Being cause of crop damages, vehicles collisions, and spreading disease, wild boar is a keystone species of human-wildlife conflicts in Europe. Investigating wild boar ecology with a proper consideration of its temporal dimension would allow to synthetize the relationships among resources acquisition, reproduction, and survival, and to provide useful implications for its management on a large spatial scale and in local contexts. In Chapters 1 and 2, I investigated wild boar breeding strategies and reproductive temporal patterns, considering environmental factors such as weather and food availability. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5 I evaluated the temporal patterns of the use of two protected areas of different size by the wild boar, its risk-induced resources selection, and its behavioral reactions to the stress due to capture, respectively. A comprehensive interpretation of results highlighted that wild boar ecology is based on the achievement of a short-term reproductive success, overruling both resources acquisition and medium-term survival. In the perspective of wild boar management on a large scale, the additive mortality induced by culling plans is thus likely to result ineffective in provoking durable reductions of wild population numbers. Moreover, the investigated aspects of wild boar ecology provided several implications for specific management contexts. Adult males adopted a capital breeding strategy, while subadult males were income breeders. Male reproductive efficiency is thus likely to prove highly resilient against the human harvest and ecological perturbations, suggesting the inconvenience of a male-biased culling to control wild boar populations. Resources availability strongly influenced female reproductive timing and synchrony, without really affecting the ratio of reproducing females (constantly close to the total of adult and subadult females): this evidence should be considered when arranging culling plans, in order to avoid underestimations of the reproductive potential of wild boar populations. The finding that the observed increment in the use of a large protected area in autumn was likely driven by food resources distribution, rather than hunting avoidance, suggests that the common belief of wild boar moving into reserves to avoid hunting should be verified on a local scale. Culling individuals inside protected areas in such circumstances can thus prove ineffective to reduce human-wild boar conflicts in the bordering areas. Wild boar adopted two opposite risk-taking strategies, implying the need for a plastic and multifaceted management approach. Finally, capture and handling induced strong behavioral modifications in wild boar, suggesting the need for standardized protocols aimed at reducing stress and protecting the welfare of captured individuals. In conclusion, investigating wild boar reproductive and behavioral ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension substantially advanced the available knowledge on this species, opening interesting perspectives for its management on both large and small scales.

Wild boar is a keystone species of human-wildlife conflicts in Europe. Investigating its ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension would allow to synthetize the relationships among resources acquisition, reproduction, and survival, providing useful implications for its management on a large spatial scale. In Chapters 1 and 2, I investigated wild boar breeding strategies and reproductive temporal patterns. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5 I evaluated the temporal patterns of the use of two protected areas of different size by the wild boar, its risk-induced resources selection, and its behavioral reactions to the stress due to capture, respectively. Adult males adopted a capital breeding strategy, while subadult males were income breeders. Resources availability strongly influenced female reproductive timing and synchrony, without really affecting the ratio of reproducing females. The observed increment in the use of a large protected area in autumn was likely driven by food resources distribution, rather than hunting avoidance. Wild boar adopted two opposite risk-taking strategies, both of them partially trading the survival with the acquisition of resources. Finally, capture and handling induced a strong reduction of activity and movement lasting about 10 days. A comprehensive interpretation of results highlighted that wild boar ecology is based on the achievement of a short-term reproductive success, overruling both resources acquisition and medium-term survival. In the perspective of wild boar management on a large scale, the additive mortality induced by culling plans is thus likely to result ineffective in provoking durable reductions of wild population numbers. Investigating wild boar reproductive and behavioral ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension substantially advanced the available knowledge on this species, opening interesting perspectives for its management on both large and small scales

TIME-FOCUSED ANALYSES OF WILD BOAR ECOLOGY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT / Brogi, Rudy. - (2022 Apr 12).

TIME-FOCUSED ANALYSES OF WILD BOAR ECOLOGY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT

BROGI, Rudy
2022

Abstract

Wild boar is a keystone species of human-wildlife conflicts in Europe. Investigating its ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension would allow to synthetize the relationships among resources acquisition, reproduction, and survival, providing useful implications for its management on a large spatial scale. In Chapters 1 and 2, I investigated wild boar breeding strategies and reproductive temporal patterns. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5 I evaluated the temporal patterns of the use of two protected areas of different size by the wild boar, its risk-induced resources selection, and its behavioral reactions to the stress due to capture, respectively. Adult males adopted a capital breeding strategy, while subadult males were income breeders. Resources availability strongly influenced female reproductive timing and synchrony, without really affecting the ratio of reproducing females. The observed increment in the use of a large protected area in autumn was likely driven by food resources distribution, rather than hunting avoidance. Wild boar adopted two opposite risk-taking strategies, both of them partially trading the survival with the acquisition of resources. Finally, capture and handling induced a strong reduction of activity and movement lasting about 10 days. A comprehensive interpretation of results highlighted that wild boar ecology is based on the achievement of a short-term reproductive success, overruling both resources acquisition and medium-term survival. In the perspective of wild boar management on a large scale, the additive mortality induced by culling plans is thus likely to result ineffective in provoking durable reductions of wild population numbers. Investigating wild boar reproductive and behavioral ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension substantially advanced the available knowledge on this species, opening interesting perspectives for its management on both large and small scales
Being cause of crop damages, vehicles collisions, and spreading disease, wild boar is a keystone species of human-wildlife conflicts in Europe. Investigating wild boar ecology with a proper consideration of its temporal dimension would allow to synthetize the relationships among resources acquisition, reproduction, and survival, and to provide useful implications for its management on a large spatial scale and in local contexts. In Chapters 1 and 2, I investigated wild boar breeding strategies and reproductive temporal patterns, considering environmental factors such as weather and food availability. In Chapters 3, 4, and 5 I evaluated the temporal patterns of the use of two protected areas of different size by the wild boar, its risk-induced resources selection, and its behavioral reactions to the stress due to capture, respectively. A comprehensive interpretation of results highlighted that wild boar ecology is based on the achievement of a short-term reproductive success, overruling both resources acquisition and medium-term survival. In the perspective of wild boar management on a large scale, the additive mortality induced by culling plans is thus likely to result ineffective in provoking durable reductions of wild population numbers. Moreover, the investigated aspects of wild boar ecology provided several implications for specific management contexts. Adult males adopted a capital breeding strategy, while subadult males were income breeders. Male reproductive efficiency is thus likely to prove highly resilient against the human harvest and ecological perturbations, suggesting the inconvenience of a male-biased culling to control wild boar populations. Resources availability strongly influenced female reproductive timing and synchrony, without really affecting the ratio of reproducing females (constantly close to the total of adult and subadult females): this evidence should be considered when arranging culling plans, in order to avoid underestimations of the reproductive potential of wild boar populations. The finding that the observed increment in the use of a large protected area in autumn was likely driven by food resources distribution, rather than hunting avoidance, suggests that the common belief of wild boar moving into reserves to avoid hunting should be verified on a local scale. Culling individuals inside protected areas in such circumstances can thus prove ineffective to reduce human-wild boar conflicts in the bordering areas. Wild boar adopted two opposite risk-taking strategies, implying the need for a plastic and multifaceted management approach. Finally, capture and handling induced strong behavioral modifications in wild boar, suggesting the need for standardized protocols aimed at reducing stress and protecting the welfare of captured individuals. In conclusion, investigating wild boar reproductive and behavioral ecology with a proper consideration of the temporal dimension substantially advanced the available knowledge on this species, opening interesting perspectives for its management on both large and small scales.
ecology; life history; management; reproduction; wild boar
wild boar
TIME-FOCUSED ANALYSES OF WILD BOAR ECOLOGY AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT / Brogi, Rudy. - (2022 Apr 12).
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11388/294531
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