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Effects of wild boar predation on nests of wading birds in various Swedish habitats

AuthorsCarpio, Antonio J.; Hillström, Lars; Tortosa, Francisco S.
KeywordsColony-living vs. isolated species
Nest predation
Sus scrofa
Wading birds
Issue DateAug-2016
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 62(4): 423-430 (2016)
AbstractThe wild boar has, over the past few decades, undergone an expansion in Europe, which may have negatively affected ground-nesting bird populations and particularly those of wading birds. The aim of this study was to evaluate predation on waders’ nests by wild boar in Sweden, where this species has been increasing since its reintroduction. This was done by placing artificial nests in seven different study areas. A comparison was then made of predation rates of the nests placed on control plots (areas in which no wild boar were present but other predators were) and plots containing different abundances of wild boar. Contrary to our expectations, the proportion of nests predated was significantly lower in those areas in which wild boar were present, with a predation rate of 54 %, whereas the predation rate was 87.5 % in the others. The wild boar was identified as the second most important nest predator in the plots in which it was present, accounting for 18 % of the predated nests. The main predator on both types of plots was the red fox, which was responsible for 28 and 38.5 % of the predated nests on plots with/without wild boar, respectively. Interestingly, predation by badgers occurred principally in areas in which the wild boar was absent (34.5 % of the predated nests), whereas only one nest was predated by this predator in areas containing wild boar. It is not, however, possible to state whether predation by badgers was lower because of the presence of wild boar or whether this was owing to the fact that badgers do not select those particular patches because of habitat features.
Publisher version (URL)http://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-016-1016-y
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