Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Wild boar from the Ebro valley do not live as long and reproduce more quickly because of an artificial environment

28.01.2009
Lack of shelter and the large amount of food available from crops in the mid-valley of the Ebro reflect primarily how human beings influence the landscape, and the demography and reproduction of wild boar.

Wild boar living in the Ebro Valley do not survive for as long as those living in the Pyrenees. These are the conclusions of a study carried out by a team of Spanish ecologists.

In the Aragonese Pyrenees the population of wild boar (Sus scrofa) live in large, continuous areas of forest, where food sources are unpredictable. However, the population of wild boar in the mid-valley of the Ebro lives in a system of intensive farming that has been transformed by humans, and is characterised by thickets where there are few areas for shelter but large amounts of food, basically consisting of crops.

This is what has led Juan Herrero, a teacher from the University of Alcalá, Madrid, and his team, to carry out a study to prove that the presence of humans can change a species’ demography.

In order to carry out the study, which has been published in the journal entitled Acta Theriologica, the researchers have relied on the help of groups of hunters and financial support from the Aragón Government. The team analysed the populations of wild boar from1990 to 1993 in the Pyrenees, and from 1994 to 2006 in the Ebro valley. Herrero points out an important detail to SINC: “The animals that have been hunted have enabled us to deduce that to a great extent the structure and reproduction of the populations depend on us”.

Food and shelter are key parameters

In the mid-valley of the Ebro where there are few options for shelter and food is plentiful, the animals have a low life expectancy of 6 years, whereas in the Pyrenees this is 10 years. The female wild boar reproduces at the end of the first year of life, that is to say one year before the others. “In populations that depend on very small areas of shelter, such as the Ebro Valley, hunting makes an impact” explains the scientist.

Hunting does not interfere specifically in the reproduction of wild boar in the Ebro valley, but the conditions in which the wild boar populations live do have an influence. There are very few areas for shelter in the Reserva Natural de Los Galachos in Zaragoza, and they are surrounded by an area of intensive farming. “The animals protect themselves in the thickets but come out to feed among the crops”, adds Herrero.

Although in the Reserva Natural de Los Galachos hunting is prohibited in particular, damage to crops has made it essential to carry out population checks over the last several years. As there are few areas for shelter “although only a few wild boar are hunted, overall the pressure from hunting is great”, emphasises Herrero.

The high availability of food in the mid-valley of the Ebro engenders “a very exceptional situation for a natural population”. According to the researcher, “it seems completely artificial, as if we were giving them unlimited amounts of food”. Added to this is the absence of shelter, which prevent the animals from coming up against hunters who alter their rise in numbers, productivity and life expectancy.

Setting up and implementing this research has not been an easy task. Herrero states that it is difficult to set up monitoring programmes and studies for the species that are abundant and do not seem to have any problems, “because the species that are threatened are more important”. The researcher states that “there always has to be a very specific problem for anything to be done”.

Although Aragón is the region of Spain where higher numbers of wild boar are killed during the hunting season (nearly 25,000 every year) and millions are hunted in Europe, there does not seem to be a reduction in population.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Global threat to primates concerns us all
19.01.2017 | Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH - Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

nachricht Reducing household waste with less energy
18.01.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>