New proposal for the sustainable and harmonized monitoring of wild boar populations

    The monitoring of wildlife according to technical and scientific criteria is a fundamental tool to improve the management of species, especially those that, like wild boar, can be a source of conflict with humans.

    El Operational Group for the Prevention of African Swine Fever (GO PREVPA), coordinated by researchers from the Research Group in Health and Biotechnology (SaBio) of the Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC – CSIC, UCLM, JCCM), has recently published a new document that contains a sustainable proposal for monitoring the wild boar (Sus scrofa).

    One of the objectives of the GO PREVPA is to develop monitoring plans to be able to make the best decisions regarding the population management of these ungulates, which in situations of overabundance it represents an economic, social, environmental and health threat, among other things, because the wild boar can be a carrier and transmitter of diseases such as African swine fever (ASF).

    In this sense, PREVPA is promoting monitoring campaigns in several representative populations of the diversity of habitats and management scenarios for this wild suid within the national territory. All this based on the methodologies of camera trapping without individual recognition and quality hunting statistics, which are the most recommended to estimate the density of wild boars at a local scale according to recent research from the European project ENETWILD.

    The monitoring of wildlife, with a technical and scientific basis, is a fundamental tool to improve the management of species, which is essential to, among other things, control the overpopulation of some of them and reduce the conflicts associated with these scenarios. . A well-done monitoring job offers indicators that are very useful to know the state of the species, the ecosystem or its health situation. This allows a better understanding of the essential ecological, epidemiological and socioeconomic processes in order to develop proactive or preventive actions.


    In situations of overabundance, the wild boar can be a source of conflicts with humans, as such overabundance entails economic, social, environmental and health impacts.

    How to develop a good monitoring plan?

    As indicated in the document published by the GO PREVPA, monitoring is the process of regularly observing and recording information about the species in question. The main objective is to demonstrate how the parameters studied evolve over time, with a vision, if possible, in the long term.

    As Dr. Joaquín Vicente Baños, a researcher at the Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (IREC), collaborator of the GO PREVPA and one of the main authors of the document, points out, “any monitoring process must guarantee a correct design and a good data analysis"for the purpose of"obtain results that can be useful for good decision-making in wildlife management”. For this, at least three factors must be taken into account:clearly define the objectives, apply an appropriate design and methodology and follow minimum scientific-technical standards in the collection and recording of information".

    When implementing a monitoring plan, Dr. Vicente explains that "First, it is necessary to determine the scale at which the monitoring is going to be proposed, the sampling frequency and the accuracy and precision that we consider sufficient to make the estimates of our monitoring plan.”. In this sense, it is important to take into account several factors such as the sampling locations (they are later used to infer the results to a larger area), having a good data management system or the sampling itself, which offers many possibilities. .

    Taking all this into account sustainable management systems for wild boar can be implemented through monitoring campaigns, which would be an essential tool in the fight against preventing the entry of African swine fever in Spain.