‘No piglets in sight’, the hunting season is still starting

A boar on the Veluwe. Photo: Omroep Gelderland

APELDOORN – The hunting season is just around the corner and the Gelderland Fauna Management Unit aims to shoot 2577 wild boars in the Veluwe. This is considerably less than in the period 2021-2022. Then hunters shot about nine thousand more boars. That seems like good news, but Harry Voss from Wildlife Conservation doesn’t think it’s enough.

He would rather have yesterday than today for the hunt to end. Also in the forest at Kroondomein in Apeldoorn, where regulations from the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality apply. The plan is to shoot fifty pigs. The year before there were still 785. Voss: “I’m happy that far fewer boars will be shot in the near future, but I still think it’s strange that 50 still have to be shot. This year I haven’t seen a single pig yet. And I’m there at least four times a week.”

See why Harry Voss wants to leave the boar hunt to the wolf.

Give the wolf a chance

Here, too, the boar population has greatly deteriorated. This is also evident from the figures. In the year 2021-2022, 1,260 were counted, now according to the latest count there are only 325 wild boars. “Why still shoot? Especially now that the wolf has also come into view. So give that wolf a chance. It does it by instinct, it’s a natural regulator!”, says Voss.

He is really angry that the Kroondomein forest is being fed again. Voss: “It is intended to lure animals to hunt. It is very clear that supplemental feeding is not allowed in the wild. See § 37 of the Nature Conservation Act. But it is always the same song. reported to the police against the crown. Property”. Much of this area will be closed to the public from Thursday 15th September to 25th December due to the kingfisher hunt.

Fewer acorns

The reason why far fewer boars are shot this year has everything to do with the strong natural decline in the number of animals. Erik Koffeman from the Gelderland Fauna Management Unit explains: “Due to the poor mast year last year, there was a major food shortage. There were far fewer acorns and beechnuts. This has ensured that the number of boars has shrunk enormously in the spring. Nature has taken care of itself . regulated in that connection.”

In the previous years, the number of wild boars in the Veluwe grew considerably, because with a lot of food, boars give birth to many young. A year with little food therefore automatically results in less growth. It raises the question of whether hunting is actually still necessary, also because a new natural enemy has existed for a few years now: the wolf.

Is hunting still necessary?

Edgar van der Grift, an ecologist at Wageningen University, laughs at the question of whether hunting is still necessary: ​​”It is still a serious question. We know very little about the wolf’s long-term effect. The important thing is that wolves are taken into account when counting animals culling It is not a rocket science to think you have less to shoot if there are wolves.”

The Royal Hunters’ Association is convinced that hunting is and will be necessary. Spokesman Elsemieke Ruifrok explains in writing: “We do not determine how many animals are shot annually. The numbers are determined by the province, which prepares a fauna management plan based on previously conducted counts and shooting numbers. It states exactly how many animals may be shot per year. area. stay.”

We all want to have the best possible balance between animals in nature

The Hunters’ Association is convinced that nature cannot regulate it itself. Ruifrok: “It is not possible in practice. We all want to have the best possible balance between animals in nature, in order to also limit a danger to public health and damage to nature. With bad mast years, a part actually falls. , but not enough to keep the balance.”

“The wolf takes what it can: males, females, young, sick and healthy, and does not distinguish. That distinction is important to prevent diseases, which is also in the interest of public health in the case of pigs, and unhealthy populations. management and to prevent damage to nature. Bad mast years, wolves and other factors affecting the number are taken into account when implementing the management.”

Also see: Wolf exhibited in Ede: ‘Must be proud’

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