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Wild pigs are more harmful than your car – study

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Evidence also suggests that humans are liable to increase CO2 emissions from the soil into the atmosphere with new land-use practices.

The researchers said that wild boars extract about five million metric tons of carbon dioxide from the soil while searching for food. This equates to over 1.1 million cars.

In order to accurately determine the climate damage caused by wild pigs on five continents of the planet, scientists used predictive models with advanced mapping methods.

“Wild pigs are just like tractors plowing through fields, turning over soil to find food,” experts say, highlighting the proliferation of wild boars.

Soil contains nearly three times as much carbon as the Earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, all the CO2 extracted from it can accelerate climate change at times.

When soils are disturbed from humans plowing a field, or in this case, from wild animals uprooting, carbon is released into the atmosphere.

the authors note.

Since soil contains nearly three times as much carbon than in the atmosphere, even a small fraction of carbon emitted from soil has the potential to accelerate climate change.

Our models show a wide range of outcomes, but they indicate that wild pigs are most likely currently uprooting an area of around 36,000 to 124,000 square kilometers, in environments where they’re not native.

This is an enormous amount of land, and this not only affects soil health and carbon emissions, but it also threatens biodiversity and food security that are crucial for sustainable development.

Recall that 17% of greenhouse gases in the European Union are emitted by animals, which is several times higher than the amount of CO2 emitted by cars. More than 500 million tons of carbon dioxide are produced annually on farms. 

Photo by Marc Fernandes/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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