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Differences in the activity pattern of the wild boar Sus scrofa related to human disturbance

An Erratum to this article was published on 13 April 2014

Abstract

Over the last century, human activity has caused significant changes to the activity patterns of many wildlife species. The wild boar is one species known to change its activity pattern with the intensity of human disturbance. We conducted camera trap surveys in two study sites, Shingo and Himuro, in Tochigi, central Japan. We investigated effects of two types of human disturbance on the activity pattern of a wild boar population: ‘direct’ disturbance related to hunting activity and ‘indirect’ disturbance related to daily human activity. In the hunting season, relative abundance indices (RAI) of wild boars significantly decreased, and the proportion of activity at night increased compared with the nonhunting season. RAI of wild boars at night decreased with increasing distance from the settlement, while RAI of wild boars during the day did not. Relative proportion of activity at night was higher in cameras at 0–200 m from the settlements, while no significant pattern was found in cameras far from settlements. Both direct and indirect effects of human activity had a significant effect on the activity pattern of wild boars. A decrease in human activity may result in the rapid expansion of wild boar populations, and re-evaluation of the human factor is important for more intelligent management of wild boar populations and to solve the human–wildlife conflict.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by the “Development of wildlife management system with DPSIR scheme” project, the special budgets for research and education in the fiscal year of 2010–2011 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan. We would like to thank to the prefectural office of Tochigi, and the city offices of Sano and Ashikaga for facilitating our survey. We would like to thank the local residents in the cities of Sano and Ashikaga for allowing the establishment of the camera trap stations around the settlements. We would like to thank Dr. Munemitsu Akasaka, Dr. Masato Yoshikawa, the students of the Laboratory of Vegetation Management and the students of the Laboratory of Wildlife Conservation in Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for the assistance in field surveys and helpful comments on an early draft of the manuscript. We would like to thank the editor and two anonymous referees for useful comments in revising the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Haruka Ohashi.

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An erratum to this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10344-014-0819-y.

Communicated by C. Gortázar

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Ohashi, H., Saito, M., Horie, R. et al. Differences in the activity pattern of the wild boar Sus scrofa related to human disturbance. Eur J Wildl Res 59, 167–177 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-012-0661-z

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Keywords

  • Behavioural flexibility
  • Camera trap
  • Distance from the settlement
  • Human activity
  • Hunting season
  • Sus scrofa