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Climate impact of over 1 million wild boars

“Boars are like tractors that plow fields, turn the soil over and look for food,” said Dr. O’Brien.Credit: University of Queensland

By uprooting carbon trapped in the soil, wild pigs emit about 4.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually worldwide. That’s the equivalent of 1.1 million cars.


An international team led by researchers at the University of Queensland and the University of Canterbury used a predictive population model combined with advanced mapping techniques to identify the climate damage caused by wild pigs on five continents.

Dr. Christopher O’Brien of UQ said the ever-growing population of wild pigs around the world could pose a significant threat to climate.

“A wild boar is like a tractor plowing a field and turning it over. soil To find food, “said Dr. O’Brien.

“A man who cultivates a field, in this case Wild animals It is uprooted and carbon is released into the atmosphere.

“Soil contains about three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, so even a small portion of the carbon released from the soil can accelerate climate change.

“Our model shows a wide range of results, but wild pigs are likely to be uprooting an area of ​​about 36,000-124,000 square kilometers today in a non-native environment.

“This is a vast land that not only affects soil health and carbon emissions, but also threatens biodiversity and food security, which are essential for sustainable development.”

Climate impact of over 1 million wild boars

“Our model shows a wide range of results, but it shows that wild pigs are now likely to uproot an area of ​​about 36,000-124,000 square kilometers in a non-native environment,” O’Brien said. The doctor says.Credit: University of Queensland

The team used an existing model of boar numbers and locations to simulate a 10,000 map of the potential world boar density.

They then modeled the amount of soil area hampered by long-term studies of wild boar damage across lowland grasslands to subalpine forests in a variety of climatic conditions, vegetation types, and elevations.

Then the researchers simulated the global Carbon emissions From soil damage in wild boars based on previous studies in the Americas, Europe, and China.

Canterbury University PhD Nicholas Patton said the study would have implications for curbing the effects of future climate change.

“Invasive species are an anthropogenic problem, so we need to be aware of and take responsibility for their environmental and ecological implications,” says Patton.

“If invasive pigs are allowed to spread to areas rich in soil carbon, the risk of greenhouse gas emissions could increase further in the future.

“Because it’s wild Pig They are prolific and cause widespread damage, they are expensive and difficult to manage.

“Management of wild boar definitely requires cooperation and cooperation across multiple jurisdictions. Our work is only part of the puzzle and helps managers better understand its impact.

“It’s clear that more work needs to be done, but for the foreseeable future we need to continue to protect and monitor sensitive ecosystems and their soils. Invasive species Through the loss of carbon.. ”


2 C warming releases billions of tonnes of soil carbon


For more information:
Christopher J. O’Bryan et al, Unrecognized Threat to Global Soil Carbon by Extensive Invasive Species, Global change biology (2021). DOI: 10.1111 / gcb.15769

Quote: Climate impact of over 1 million wild boars (July 19, 2021) from https: //phys.org/news/2021-07-climate-impact-wild-pigs-greater.html in 2021 Obtained on July 19th.

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Climate impact of over 1 million wild boars

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