Can attitude toward humans cause isolation? Marked genetic distinction of urban wild boar population
More details
Hide details
Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Sciences
Online publication date: 2021-10-04
Publication date: 2021-10-04
Corresponding author
Katarzyna Bojarska   

Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Sciences
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2022;33(1):34-40
Large mammals have been colonising urban areas throughout the world. This process is often accompanied by genetic and behavioural changes, and as a result, urban populations may form distinct entities within continuous range of the species. In this paper, we present the results of an analysis of the spatial distribution of genetic variation in urban/suburban populations of wild boars Sus scrofa. We used a genetic variation of 12 microsatellite markers to analyse the population structure of wild boar inhabiting a large city (Kraków, Poland) and its rural surroundings. We discovered a profound differentiation between urban and rural areas, with urban individuals forming a distinct genetic group within an otherwise more continuous range of the species. The genetic distinctiveness of the urban wild boar population seems to be maintained not only by physical barriers but plausibly by behavioural differences. Although the chronology of the highway bypass construction may partly explain some of the genetic relatedness between wild boar populations, our results suggest attitudes towards humans may be an important factor influencing immigration to the areas of increased human presence. We discuss possible implications for the management of the wild boar in the city.
We are grateful to the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions. We would like to thank the Forestry Districts of Nawojowa, Niepołomice and Piwniczna, Ojców National Park, and the following Hunting Clubs: Bażant Wieliczka, Bór, Dąbrowa, Lisi Jar, Luty Tur, Orlik, Orzeł, Podwawelskie, Ponowa, Ponowa Kraków, Ryś, Sarenka, Soból, Towarzystwo św. Huberta, Wabik, Żubr Kraków, and Żubr Niepołomice for their collaboration during the sample collection.
The work was financed by the National Science Centre (grant no. N N304382138) and statutory funds of the Institute of Nature Conservation Polish Academy of Sciences.
Journals System - logo
Scroll to top