The monitoring of population trends of wild ungulates is important to evaluate their population dynamics and to develop sound conservation/management plans. The wild boar Sus scrofa can impose heavy impacts on ecosytems and human activities, as well as be responsible for disease transmission. Estimating abundance of wild boars is a challenging issue, because of some peculiar biological and ecological traits of this ungulate. Indices of relative abundance could be used to evaluate its population trends. In a Mediterranean area we used faeces counts, through a two-stage stratified sampling, to estimate relative densities of wild boars, between 2007 and 2014. Faeces density estimates increased not significantly between 2007 (151.5 faeces/100 ha) and 2010 (203.8 faeces/100 ha) and decreased significantly from 2010 to 2014 (95.5 faeces/100 ha). The decrease in faeces density estimates was consistent with the increased harvest effort (number of harvest days), performed from 2010 to 2013 to limit impact on ecosystems and reduce damages to crops. The variation of faeces density estimates was also consistent with that of harvest indices (total harvest to harvest effort), with significantly positive values of Pearson and rank correlation coefficients. Results suggest that faeces density estimates achieved with the adopted sampling strategies can be effectively used as indices of relative abundance.
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|Titolo:||The use of faeces counts to estimate relative densities of wild boar in a Mediterranean area|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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