Factors affecting wild boar (Sus scrofa) abundance in southern Tuscany
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Via F. Dini 3, 57021 Campiglia Marittima (LI)
Geographica, Via Russo 5, 56124 Pisa
Publish date: 2013-10-29
Hystrix It. J. Mamm. 2013;24(2):169–173

Hunting bags should be a good measure of wild boar (Sus scrofa) abundance and/or density and can be used to analyse habitat population relationships. For this reason, the wild boar harvest of fifteen hunting areas located in southern Tuscany (from 2001 to 2005) was investigated in order to evaluate the effect of fifteen environmental variables measured by a G.I.S. software.

For each hunting area the percentage of 13 land use classes was measured by intersecting hunting areas with a digitalized land-use map. Moreover the percentage of perimeter of hunting areas bordering with protected woody areas and the percentage of main water bodies were measured. Correlation and regression analyses were carried out considering the harvest density as a dependent variable. Twelve multiple regression models each including three environmental variables were ranked by the information-theroetic approach (modified Akaike’s information criterion).

Protected woody areas (Parks and Wildlife Refuges), where hunting it is not allowed, resulted the most important variable predicting positively wild boar hunting yealds and may play a role in over-abundance of this species. Also young woodlands (naturally regenerated or by coppice), chestnut woods and conifer woods showed a positive effect.

Models obtained from hunting data and digitalized land use maps can be very useful to plan wild boar population management at local scale. These data are generally available or quickly collectables. However habitat population relationships should be carefully interpreted considering the possible land use modifications from maps elaboration as a consequence of forest management and evolution.