THE 10,000 EARS Project

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So, what's this all about?

The APDHA is the nation's biggest and most effective pro-pighunting organisation and part of our brief is to engage with everyone else involved in anything to do with feral pigs. 

We have a relationship with various governments, their staff, the police, pig control agencies, landholder groups, the media and scientists. We do this to be heard. You cannot yell at people about pighunting as a legitimate cultural and recreational activity from across the street. You have to be sitting at the table to be heard.

This latest research project is part of that strategic direction. We have designed a series of data gathering exercises so we can communicate directly with researchers by having control of what they want, feral pig data. We also want the general public to recognise the value of pig hunters goes beyond just removing pigs and spending millions of dollars to do so. We can and will work with researchers to improve the understanding of feral pigs through the collection of data on how many pigs there are, how many are killed by hunters, their DNA, their movements and habits and anything else that we believe will advance the cause of legal, ethical hunters.

In this specific case, we are collecting ear tips that can be analysed for whatever information might be relevant. DNA can reveal information on breeding and breeding habits, disease susceptibility and history, movement paths through breeding history and any number of other things we don't have any idea about yet.

We will be the commissioning agents for any research because we want hunters to be recognised for their contribution to the feral pig knowledge bank.

 

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The ear tips need be no bigger than this example here.

Ear sampling: here's what we need...

Researchers want ears.

Well, not whole ears, they want about a 20c piece-sized snip off the end of ears of the pigs we catch. 

So we need to:

  1. Snip It
  2. Bag It
  3. Dry It
  4. Post It

Snip It: Just one snip per pig .

Bag It: They need to go into a brown paper bag with the date it was caught, the nearest town and whether or not the pig was male or female and of breeding age or not. (Breeding age will be a guess but at a guide any sow over 30kg liveweight will be breeding age and any boar that smells like a boar is breeding age.)

Dry It: Take the bag and the ear home and store it in a place where it can dry out without the rats, mice and pig dogs eating it.

Post It: At some point soon we will give you an address to post them to us. 

We also need you to log it all in using the form on this web page so we can keep a running tally of ears and the areas they cover. So, log in your ears as you catch them so we know where we are up to.

We think we can get 10,000 ear samples from pig hunters Australia wide. USQ Associate Professor Ben Allen tells us he and people like him can get 100s of bits of information from each little ear snip. Multiply those hundreds by say 10,000 or more and we have the opportunity to lead the world in wild pig data collection. 

Imagine shifting gear from being just pig chasers to becoming field staff in the world's biggest wild pig research project. 

We encourage you to start collecting the tips of pigs ears complete with the information on the date, the gender and the breeding age or not, along with the nearest town or community. They need to dry naturally to be able to go through the post. Save them up until you have a few, and we'll get back to you with the address to send them.

 

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Write on your bags like this so the data collators can more simply sort and classify all the samples. Don't make the job of sorting out 10,000 dry ear tips any more labor intensive than it needs to be. Make sure all the info is on there and easy to read. A black marker pen is best.

The 10,000 EARS project collection form