Main content area

Differences in the activity pattern of the wild boar Sus scrofa related to human disturbance

Ohashi, Haruka, Saito, Masae, Horie, Reiko, Tsunoda, Hiroshi, Noba, Hiromu, Ishii, Haruka, Kuwabara, Takashi, Hiroshige, Yutaka, Koike, Shinsuke, Hoshino, Yoshinobu, Toda, Hiroto, Kaji, Koichi
European journal of wildlife research 2013 v.59 no.2 pp. 167-177
Sus scrofa, cameras, humans, surveys, wild boars, wildlife, Japan
Over the last century, human activity has caused significant changes to the activity patterns of many wildlife species. The wild boar is one species known to change its activity pattern with the intensity of human disturbance. We conducted camera trap surveys in two study sites, Shingo and Himuro, in Tochigi, central Japan. We investigated effects of two types of human disturbance on the activity pattern of a wild boar population: ‘direct’ disturbance related to hunting activity and ‘indirect’ disturbance related to daily human activity. In the hunting season, relative abundance indices (RAI) of wild boars significantly decreased, and the proportion of activity at night increased compared with the nonhunting season. RAI of wild boars at night decreased with increasing distance from the settlement, while RAI of wild boars during the day did not. Relative proportion of activity at night was higher in cameras at 0–200 m from the settlements, while no significant pattern was found in cameras far from settlements. Both direct and indirect effects of human activity had a significant effect on the activity pattern of wild boars. A decrease in human activity may result in the rapid expansion of wild boar populations, and re-evaluation of the human factor is important for more intelligent management of wild boar populations and to solve the human–wildlife conflict.