Moving towards the estimation of density of wild boar: Camera traps and rate of motion

    The Wild boar (Sus scrofa) is a widely distributed species throughout Europe. In addition, it is characterized by its high social and epidemiological relevancemainly due to its role as a reservoir in shared diseases such as tuberculosis or African swine fever. In this sense, population density estimates are essential to implement effective management plans. However, due to the elusive behavior, and nocturnal habits of the species, the wild boar is difficult to monitor,which clearly limits the applicability of other available monitor methods.

    In this sense, the use of phototrapping (small cameras that are automatically activated when an animal passes through its detection field) is presented as a tool to estimate densities of species that are difficult to monitor, such as wild boar. One of these methods based on phototraping, is the Random Encounter Model (REM). The REM needs s to know a parameter related to the ecology of the movement of the species: the average daily distance traveled by the individuals of the population, the day range.

    In this work, considering the population of wild boar in the Biological Reserve of Doñana, we have described a method to estimate the daily range of wild boar from phototraping data. For this we have worked in parallel with data from 18 individuals tagged with GPS collars. Our results indicate that it is key to take into account the behavior of individuals when they are photographed by the cameras, that is, if they are feeding or moving; because if not, we underestimate the real value.

    These results, in addition to being important progress for the estimation of wild boar densities,are equally interesting for other branches of knowledge, such a movement ecology, or the transmission of diseases..

    P. Palencia, J. Vicente, P. Barroso, J.Á. Barasona, R. C. Soriguer & P. Acevedo (2019). Estimating day range from camera?trap data: the animals’ behaviour as a key parameter. Journal of Zoology.