Residents from Dongshan Township’s (冬山) Jhongshan Village (中山) in Yilan County are being troubled by mountain boars making their way down to plains areas to forage for food.
According to locals, it was largely Formosan macaques which were often sighted scavenging in the region. In recent years, however, mountain boars have often been spotted, they said, adding that the wild animals had destroyed their crops, including yields of pomelos and other fruits, sometimes even digging up the roots of roadside trees to eat earthworms.
While upset over the damage caused by wild boars, the farmers added that they are also concerned that hunters would come to the area in pursuit of the boars.
According to village warden Lee Cheng-fu (李振福), the community had planted rows of cherry trees along a mountain road in the area in a drive to create a scenic attraction during springtime.
“However, we found the tree roots and surrounding earth had been widely uprooted. We thought someone did it on purpose, but later we found the hoof prints and realized it was the work of wild boars,” Lee said.
He said fertilizers had been added to the trees, together with leave mulch, and this had created a fertile environment for earthworms.
“If mountain boars have nothing to eat, they go and dig up earthworms for food,” he said.
A local tea planter surnamed Yang (楊) said that for two consecutive years he has seen a mountain boar sow with two piglets foraging at night.
Yang said if the boars do not eat the crops and affect farmers’ livelihoods then it is possible, for both ecological and environmental reasons, for both sides to co-exist peacefully and the wildlife could attract visitors to the village’s recreational farming businesses.
An official with Yilan County Government’s Animal Industry Division said the department would help villagers repair the damage.