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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

GIS Edge effect Damage Sweden 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Thurfjell
    • 1
  • 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

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