Govt urged to improve estimation on boar population

Govt urged to improve estimation on boar population

Some legislators on Monday called on the government to find better ways to estimate the number of wild boars in Hong Kong.

Speaking at a Legco panel meeting, some lawmakers including Chan Chun-ying from the finance sector told officials that an accurate gauge is important in devising a plan to properly manage the wild pig population.

Another lawmaker, Steven Ho from the Agriculture and Fisheries constituency, said he believes the number of wild boars in the city far exceed the government’s estimate of between 1,800 to 3,000.

“In some places in Japan, the authorities use several methods to make accurate estimates on the number of boars,” he said.

“They then monitor how the population changes every year so that they can tweak their management strategy accordingly.”

A director from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Leung Siu-fai, said the authorities are using what they believe is the best method.

“At the moment we are using infrared cameras to capture the number and the distribution of wild pigs, we’ve also consulted statisticians as to how we can adopt the sampling methods to assess the distribution of wild pigs,” Leung said.

“We’ve decided that using infrared cameras and through long term surveillance we will be able to actually arrive at a more accurate number.”

Meanwhile, the secretary for environment and ecology, Tse Chin-wan, said after considering the advice of lawmakers, officials have now narrowed their estimate of the wild pig population to 2,500.

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