it.
    I really have no idea why you object to the use of the term "lineage" in the context of the UK.
    It's an island.

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    1. Reply as above - boar have always been in the UK either as feral or wild animals. There is no evidence for boar disappearing from the UK other than lack of reporting. Although it perhaps seems more probable that hey did disappear, their lineage is unbroken if we include the boar that were probably captured for farming. These captures have a long history of escapes and thus the DNA profiles become blurred between true European wild boar (which doesn't exist even in Europe) and domestic pigs.

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