Wild boar removed from draft protection list, sparking controversy

Wild boar has been removed from a public consultation draft of the revised “three-haves” list of terrestrial wild animals with “important ecological, scientific and social value”, leading to objections from the conservation community.
The list comes under China’s Wild Animal Protection Law and covers animals not endangered enough to qualify for “key protected species” status, yet with important conservation value. The new draft, published by the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NFGA), marks the first update of the list in 20 years.
While 680 terrestrial animals were added, a few species including wild boar were removed. Media reports link the delisting with conflict between humans and boars that enter farmland, villages or even urban centers, where they can cause costly damage. This year, the NFGA initiated “wild boar damage control” projects in 14 provinces and issued a notice systematic prevention of wild boar related “hazards”. The initiative includes setting up professional culling teams as well as electric fences.
In 2000, listing wild boar as a “three-haves” species reportedly turned its declining populations around. Human–animal conflict appears to have contributed to a re-thinking of wild boar’s status at the NFGA. But conservationists argue the boar’s ecological value should not be determined only by its interaction with human beings. More frequent encounters could be a sign of its recovery, or a result of shrinking natural habitats. 
In addition, conservationists worry that delisting could lead to legalised wild boar hunting with ripple effects on other wild animals. “Those hunting rifles and traps do not discriminate,” one conservation blogger wrote. “When the hunters unleash them in the wild, other animals suffer too.”
Read China Dialogue’s earlier coverage about the politics of wild animal protection lists.