, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 112-120
Date: 09 Jul 2004

Efficiency of spreading maize in the garrigues to reduce wild boar (Sus scrofa) damage to Mediterranean vineyards

Abstract

The aim of this work was to assess the efficiency of dissuasive spreading of maize to reduce the level of wild boar damage to vines in a Mediterranean area (Puéchabon, southern France). The 50 wine growers of Puéchabon were all questioned about the annual losses caused by the wild boar in each vineyard of the study area between 1990 and 1992. We also studied the distribution of the damage on a smaller scale, by mapping the damaged vines within two vineyards. In summer 1993, we distributed 4.7 tons of maize in the woods , and then questioned the wine growers about the losses in each vineyard for 1993. During 1990–1992, on both large and small scales, the damage had a patchy distribution, with more patches of damage occurring close to the woods. Moreover, the later the vines ripened, the less frequent the damage. The severity of the damage was only affected by the distance of the vineyard from woods. In total, the wild boar consumed 20,049 kg of grapes each year between 1990–1992 (193 kg/ha), and 63% of the vineyards were damaged. In 1993, both the density and the compensation paid in the département increased threefold. However, in our study area, both the proportion of damaged vineyards (36%) and the level of damage in the vineyards (151 kg/ha) were reduced, saving more than 60% in compensation. The dissuasive spreading of maize is therefore an efficient tool to reduce the level of damage to vineyards.