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Biotic and abiotic factors modulating wild boar relative abundance in Atlantic Spain

AuthorsSegura, Amalia; Acevedo, Pelayo ; Rodríguez, Óscar ; Naves, Javier ; Obeso, José Ramón
Issue Date2014
CitationEuropean Journal of Wildlife Research 60(3): 469-476 (2014)
AbstractThe population dynamics of wild ungulates, particularly wild boar (Sus scrofa), are modulated by biotic (e.g. predation) and abiotic (environmental) determinants. Despite the evident potential interference of predation in the environmental patterns of wild boar population abundance, studies including both predation and abiotic factors are scarce. Here, using spatially explicit predictive models, we investigated the effects of habitat features on the relative abundance of wild boar populations and how the abundance of boars is related to frequency of Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus; hereafter, wolf) in the area. Wild boar relative abundance was determined by hunting bag statistics, including hunting effort-related variables (in order to avoid problems derived from modeling rates) as covariates, while wolf attacks to livestock were considered as a proxy of wolf frequency in the drive. After modeling, variation partitioning procedures were used to determine the relative importance of each factor and their overlaid effects. Our results showed that wild boar and wolf relative abundances are associated. According to previous knowledge on the wild boar ecology, we found that the species abundance is positively related to the percentage of surface occupied by mature forest and heather providing high food diversity and refuge, but these environmental variables achieved a low explanatory capacity in the models in relation to wolf frequency. The holistic approach followed in this study was attended to open new perspectives for thinking on the wolf-livestock conflict and to adequate wild boar management strategies taking into account hunting interests and natural processes.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-014-0807-2
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s10344-014-0807-2
issn: 1612-4642
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