Jammu & Kashmir

Non-native wild pigs on the loose in Kashmir, destroying local habitats, vegetation

Srinagar: More than 100 wild boars have been sighted over the year in the north Kashmir’s Baramulla district with wildlife officials receiving complaints from the farmers that they are damaging their crops.

Wild boars, or pig, which is not a native species of the valley made a comeback in Kashmir in 2010 after it was wiped out with the end of Dogra rule. For a long time it was believed that the non-native species has been eliminated from Kashmir.

However, the species have been sighted by the locals in and around Uri and Boniyar areas wandering in their fields and destroying their crops.

Khurshid Ahmad, a resident of Uri and a farmer by profession told Free Press Kashmir that they are regularly seeing these pigs in the field, along with their piglets.

“For the last nine month these species have been seen in the rice and maize fields. They have destroyed crops in my field. They uprooted maize crops and we suffered lots of damage,” he added.

Another farmer, Gulzar Ahamd said that pigs come along with their offspring in the fields and eat up everything.

“They turn everything upside down. We have to keep anyone in the field to keep the pigs at bay and protect our crops. We have already informed the wildlife authority about this,” he said.

Earlier in 2010 and 2013 the species have been sighted in the Dachigam National Park, Kajinag National Park and Lachipora wildlife sanctuary by the team of researchers who surveying Markhor.

ALSO READ: After decades wild boars make a comeback, sighted in select areas around Srinagar, Handwara

An official of the wildlife department said that the population of the wild boar have increased over the time.

“We have received information from Baramulla district administration and from the locals as well that they have sighted pigs and we have also seen them in the Uri and Boniyar area. They have destroying crops of farmers. They have been seen in teams by the people, which has indicated that their population is increasing,” said Altaf Koul, Range officer Baramulla.

He said that department as of now has not taken any step to control their population.

“We don’t know where they are coming from. We are just trying to prevent them to move towards the cultivated land,” he added.

Wildlife Warden Central, Altaf Hussain said that there is a good presence of wild boar inside the Dachigam National Park but their no census available as of now.

“They are showing over the period of time an increasing trend and we are planning to do census so that it is made clear that their population is increasing on the scientific ground. I have also recommended that a research should be done on what affect it will make on the habitat of other species,” he added.


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