In the recent Biodiversty of Singapore Symposium III held at NUS, there was an amusing trend for some of the speakers to introduce their subjects by imitating curious members of the public. Recently, I had a similar comment from a neighbour when I told her about my project.
“Singapore got Wild Boars, meh?” the middle-aged auntie asked.
Yes! Singapore does indeed have wild pigs in the forests. They have even been sighted more frequently in our urban environment, although usually those that lie adjacent to forest patches. From my ‘About’ page in this blog, you will be able to find more detailed information about their recent recolonization. In addition to that, I will be posting updates on recent sightings of wild pigs here.
So whats the big deal about having wild pigs here? Isn’t it good to have a native species back in our forests?
There are 2 main reasons why this is a concern. 1.) The forests in which the wild pigs live in today are drastically different from what they were many decades back. Forests in Singapore are highly fragmented and tightly packed amongst the urban environment. 2.) Their main natural predators such as the tigers and the leopards have long been extinct. They pretty much get free roam of the forests today.
This will likely mean a higher frequency of wildlife-human occurances in the future, something that we are familiar with in the Long-tailed Macaques (Macaca fascicularis) and Commom Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) situations. Wild pigs are highly intelligent animals and they are relatively much bigger than the aforementioned two animals too. Such wildlife-human conflicts are already happening in other places such as Florida, the UK, Berlin and Hong Kong.
We hope to better understand the situation in Singapore in order to minimise similar wildlife-human conflicts in the future.