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Both environmental factors and countermeasures affect wild boar damage to rice paddies in Boso Peninsula, Japan

Masayuki Saito, Hiroshi Momose, Tosaku Mihira
Crop protection 2011 v.30 no.8 pp. 1048-1054
Sus scrofa, crop damage, edge effects, environmental factors, fences, geographic information systems, human population, logit analysis, manual weed control, models, paddies, population density, prediction, risk, rivers, roads, wild boars, Japan
Populations of wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758) and reports of crop damage by them have increased in Japan. In considering strategies for damage control, it is necessary to quantify both the environmental factors and the countermeasures affecting damage. We surveyed damage by wild boar in 1540 rice paddies on the Boso Peninsula. We obtained environmental factors by GIS: distance from forest edges, rivers and settlements; overground openness; and human population density. We recorded the weeding and fencing practices as countermeasures. We constructed cumulative logit models using Bayesian inference to predict damage and assessed the importance of the simultaneous evaluation of environmental factors and countermeasures by deviance information criteria. The best model incorporated both environmental factors and countermeasures, indicating that both are important for predicting damage. It showed that weeding around rice paddies, electric fencing and corrugated iron fencing were effective at reducing damage by wild boar. The risk of damage increased with lower values of distance from forest edges and rivers, overground openness, and human population density, and with higher values of distance from roads. These environmental factors allowed us to identify high-risk cropland where countermeasures could be introduced to reduce damage.