Main content area

Population dynamics and space use of wild boar in a tropical forest, Southwest China

Guo, Wei, Cao, Guanghong, Quan, Rui-Chang
Global ecology and conservation 2017 v.11 pp. 115-124
Sus scrofa, adults, age structure, cameras, carnivores, conservation areas, crop damage, females, group size, issues and policy, males, piglets, population dynamics, rivers, sex ratio, tropical forests, villages, watersheds, wild boars, wildlife, China, Europe
Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is the most common native wildlife species causing crop damage in some regions of China. However, in Tropical East Asia, there is limited knowledge on wild boar ecology for application in management and policy decisions. To address this void, we examined wild boar sex-age class structure, group size and space use variation in the Naban River Watershed National Nature Reserve in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan province, Southwestern China, using 4 years of camera trap data. We found that the adult sex ratio was slightly skewed towards females, and that adults and subadults were the dominate age classes. The annual relative abundance for each age class exhibited a bimodal distribution pattern: the abundance of subadults and adults peaked in May and October, while the abundance of piglets peaked in June and October. Mean group sizes (1.6 ± 1.1) were smaller than the typical mean group of 4 individuals observed in Europe. The space use patterns differed by age class, with piglets preferring forest interior regions while adult males were active near the villages. As such, controlling the adult male population is the most direct way to address crop raiding concerns. On the other hand, protecting piglets would have beneficial effects as potential prey for rare carnivore species of conservation concern that are limited to reserve inner zones.