In this file:

 

·         Wild pigs called ‘ecological train wrecks’

A University of Saskatchewan study finds that the species is expanding its range by nine percent a year in Canada

 

·         3D printer solves feral pig tracking problem

Researcher Shandala Loving, 3D Printing Engineer Matthew Harbidge and Metal Trades Apprentice Jack Monigatti have come up with a cost-effective way to mount a GPS tracker on feral pigs

 

 

 

Wild pigs called ‘ecological train wrecks’

A University of Saskatchewan study finds that the species is expanding its range by nine percent a year in Canada

 

By Margaret Evans, The Western Producer (Canada)

June 6, 2019

 

The first-ever comprehensive mapping study of wild pig distribution in Canada has been undertaken by researchers in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan.

 

The survey showed that the invasive species is expanding its range by nine percent a year and has spread out to cover more than 777,783 sq. kilometres.

 

Native to Eurasia and parts of North Africa, wild boars were imported from Europe as part of an agricultural initiative to diversify Canadian agriculture in the 1980s.

 

But some pigs escaped or were intentionally released. They rapidly established themselves in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta with 58 percent of the national population occurring in Saskatchewan. By 2017, the wild pig population had expanded and established local populations in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Only the four Atlantic provinces have no confirmed sightings.

 

In the United States, feral pigs have been well established for a few hundred years and they, too, have rapidly expanded their range from 17 to 38 states in the last 30 years.

 

Wild pigs cause extensive soil erosion, disruption of ecosystems, degradation of water sources and riparian areas, and destruction of crops.

 

“Wild pigs are ecological train wrecks,” wrote PhD student Ruth Aschim in the report published in Scientific Reports in May.

 

“They are prolific breeders making them an extremely successful invasive species.”

 

And they are stubborn, resourceful survivalists.

 

“The source animals for wild pigs in Canada are from a broad range of climate, including Siberia, so they are well adapted with their large body size (in some cases more than 226 kilograms) and heavy fur coat allowing them to thrive in the long, cold, snowy winters of the Canadian Prairies,” said Ryan Brook, associate professor and lead researcher for the Canadian Wild Pig Project.

 

“Agriculture plays a very big role in that they feed on extremely high-quality agricultural crops through summer and fall and during winter from haystacks, swath grazing, bale grazing, spill crop, grain bags, and baiting/feeding sites.”

 

They are also a nuisance for cattle. While Brook is not aware of predation on livestock, he knows of cattle producers who have had their animals harassed and scared by wild pigs coming into watering and feeding areas and pushing cows away.

 

Brook said that wild pigs make “pig-loos” in marshes, staying under the snow and benefiting from the insulation of the snow layer. However, they are active throughout the year, regularly foraging for food even when it is cold and the snow is deep. He said climate change may benefit wild pigs with longer summer growing seasons and reduced temperatures but may also have negative effects due to predicted weather extremes such as melting events or rain mid-winter, making accessing food under the snow and ice difficult.

 

Managing wild pigs is a challenge and each province is responsible for their own population control...

 

more

https://www.producer.com/2019/06/wild-pigs-called-ecological-train-wrecks/

 

 

3D printer solves feral pig tracking problem

Researcher Shandala Loving, 3D Printing Engineer Matthew Harbidge and Metal Trades Apprentice Jack Monigatti have come up with a cost-effective way to mount a GPS tracker on feral pigs

 

By Jon Taylor, Charles Darwin University

June 3, 2019

 

Feral pig researcher, Shandala Loving had a problem.

 

Her research subjects, often large and destructive, have the potential of busting the mountings holding the $500 GPS tracker Shandala is using to monitor their movements.

 

Annoyingly, the mountings could either be purchased commercially at great expense or laboriously handmade. The handmade version couldn’t withstand the rigours of a Top End feral pig and the bought ones would eat too much of her project’s budget, at the cost of $5000 per complete unit.

 

She needed to construct something that was cost-effective but able to withstand being smashed on trees by a 100kg feral pig.

 

The solution to the problem turned out to be closer than she expected.

 

Shandala had already enlisted the help of Advanced Manufacturing Alliance (AMA), a joint initiative between CDU and SPEE3D that uses a world-first 3D metal printing technology, to assist with the production of a plastic mount for the GPS trackers when another solution was identified.

 

AMA 3D Printing Engineer, Matthew Harbidge designed an aluminium mounting for the tracker that would be vastly stronger and could be produced in CDU’s 3D printer.

 

“One of the real advantages of the 3D printing technology we are pioneering is the ability to design and produce one-off fabrications in a cost-effective and rapid way,” he said.

 

“Traditional metal fabrication techniques, involving moulds and casting, just aren’t compatible with producing the type of innovative turn-key solutions needed to solve Shandala’s problem.”

 

To make production as cost-effective as possible, Mr Harbidge printed on both sides of an aluminium plate to save materials and after 90 minutes of printing and machining by CDU Metal Trades Apprentice Jack Monigatti a solid mounting was produced.

 

“The 3D printing technology developed by Territorian company SPEE3D, coupled with their ground-breaking design software, have really opened so many new applications for the manufacturing of metal parts,” Mr Harbidge said.

 

“The technology can produce parts that are at least as strong as traditional manufacturing processes and vastly more cost-effective for small production runs or niche solutions such as this case.”

 

Shandala has fabricated the collar to attach the mount to the pig; six plastic and six metal mounts will soon be in the field monitoring the movements of feral pigs.

 

“I’m tracking the movements of feral pigs to understand their impact on our wetlands, which are important and delicate ecosystems. To be able to do this, it’s vital we come up with a way of keeping a GPS tracker attached to a pig,” Shandala said.

 

“We now have something that is tough and can withstand the environment it has to operate in.”

 

AMA Director, Dr Rebecca Murray said the project was an example of the innovation that could be achieved through collaboration.

 

“An environmental science researcher, a Mechanical Engineer, and a metal trades apprentice have worked together under one roof to devise an innovative solution for a very specific and unique problem,” Dr Murray said.

 

“The 3D printing technology has enabled a creative solution, but it also shows the technology is not the solution in itself. It needs knowledge, creativity, collaboration and practical skills to realise its full potential,” Dr Murray said.  

 

document, plus photo

https://www.cdu.edu.au/enews/stories/3D-pig-collar