Under the leadership of the Estonian Nature Conservation Society, the wild boar was chosen to be the animal of 2015, with its abundance being the highest than ever over the past few years.
“There have been over 20,000 wild boars living in the Estonian forests already since 2007, more than ever before. A large population of pigs, which cannot be controlled, is a problem here and in many other European countries,” Head of Game Monitoring Department of the Environment Agency Peep Männil said.
Lowering the wild boar abundance would be an absolute necessity in terms of agriculture and reducing the risk of extensive damages made by wild boars on the natural environment. Moderate population density is also better for the welfare of wild boars, preventing possible diseases, for example, African swine fever, from spreading so extensively.
According to the hunters, in spring 2014, most of the pigs habituated in Lääne-Virumaa (1,910), followed by Raplamaa (1,760), Viljandimaa (1,750), Harjumaa (1,670) and Pärnumaa (1,500). Based on the last estimation, the abundance of pigs has slightly decreased.
A total of 20,885 wild boars were hunted in Estonia during the hunting season of 2013. Although it was one of the highest hunting volumes of wild boars ever, it is over 3,000 animals smaller than the year before.
So far, the animal of the year has been chosen three times: it was wolf in 2013 and ringed seal last year.