"Now we have confirmation that we have an abnormally high number of wild boar in rural territories and peri-urban areas and we need to increase the extraction effort", said the Secretary of State for Nature Conservation and Forests.

João Paulo Catarino indicated that the Government will "propose the extension of wild boar hunting periods", with the objective of "substantially reducing numbers".

"For now, we are even considering increasing the periods of wild boar hunting practically for the whole year", he added.

Vice-president of the ICNF, Paulo Salsa, stressed that, with the results of this study on the species in Portugal, the national authorities can "make better decisions".

"The wild boar population is estimated to be between 300,000 and 400,000, it has a very high growth rate and there is a lot of food available. Therefore, we need to reduce this population by between 10% and 20%, in the next five to 10 years," he said.

Pointing out that the effort to reduce the wild boar population must also involve farmers and organisations in the hunting sector, the official noted that some measures to achieve this objective "are already being taken".

The Javali Strategic and Action Plan was prepared by Rita Torres and João Carvalho, from the Center for Environmental and Sea Studies (CESAM) at the University of Aveiro, and Carlos Fonseca, from the ForestWISE Collaborative Laboratory, at the same academy.

"The numbers demonstrate an overpopulation of wild boar", highlighted Carlos Fonseca, noting that the population density of this species is higher in the regions of Alentejo, Beira Interior and Trás-os-Montes.

Underlining that this study "is unprecedented in Portugal", the researcher stressed that the country is now among those with the most information on this species and is in a position to be able to make the best decisions.

"We cannot forget that the threat of African swine fever is latent at European level. At the moment, it is already in the north of Italy and, although it seems far away, we have to have information that allows us to act in a rational and consistent way".