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Research article2013Peer reviewedOpen access

Effects of hunting on wild boar Sus scrofa behaviour

Thurfjell, Henrik; Spong, Göran; Ericsson, Göran


Predation risk may affect space use and foraging patterns of prey animals, with strong down-stream effects on diet composition and ecological interactions. Wild boar Sus scrofa is a notorious crop raider but also a popular game species, yet little is known about how risk perception of human hunting affects wild boar space use. We studied the effects of human hunting on the movement of GPS-collared female wild boar. We found that the hunting method affected whether the wild boar fled or hid. After fleeing into refuge ranges, wild boar moved less and preferred habitats that provided cover and forage such as mast or crops. This suggests that the wild boar tried to reduce the risk of being detected, and possibly also that they avoided competition with resident wild boar in the refuge by using forage that could not be monopolised. The type of hunting thus strongly affected the type of avoidance behaviour displayed by wild boar, with implications for their movement and space use. This suggests that adjusting hunting method to season could be an important management tool for minimising crop losses.


escape; GPS; hunting; movement; Sus scrofa; wild boar

Published in

Wildlife Biology
2013, Volume: 19, number: 1, pages: 87-93