European Journal of Wildlife Research

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 517–523 | Cite as

Habitat use and spatial patterns of wild boar Sus scrofa (L.): agricultural fields and edges

  • Henrik ThurfjellEmail author
  • John P. Ball
  • Per-Arne Åhlén
  • Peter Kornacher
  • Holger Dettki
  • Kjell Sjöberg
Original Paper


Rapidly increasing populations of wild boar in Sweden and Europe cause much damage to crops, and there is a critical need for more knowledge about their habitat utilization, especially of agricultural fields. In our study, we first assess the spatial pattern of damage in relation to the edges of agricultural fields. Next, with the aid of global positioning system collars, we studied the pattern of movement of wild boar on agricultural fields. Finally, in order to understand the role of agricultural fields, we studied how habitat selection may vary throughout the year. We found edge effects on damage patterns in agricultural fields. During winter and spring, we found wild boar not only to follow edges, but also to move along narrow landscape elements within agricultural fields. In our habitat analysis, we found strong avoidance of exposed agricultural fields throughout the year, but significantly less when crops are ripe.


GIS Edge effect Damage Sweden 



We thank the Swedish Association for Hunting and Wildlife Management for providing funding for this project, and Mikael Tham, Vitaby for his engagement and inspiration at the initiation of the project. We would also like to thank Earl Carl Piper, for letting us conduct our study on his estates, providing staff, vehicles, and other invaluable help. Sebastian Tham also gave us permission to use his leased hunting area Kronovall for field work. At the estate, Andreas Jonsson and Håkan Lindgren, professional game keepers at Högestad and Christinehof, helped us with fieldwork, darting wild boar, shared their expertise in the habits of wild boar, and knowledge of the study area. Our veterinarians Ivan Lind and Jonas Malmsten were invaluable during immobilization of the animals. Arne Söderberg was long a helpful resource, and Eric Andersson and Åke Nordström performed field work. Finally, we thank two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments. The study was approved by the Ethical Committee of Animal Science in Umeå, Dnr A18-04.


  1. Ahti T, Hämet-Ahti L, Jalas J (1968) Vegetation zones and their sections in northwestern Europe. Ann Bot Fenn 5:169–211Google Scholar
  2. Briedermann L (1990) Schwarzwild. VEB, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  3. Cain JW, Krausman PR, Jansen BD, Morgart JR (2005) Influence of topography and GPS fix interval on GPS collar performance. Wildl Soc Bull 33:926–934. doi: 10.2193/0091-7648(2005)33[926:IOTAGF]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Calenge C, Maillard D, Fournier P, Fouque C (2004) Efficiency of spreading maize in the garrigues to reduce wild boar (Sus scrofa) damage to Mediterranean vineyards. Eur J Wildl Res 50:112–120. doi: 10.1007/s10344-004-0047-y Google Scholar
  5. DeCesare NJ, Squires JR, Kolbe JA (2005) Effect of forest canopy on GPS-based movement data. Wildl Soc Bull 33:935–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Drozd L (1988) Damage caused by wild-boars in the field culture in the macroregion of central-eastern Poland. Ann Univ Marie Curie-Sklodowska Lublin 29:224–253Google Scholar
  7. ESRI (2005) ArcGIS. Redlands, CA, USAGoogle Scholar
  8. Fielitz U (2003) Remote GPS-data transmission via mobile phone. Accessed 26 sept 2008
  9. Fonseca C (2008) Winter habitat selection by wild boar Sus scrofa in southeastern Poland. Eur J Wildl Res 54:361–366. doi: 10.1007/s10344-007-0144-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Geisser H (1998) The Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) in the Thurgau (Northeastern Switzerland): Population status, damages and the influence of supplementary feeding on damage frequency. Gibier Faune Sauvage. Game Wildl 15:547–554Google Scholar
  11. Geisser H, Reyer HU (2004) Efficacy of hunting, feeding, and fencing to reduce crop damage by wild boars. J Wildl Manage 68:939–946. doi: 10.2193/0022-541X(2004)068[0939:EOHFAF]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gerard JF, Cargnelutti B, Spitz F, Valet G, Sardin T (1991) Habitat use of wild boar in a French agroecosystem from late winter to early summer. Acta Theriol (Warsz) 36:119–129Google Scholar
  13. Herrero J, Garcia-Serrano A, Couto S, Ortuno VM, Garcia-Gonzalez R (2006) Diet of wild boar Sus scrofa L. and crop damage in an intensive agroecosystem. Eur J Wildl Res 52:245–250. doi: 10.1007/s10344-006-0045-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Jedrzejewski W, Schmidt K, Theuerkauf J, Jedrzejewska B, Selva N, Zub K, Szymura L (2002) Kill rates and predation by wolves on ungulate populations in Bialow ieza Primeval Forest (Poland). Ecology 83:1341–1356. doi: 10.2307/3071948 Google Scholar
  15. Keuling O, Stier N, Roth M (2008a) Annual and seasonal space use of different age classes of female wild boar Sus scrofa L. Eur J Wildl Res 54:403–412. doi: 10.1007/s10344-007-0157-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Keuling O, Stier N, Roth M (2008b) How does hunting influence and spatial usage in wild boar Sus scrofa L. Eur J Wildl Res 54:729–737. doi: 10.1007/s10344-008-0204-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Keuling O, Stier N, Roth M (2009) Commuting, shifting or remaining? Different spatial utilisation patterns of wild boar Sus scrofa L. in forest and field crops during summer. Mamm Biol-Z Für Saugetierkunde 74:145–152. doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2008.05.007 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kreeger TJ, Arnemo JM (2007) Handbook of wildlife chemical immobilization, 3rd edn. Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, Fort Collins, CO, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. Lantmäteriet 2008 Accessed 8 okt 2008
  20. Lemel J (1999) Populationstillväxt, dynamik och spridning hos vildsvinet, Sus scrofa, i mellersta Sverige. Svenska Jägareförbundet, NyköpingGoogle Scholar
  21. Lemel J, Truvé J, Söderberg B (2003) Variation in ranging and activity behaviour of European wild boar Sus scrofa in Sweden. Wildl Biol 9:29–36Google Scholar
  22. Mackin R (1970) Dynamics of damage caused by wild boar to different agricultural crops. Acta Theriol (Warsz) 15(27):447–458Google Scholar
  23. Manly BFJ, McDonald LL, Thomas DL (1993) Resource selection by animals. Chapman & Hall, London, Great BritainGoogle Scholar
  24. Manly BFJ, McDonald LL, Thomas DL, McDonald TL, Erickson WP (2002) Resource selection by animals, 2nd edn, vol. 1. Kluwer, Dordrect, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  25. Marcum CL, Loftsgaarden DO (1980) A nonmappingtechnique for studying habitat preferences. J Wildl Manage 44:963–968. doi: 10.2307/3808336 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Meriggi A, Sacchi O (2001) Habitat requirements of wild boars in the northern Appennines (N Italy): a multi- level approach. Ital J Zool (Modena) 68:47–55. doi: 10.1080/11250000109356382 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Microsoft (2003a) Microsoft Access. Redmond, WA, USAGoogle Scholar
  28. Microsoft (2003b) Microsoft Excel. Redmond, WA, USAGoogle Scholar
  29. Moen R, Pastor J, Cohen Y, Schwartz C (1996) Effects of moose movement and habitat use on GPS collar performance. J Wildl Manage 60:659–668. doi: 10.2307/3802085 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mohr CO (1947) Table of equivalent populations of North American small mammals. Am Midl Nat 37:223–249. doi: 10.2307/2421652 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Pettersson C (2007) Redovisning av regeringens uppdrag ifråga om förvaltning av vildsvin m.m. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  32. SAS I. I. (2001) SAS. Cary, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  33. SAS I. I. (2007) JMP. Cary, North Carolina, USAGoogle Scholar
  34. Siegel S, Castellan NJ (1988) Nonparametric statistics for the behavioral sciences, 2nd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  35. Sodeikat G, Pohlmeyer K (2002) Temporary home range modifications of wild boar family groups (Sus scrofa L.) caused by drive hunts in Lower Saxony (Germany). Z Jagdwiss 48:161–166. doi: 10.1007/BF02192404 Google Scholar
  36. Sodeikat G, Pohlmeyer K (2003) Escape movements of family groups of wild boar Sus scrofa influenced by drive hunts in Lower Saxony, Germany. Wildl Biol 9:43–49Google Scholar
  37. Spitz F, Janeau G (1995) Daily selection of habitat of wild boar. J Zool (Lond) 237:423–434CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Truvé J, Lemel J (2003) Timing and distance of natal dispersal for wild boar Sus scrofa in Sweden. Wildl Biol 9:51–57Google Scholar
  39. Wenum JHV, Wossink GAA, Renkema JA (2003) Location-specific modeling for optimizing wildlife managemant on crop farms. Ecol Econ 48:395–407Google Scholar
  40. Zweifel-Schielly B, Suter W (2007) Performance of GPS telemetry collars for red deer Cervus elaphus in rugged Alpine terrain under controlled and free-living conditions. Wildl Biol 13:299–312. doi: 10.2981/0909-6396(2007)13[299:POGTCF]2.0.CO;2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Thurfjell
    • 1
    Email author
  • John P. Ball
    • 1
  • Per-Arne Åhlén
    • 1
  • Peter Kornacher
    • 2
  • Holger Dettki
    • 1
  • Kjell Sjöberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Environmental StudiesSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Makoa FarmMoshiTanzania

Personalised recommendations