How does hunting influence activity and spatial usage in wild boar Sus scrofa L.?
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Increasing wild boar (Sus scrofa L.) population densities all over Europe cause severe economic problems. In popular belief, the wild boar is a more or less diurnal species, causing only minor problems when undisturbed, but is assumed to become nocturnal and wide-ranging when opposed to hunting pressure. In our study, we investigated the impact of hunting and several environmental factors on movements, spatial utilisation and activity patterns by radiotelemetry. Activity pattern revealed a mean proportion of diurnal activity of 12% of all localisations with a monthly change. The wild boar showed increased diurnal activity on undisturbed feeding habitats, especially in early summer. Different hunting methods did influence activity and spatial utilisation in terms of activity and smaller home ranges in areas with only single hunt, although this might be biased by seasonal effects. Flight distances increased significantly after single hunt and capture incidents, but still ranged inside the annual home ranges. Battues did not influence the spatial utilisation before and after hunt significantly. In only 14% of the observed cases did wild boar show small scaled escape movements after battues. The overlaps of home ranges did not change after battues.