Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Factors affecting wild boar abundance across an environmental gradient in Spain

Abstract

The recent Europe-wide increase in wild boarSus scrofa, Linnaeus, 1758 abundance is undoubtedly due to many different factors, the relative importance of which differs from region to region. In Aragón (northeastern Spain), wild boar enlarged its distribution area eight times in the 1990s as compared with the century before, occupying the whole region. We studied wild boar abundance along an environmental gradient in Aragón to determine which factors are most responsible for its variation. Relative abundance of wild boars was estimated by catch-effort methods in 134 hunting estates (sampling units) for 5 consecutive hunting seasons. To characterise the environmental conditions, we quantified landscape composition and structure, topographical factors and climatic factors. Hunting pressure indices were also calculated for our sampling units. The average wild boar catch per hunting activity and per 100 km2 ranged from 0.72 to 16.31. Our results suggest thatwild boar abundances are affected by landscape structure, mainly by landscape diversity. In addition, lowland arid agrosystems (characterized by high temperatures and open juniper woodlands with little food availability) constrain the abundance of wild boar populations in spite of their wide plasticity to colonize new habitats.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Abaigar T., del Barrio G. and Vericad J. R. 1994. Habitat preference of wild boar (Sus scrofa L., 1758) in a Mediterranean environment. Indirect evaluation by signs. Mammalia 58: 201–210.

  2. Acevedo P., Delibes-Mateos M., Escudero M. A., Vicente J., Marco J. and Gortázar C. 2005. Environmental constraints in the roe deer (Capreolus capreolus Linnaeus, 1758) colonization sequence across the Iberian Mountains (Spain). Journal of Biogeography 32: 1671–1680.

  3. Baettig M. 1980. Notre sanglier. Bulletin de l’Association pour la Défense Intérest Jurassiens 56: 195–208.

  4. Bielza de Ory V. 1993. Atlas geográfico-temático de Aragón. Diputación General de Aragón, Zaragoza: 1–91.

  5. Boitani L., Mattei L., Nonis D. and Corsi F. 1995a. Spatial and activity patterns of wild boars in Tuscani. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 600–612.

  6. Boitani L., Trapanese P. and Mattei L. 1995b. Methods of population estimates of a hunted wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) population in Tuscany (Italy). Journal of Mountain Ecology 3: 204–208.

  7. Bouldoire J. L. 1984. Le statut du Sanglier en France. Evolution entre 1975 et 1982. [In: F. Spitz and D. Pepin, eds]. Symposium International sur le Sanglier. Colloques de FI.N.R.A., Tolouse 22: 173–186.

  8. Brown J. H. 1984. On the relationships between abundance and distribution species. The American Naturalist 124: 225–279.

  9. Cahill S. and Llimona F. 2004. Demographics of a wild boarSus scrofa Linaeus, 1758 population in a metropolitan park in Barcelona. [In: C. Fonseca, J. Herrero, A. Luís and AMVM Soares eds]. Wild boar Research 2002. A selection and edited papers from the “4th International Wild Boar Symposium”. Galemys, 16 Special Issue: 37–53.

  10. Cahill S., Llimona F. and Gràcia J. 2003. Spacing and nocturnal activity of wild boarSus scrofa in a Mediterranean metropolitan park. Wildlife Biology 9, Suppl. 1: 3–13.

  11. Caley P. 1993. Population dynamics of feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in a tropical riverine habitat complex. Wildlife Research 20: 625–636.

  12. Calvete C., Estrada R., Angulo E. and Cabezas-Ruiz S. 2004. Habitat factors related to wild rabbit conservation in an agricultural landscape. Landscape Ecology 19: 531–542.

  13. Crawford T. J. 1991. The calculation of index numbers from wildlife monitoring data. [In: Monitoring for conservation and ecology. B. Goldsmith, ed]. Chapman and Hall, London: 225–248.

  14. Dunning J. B., Danielson B. J. and Pulliam H. R. 1992. Ecological processes that affect populations in complex landscapes. Oikos 65: 169–175.

  15. Escós J. and Alados C. L. 1991. Influence of weather and population characteristics of free-ranging Spanish ibex in Sierra de Cazorla y Segura and in the eastern Sierra Nevada. Mammalia 55: 67–78.

  16. Fernández-Llario P. and Mateos-Quesada P. 2005. Influence of rainfall on the breeding biology of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in a Mediterranean ecosystem. Folia Zoologica 54: 240–248.

  17. Fernández-Llario P. 2004. Environmental correlates of nest site selection by wild boarSus scrofa. Acta Theriologica 49: 383–392.

  18. Gabor T. M., Van den Bussche R. A. and Silvy N. J. 1999. Demography, sociospatial behaviour, and genetics of feral pigs in a semi-arid environment. Journal of Zoology, London 247: 311–322.

  19. Geisser H. and Reyer H. U. 2004. Efficacy of hunting, feeding, and fencing to reduce crop damage by wild boars. Journal of Wildlife Management 68: 939–946.

  20. Geisser H. and Reyer H. U. 2005. The influence of food and temperature on population density of wild boarSus scrofa in the Thurgau (Switzerland). Journal of Zoology, London 267: 89–96.

  21. Genov P. 1982. Significance of natural biocenoses agrocenoses as the resource of food for wild boar (Sus scrofa L.). Ekologia Polska 29: 117–136.

  22. Gipson P., Hlavachick B. and Berger T. 1998. Range expansion by wild hogs across the central United States. Wildlife Society Bulletin 26: 279–286.

  23. Gortázar C., Herrero J., Villafuerte R. and Marco J. 2000. Historical examination of the status of large mammals in Aragon, Spain. Mammalia 64: 411–422.

  24. Hahn N. and Eisfeld D. 1998. Diet and habitat use of wild boar in SW Germany. Gibier Faune Sauvage 15: 595–606.

  25. Hartley S., Kunin W. E., Lennon J. J. and Pocock M. J. O. 2004. Coherence and discontinuity in the scaling of species’ distribution patterns. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 271: 81–88.

  26. Herrero J. 2002. Adaptación funcional del jabalíSus scrofa L. a un ecosistema forestal y a un ecosistema agrario intensivo en Aragón. MSc thesis, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid: 1–236.

  27. Hortal J., Lobo J. M. and Martin-Piera F. 2001. Forecasting insect species richness scores in poorly surveyed territories: the case of the Portuguese dung beetles (Col. Scarabaeinae). Biodiversity and Conservation 10: 1343–1367.

  28. Howells O. and Eduards-Jones G. 1997. A feasibility study of reintroducing wild boarSus scrofa to Scotland: Are existing woodlands large enough to support minimum viable populations? Biological Conservation 81: 77–89.

  29. Jędrzejewska B., Jędrzejewski W., Bunevich W., Miłkowski L. and Krasiński Z. A. 1997. Factors shaping population densities and increase rates of ungulates in Białowieża Primeval Forest (Poland and Belarus) in the 19th and 20th centuries. Acta Theriologica 42: 339–451.

  30. McGarigal K. and Marks B. J. 1995. FRAGSTATS: spatial pattern analysis program for quantifying landscape structure. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-351.

  31. Neet C. R. 1995. Population dynamics and management ofSus scrofa in western Switzerland: a statistical modelling approach. Journal of Mountain Ecology 3: 188–191.

  32. Putman R. J. 1996. Ungulates in temperate forest ecosystems: perspectives and recommendations for future research. Forest Ecology and Management 88: 205–214.

  33. Reimoser F. and Reimoser S. 1997. [Game damage and use — about the objective evaluation of the influence of game ungulate on forestry vegetation]. Wildschaden und Wildnutzen — zur objektiven Beurteilung des Einflusses von Schalenwild auf die Waldvegetation. Zeitschrift für Jagdwissenschaft 43: 186–196.

  34. Rosell C. and Herrero J. 2002.Sus scofa. [In: Atlas de los Mamíferos Terrestres de Espańa. L. J. Palomo and J. Gisbert, eds]. SECEM — SECEMU, Madrid: 306–309.

  35. Ruiz-Fons F., Vicente J., Vidal D., Höfle U., Villanúa D., Gauss C, Segalés J., Almería S., Montoro V. and Gortázar C. 2006. Seroprevalence of antibodies against six reproductive pathogens in European wild boar (Sus scrofa) from Spain: the effect of management. Theriogenology 65: 731–743

  36. Sáez-Royuela C., and Tellería J. L. 1986. The increased population of Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) in Europa. Mammal Review 16: 97–101.

  37. Schley L. and Roper T. J. 2003. Diet of wild boarSus scrofa in Western Europe, with particular reference to consumption of agricultural crops. Mammal Review 33: 43–56.

  38. Sjarmidi A., Spitz F. and Valet G. 1992. Food resource used by wild boar in Sourthern France. [In: F. Spitz, G. Janeau, G. Gonzalez and S. Aulaguier, eds]. Proceedings of the International Symposium Ongules/Ungulates 91, Tolouse, France: 171–173.

  39. Sodeikat G. and Pohlmeyer K. 2003. Escape movements of family groups of wild boarsSus scrofa influenced by driven hunts in Lower Saxony/Germany. Wildlife Biology 9, Suppl. 1: 43–52.

  40. Taylor R. B., Hellgren E. C., Gabor T. M. and Ilse M. L. 1998. Reproduction of feral pigs in Southern Texas. Journal of Mammalogy 79: 1325–1331.

  41. Tellería J. L. and Sáez-Royuela C. 1985. L’evolution démographique du sanglier (Sus scrofa) en Espagne. Mammalia 49: 195–202.

  42. Uzal A. and Nores C. 2004. Endogenous and exogenous constraints in the population changes of wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758). [In: Wild boar research 2002. C. Fonseca, J. Herrero, A. Luis and A. M. V. M. Soares, eds]. A selection and edited papers from the “4th International Wild Boar Symposium”. Galemys, 16 Special Issue: 83–101.

  43. Virgós E. and Casanovas J. G. 1999. Environmental constraints at the edge of a species distribution, the Eurasian badger (Meles meles): a biogeographic approach. Journal of Biogeography 26: 559–564.

  44. Virgós E. 2002. Factors affecting wild boar (Sus scrofa) occurrence in highly fragmented Mediterranean landscapes. Canadian Journal of Zoology 80: 430–435.

  45. Welander J. 2000. Spatial and temporal dynamics of wild boar (Sus scrofa) rooting in a mosaic landscape. Journal of Zoology, London 252: 263–271.

  46. Wiens J. A. 1976. Population response to patchy environments. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 7: 81–129.

  47. Wilson K. and Grenfell B. T. 1997. Generalised linear modelling for parasitologists. Parasitology Today 13: 33–38.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Christian Gortázar.

Additional information

Associate Editor was Krzysztof Schmidt.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Acevedo, P., Escudero, M.A., Muńoz, R. et al. Factors affecting wild boar abundance across an environmental gradient in Spain. Acta Theriol 51, 327–336 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03192685

Download citation

Key words

  • landscape
  • fragstats
  • catch-effort
  • density
  • suids