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Published: 27 January 2023
European Journal of Wildlife Research, Volume 69, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-023-01647-5

Abstract:
European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa) are main small game species of conservation concern in Mediterranean ecosystems. To date, their presence in wild boar’s (Sus scrofa) diet and factors driving their consumption have been little investigated. A genetic metabarcoding approach was used on 80 wild boar faeces collected from four hunting estates devoted to small game hunting during two different seasons. Abundances of wild boar, rabbits and partridges were first estimated. Results showed DNA of seventeen chordate species. The highest frequency of occurrence (FO) corresponded to mammals and birds, with 77.6 and 22.3%, respectively. DNA of game species was detected in 39/71 (FO = 55.0%) samples, highlighting the presence of European wild rabbit in 27 (FO = 38.0%) and red-legged partridge in eight (FO = 11.3%). Dietary composition varied between seasons and estates, being rabbit the main responsible (explaining 35.26% and 39.45% of differences, respectively). Rabbit FO in the diet was positively related to the abundance of wild boar and rabbit density on the estate. It was greater in autumn and in estates where rabbits were hunted. Regarding red-legged partridge, a significant and positive relationship between its population density and its diet FO was observed, without significant differences between seasons or estates. Overall, our results suggest wild boar as an opportunistic species whose diet is largely determined by the relative availability of different food resources. Its ecological role concerning small game species in Mediterranean agroecosystems seems to be more related to consumption of carrion during the hunting season than to direct predation.
Published: 1 December 2022
Journal: Biology Bulletin
Biology Bulletin, Volume 49, pp 1057-1080; https://doi.org/10.1134/s1062359022080118

Abstract:
To date, urbanization has resulted in the establishment of peculiar, often extremely dense urban populations in some wild bird and mammal species. However, until the beginning of the 20th century, the number of such species remained small, only some full synanthropes and a few partial synanthropes reached an impressive abundance in cities. However, from the second third of the 20th century, urban populations began to appear in a steadily increasing number of species that previously either did not show a tendency to synanthropy at all, or inhabited the rural landscape. The importance of species interactions in this process later called synurbization are still rather poorly studied. There is the opinion that for birds one of the leading initial factors of ecological release in urban landscapes is the decreased predation pressure. However, this point of view is not shared by all experts. The purpose of this series of papers is to analyze ideas about the role of predators in the colonization of the urban environment by birds. This paper is devoted to a brief review of the categories and composition of urban species, the criteria for synurbization, and the proposed ecological mechanisms for the development of extremely high local densities of breeding birds in cities. Success in colonization of urban landscapes has been achieved by representatives of many orders and families, morphological types and ecological groups occupying different positions in food chains, species with different levels of plasticity of behavior, sociality, etc. There are many predators among synurbic species of the last 4–5 decades. Some of them, primarily bird-eating species, achieve not only high population density in cities, but also high rates of breeding success. High local population densities in synurbic species, in contrast to those in full synanthropes, can hardly be interpreted as a consequence of reduced species richness and filling of the “ecological vacuum” by individual urban species. For the most part, synurbic species are numerous not in continuous built-up areas, but in natural and green urban areas, which are characterized by an impressive range of species, so there is no reason to talk about competitive release. The hypothesis of an increase in density “on credit” also seems plausible mainly in relation to full synanthropes, however, not all of them. It remains unclear why the emergence and long-term (co)existence of highly dense local populations of synurbic species during the breeding season, including those of potential competitors, are not limited by those biotic factors that keep the population density of these species at lower levels in natural landscapes.
Yixin Diao, Qianqian Zhao, Yue Weng, Zixin Huang, Yiqian Wu, Bojian Gu, Qing Zhao, Fang Wang
Published: 1 December 2022
Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 228; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104581

, Piotr Tetkowski, Izabela Fedyń
Published: 30 November 2022
Journal: Urban Ecosystems
Urban Ecosystems pp 1-11; https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-022-01310-y

Abstract:
Urban environments may offer certain species diverse and abundant food resources of natural and anthropogenic origin. However, the local-scale configuration of habitats and urban infrastructure may influence foraging decisions regardless of the availability of food. In recent years, the expansion of wild boar Sus scrofa into areas significantly transformed by humans has been observed in many parts of its range. Grubbing (rooting) is a major foraging mode of the species, during which disturbance of the upper soil layers enables these animals to find and consume food items. However, the factors that determine the selection of grubbing sites in the urban landscape, where the balance between food availability and the avoidance of humans may influence foraging decisions, are not known. Our aim was to identify local-scale factors that influence grubbing site selection and the size of grubbed patches in an urban landscape. The characteristics of 108 wild boar grubbing sites in the city of Kraków (Poland) were compared to randomly selected control sites. The probable presence of a grubbing site was positively correlated with the proportion of meadows and fallow land in the vicinity and with increases in both canopy cover and distance to pavements. The size of a grubbed patch was positively correlated with the percentage of meadows in the vicinity, increasing distance to buildings and decreasing distance to pavements. We found a non-random pattern of grubbing sites in the urban landscape and indicated that the local-scale configuration of vegetation and urban infrastructure contribute to foraging site selection by wild boar. Our study highlights that the encroachment of wildlife into the urban landscape is a complex process, driven by both resource availability and the avoidance of human-related disturbances.
Published: 8 November 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142214679

Abstract:
One of the basics of effectively managing a wild boar population is knowledge of its home range, spatial patterns, and habitat use. However, little is known about the reaction of wild boar to changes in the agricultural landscape during the time of harvesting. In this study, we assessed the impact of crop harvesting on habitat selection of wild boar. For this reason, we analyzed radio-collared animals in four summer months (from June to September) in an agricultural landscape in Poland. We analyzed the habitat selection by wild boar with a generalized linear model and Jacob’s selectivity index. The wild boar preference for arable land, pastures and the “other” category showed clear monthly dynamics. In contrast, a stable preference for forests and mosaics was observed throughout all months. The preference of wild boar to arable land dropped significantly in August, which we interpret as the impact of the harvest. We conclude that intensive agriculture contributes to significant changes in the frequency of wild boar in various habitats. This, however, does not apply to all habitats, because forest habitats are constantly visited by wild boar as their main daytime refuge. Moreover, extensive farming, although less attractive for wild boar, is rather neutral and does not alter the abundance of animals in habitats.
Published: 8 September 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Animals
Abstract:
Accurate descriptions of home ranges can provide important information for understanding animal ecology and behavior and contribute to the formulation of conservation strategies. We used the grid cell method and kernel density estimation (KDE) to estimate the home range size of golden snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) in Tangjiahe National Nature Reserve. We also used Moran’s eigenvector maps analysis and variation partitioning to test the influence of environmental variables on home range use. The seasonal home range size was 15.4 km2 in spring, 11.6 km2 in summer, 13.7 km2 in autumn, and 15.6 km2 in winter, based on the grid cell method. The seasonal core area of 50% KDE was 9.86 km2 in spring, 5.58 km2 in summer, 7.20 km2 in autumn, and 4.23 km2 in winter. The environmental variables explained 63.60% of home range use intensity in spring, 72.21% in summer, 26.52% in autumn, and none in winter, and some environmental variables contributed to the spatial variation in home range use intensity. Water sources, tree density, and dominant trees of Chinese wingnut (Pterocarya stenoptera) were the important environmental factors determining home range use. These environmental factors require protection to ensure the survival of the golden snub-nosed monkey.
Carles Conejero, Jorge Ramón López-Olvera, Carlos González-Crespo, Arián Ráez-Bravo, Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Stefania Tampach, Roser Velarde,
Published: 5 September 2022
Scientific Reports, Volume 12, pp 1-12; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-17407-5

Abstract:
Applying contemporary trapping standards when managing wildlife should no longer be an option, but a duty. Increasing wild boar populations originate a growing number of conflicts and hunting is the only cost-effective management option in most cases. However, new scenarios where hunting is unfeasible emerge and trapping necessities cope with lacking regulatory frameworks and technical guidelines. In this research, we evaluated drop nets, a capture method not considered by the international trapping standards, to capture Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), a wildlife species not included in the list of mammal species under the scope of the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards (AIHTS). Less than 20% of the captured wild boars presented moderate or severe injuries attributable to the capture method, hence fulfilling the acceptance thresholds of the outdated AIHTS. Based on the new standards thresholds of acceptance, the humaneness of drop-nets in our study ranged 66–78%, under the 85% required. The capture success and selectivity were 100%, as ensured by operator-driven triggering, which should be considered the main strengths of this method, together with the minimization of animal suffering owing the short duration of the stressful situation. Additionally, in spite of the socially adverse environment, with people contrary to wild boar removal, no disturbances against the capture system or operations occurred. This is the first assessment of a drop-net capture method according to internationally accepted mammal trapping standards, with unconclusive results. However, there is a need for adapted procedures and thresholds of acceptance aimed at not-mechanical traps in general, and specifically at drop-nets. Compared to other live-capture methods, drop-nets minimize the duration of the stressful situation —at the expense of a strong adrenergic acute response—, maximize the probabilities of capturing entire sounders of prosocial species, which may be also considered as more humane, and has the ability to coordinate higher values of capture success, absolute selectivity and adaptability to difficult environments.
Justus Hagemann, Carles Conejero, Milena Stillfried, Gregorio Mentaberre, Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Jörns Fickel,
Published: 1 August 2022
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 833; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155126

Takashi Ikeda, Daishi Higashide, Takaaki Suzuki, Makoto Asano
Published: 21 June 2022
Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Volume 205; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2022.105700

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 11 June 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Land
Abstract:
The recent and ever-growing problem of boar (Sus scrofa forms including wild boar, hybrid and feral pig) expansion is a very complex issue in wildlife management. The damages caused to biodiversity and the economies are addressed in different ways by the various countries, but research is needed to shed light on the causal factors of this emergency before defining a useful collaborative management policy. In this review, we screened more than 280 references published between 1975–2022, identifying and dealing with five hot factors (climate change, human induced habitat modifications, predator regulation on the prey, hybridization with domestic forms, and transfaunation) that could account for the boar expansion and its niche invasion. We also discuss some issues arising from this boar emergency, such as epizootic and zoonotic diseases or the depression of biodiversity. Finally, we provide new insights for the research and the development of management policies.
Published: 18 April 2022
by MDPI
Journal: Sustainability
Sustainability, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084849

Abstract:
Wildlife–vehicle collisions (WVCs) in many places have a significant impact on wildlife management and road safety. The COVID-19 lockdown enabled the study of the specific impact that traffic has on these events. WVC variation in the Asturias and Cantabria regions (NW of Spain) because of the COVID-19 lockdown reached a maximum reduction of −64.77% during strict confinement but it was minimal or nonexistent during “soft” confinement. The global average value was −30.22% compared with the WVCs registered in the same period in 2019, but only −4.69% considering the average throughout the period 2010–2019. There are huge differences between conventional roads, where the traffic reduction was greater, and highways, where the traffic reduction was lesser during the COVID-19 lockdown. The results depend on the season, the day of the week and the time of day, but mainly on the traffic reduction occurring. The results obtained highlight the need to include the traffic factor in WVC reduction strategies.
, José A Barasona, Antonio J. Carpio, Joaquín Vicente, Pelayo Acevedo
Published: 14 March 2022
Pest Management Science, Volume 78, pp 2277-2286; https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6853

Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Marta Marín, Jorge Ramón López-Olvera, Teresa Ayats, , Santiago Lavín, Gregorio Mentaberre, Marta Cerdà-Cuéllar
Published: 29 January 2022
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 822; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.153444

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Adrienn Csókás, László Szabó, László Patkó, , Mihály Márton, Erzsébet Anna Lakatos, , Ferenc Deutsch,
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift Fur Saugetierkunde, Volume 102, pp 221-234; https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-021-00212-4

Abstract:
Studies of wild boar, Sus scrofa Linnaeus 1758, in urban and suburban areas of Budapest, Hungary, have indicated that these populations do not have continuous contact. Based on the assumption that the city has a discrete population, we hypothesized that the urban wild boar would differ genetically from those in suburban areas. Analysis of single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data using the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP) Porcine 50 K system (Neogen, Scotland, UK) differentiated three populations: Buda (B) from the Western bank of the Danube; Buda Surrounding (BS); and Valkó (V) from the Eastern bank of the Danube. The coefficient of genetic differentiation (FST) for the B and BS populations was low. The inbreeding coefficients of the populations BS and V were close to zero, while population B had a high positive value reflecting the influence of founders and the inbreeding of the continuous urban population. The genome regions that were most differentiated between the B and BS populations were analyzed based on the FST values of the SNP markers using a mixed linear multi-locus model and BayeScan software. The most differentiated marker, WU_10.2_18_56278226, was found on chromosome 18. The surrounding region contained several candidate genes that could play important roles in adaptations related to human-induced stress. Two of these, encoding the adenylate cyclase 1 (ADCY1) and inhibin beta A chain precursor (INHBA) genes, were sequenced. While IHBA gene did not display variation, the allele distribution of the ADCY1 gene in the B population was significantly different from that of the BS population supporting the parapatric differentiation of wild boar.
, , Marco De Nardi, Daniela Paolotti, Olga Muñoz, Piera Ceschi, Arvo Viltrop, Ilaria Capua
Published: 31 December 2021
Journal: PLOS ONE
Abstract:
SARS-CoV-2 has clearly shown that efficient management of infectious diseases requires a top-down approach which must be complemented with a bottom-up response to be effective. Here we investigate a novel approach to surveillance for transboundary animal diseases using African Swine (ASF) fever as a model. We collected data both at a population level and at the local level on information-seeking behavior respectively through digital data and targeted questionnaire-based surveys to relevant stakeholders such as pig farmers and veterinary authorities. Our study shows how information-seeking behavior and resulting public attention during an epidemic, can be identified through novel data streams from digital platforms such as Wikipedia. Leveraging attention in a critical moment can be key to providing the correct information at the right moment, especially to an interested cohort of people. We also bring evidence on how field surveys aimed at local workers and veterinary authorities remain a crucial tool to assess more in-depth preparedness and awareness among front-line actors. We conclude that these two tools should be used in combination to maximize the outcome of surveillance and prevention activities for selected transboundary animal diseases such as ASF.
Published: 7 December 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Insects
Abstract:
Background: Tick distributions have changed rapidly with changes in human activity, land-use patterns, climate, and wildlife distributions over the last few decades. Methods: To estimate potential distributions of ticks, we conducted a tick survey at 134 locations in western Kanto, Japan. We estimated the potential distributions of six tick species (Amblyomma testudinarium Koch, 1844; Haemaphysalis flava Neumann, 1897; Haemaphysalis kitaokai Hoogstraal, 1969; Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann, 1901; Haemaphysalis megaspinosa Saito, 1969; and Ixodes ovatus Neumann, 1899) using MaxEnt modeling based on climate patterns, land-use patterns, and the distributions of five common wildlife species: sika deer (Cervus nippon Temminck, 1838), wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758), raccoon (Procyon lotor Linnaeus, 1758), Japanese raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides Gray, 1834), and masked palm civet (Paguma larvata C.E.H. Smith, 1827)). Results: We collected 24,546 individuals of four genera and 16 tick species. Our models indicated that forest connectivity contributed to the distributions of six tick species and that raccoon distribution contributed to five tick species. Other than that, sika deer distribution contributed to H. kitaokai, and wild boar distribution, bamboo forest, and warm winter climate contributed specifically to A. testudinarium. Conclusions: Based on these results, the dispersal of some tick species toward residential areas and expanded distributions can be explained by the distribution of raccoons and by forest connectivity.
, Kim M. Pepin, Kurt C. VerCauteren,
Published: 30 October 2021
Pest Management Science, Volume 78, pp 914-928; https://doi.org/10.1002/ps.6701

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Marta Valldeperes, Barbara Moroni, , , Roser Velarde, Anna Rita Molinar Min, Gregorio Mentaberre, Emmanuel Serrano, Samer Angelone, Santiago Lavín, et al.
Published: 19 September 2021
Parasites & Vectors, Volume 14, pp 1-13; https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04979-w

Abstract:
Background: Sarcoptic mange is a globally distributed parasitic disease caused by the burrowing mite Sarcoptes scabiei. This mite has a certain degree of host specificity, although interspecific transmission can occur among phylogenetically related species or through prey–predator mediated exposure. In 2018, a wild boar (Sus scrofa) with lesions compatible with sarcoptic mange was hunted in Ports de Tortosa i Beseit Natural Park (PTB, north-eastern Spain), where an active epizootic outbreak of sarcoptic mange is affecting Iberian ibexes (Capra pyrenaica) since 2014. Methods: A complete necropsy, skin scrapings and skin digestions with hydroxide potassium were performed to confirm the diagnosis. Routine histopathological analysis, toluidine blue staining and immunohistochemistry were used to characterize the lesions and the inflammatory infiltrate. Finally, 10 specific S. scabiei microsatellites were molecularly genotyped through polymerase chain reactions in mites obtained from the affected wild boar. For phylogenetic comparison, mites obtained from sympatric Iberian ibexes and allopatric wild boars and Iberian ibexes from southern Spain were analysed. Results: Sarcoptes scabiei was visually and molecularly identified in the infested wild boar from PTB, causing skin lesions with dermal inflammatory infiltrate rich in T and B cells, which indicate an adaptive immune response. Three S. scabiei genetic clusters were identified: one included mites from southern Iberian ibexes, another included mites from southern wild boars, and a third one distinctively grouped the wild boar from PTB with the sympatric ibexes. Conclusions: To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first reported case of sarcoptic mange in wild boar in Spain and the first documented case of S. scabiei cross-transmission from a wild ruminant host to a wild boar. The wild boar presented an ordinary scabies type reaction, which is typical of the self-limiting infestations reported in other cases of interspecific transmission. Graphical
, Bryan. T.M. Lim, Malcolm C.K. Soh, Rebecca H.Y. Loy, H.K. Lua, Benjamin. P.Y.-H. Lee, Adrian H.B. Loo, Kenneth B.H. Er
Published: 8 September 2021
Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 30; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01807

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Roberto Pascual-Rico, , Natividad Aguilera-Alcalá, Agnieszka Olszańska, Esther Sebastián-González, Robin Naidoo, Marcos Moleón, Jorge Lozano, Francisco Botella, Henrik von Wehrden, et al.
Published: 14 August 2021
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 801; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.149652

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
, Luis Magen, Richard Birtles, Lucía Varela‐Castro, Jessica L. Hall, , , , Santiago Lavín, , et al.
Published: 31 July 2021
Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, Volume 69; https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.14268

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 28 May 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Animals
Abstract:
Disease transmission among wild boars, domestic animals and humans is a public health concern, especially in areas with high wild boar densities. In this study, fecal samples of wild boars (n = 200) from different locations of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona were analyzed by PCR to explore the frequency of β-lactamases and extended cephalosporin and carbapenem resistance genes (ESBLs) in Escherichia coli strains and the presence of toxigenic Clostridioides difficile. The prevalence of genes conferring resistance to β-lactam antimicrobials was 8.0% (16/200): blaCMY-2 (3.0%), blaTEM-1b (2.5%), blaCTX-M-14 (1.0%), blaSHV-28 (1.0%), blaCTX-M-15 (0.5%) and blaCMY-1 (0.5%). Clostridioides difficile TcdA+ was detected in two wild boars (1.0%), which is the first report of this pathogen in wild boars in Spain. Moreover, the wild boars foraging in urban and peri-urban locations were more exposed to AMRB sources than the wild boars dwelling in natural environments. In conclusion, the detection of E. coli carrying ESBL/AmpC genes and toxigenic C. difficile in wild boars foraging in urban areas reinforces the value of this game species as a sentinel of environmental AMRB sources. In addition, these wild boars can be a public and environmental health concern by disseminating AMRB and other zoonotic agents. Although this study provides the first hints of the potential anthropogenic sources of AMR, further efforts should be conducted to identify and control them.
Mammalian Biology - Zeitschrift Fur Saugetierkunde, Volume 101, pp 451-463; https://doi.org/10.1007/s42991-021-00125-2

Abstract:
Wild boar foraging impacts the crops, pastures, and meadows causing remarkable losses to agricultural income. Protected areas located in plains, such as the Ticino Valley Natural Park, are characterized by the coexistence of important natural habitats and intensive agricultural areas. In the Park, from 2010 to 2017, 49% of the complaints report an event of damage to maize and 43% to meadows. The total expense for reimbursements of the maize amounted to € 439,341.52, with damages concentrated in May, after sowing period and between August and September, during the milky stage of maize. For meadows reimbursements amounted to € 324,768.66, with damage events concentrated in February and March. To reduce damage to crops, the Park administration carried out lethal control of the wild boar population. From 2006 to 2017, the most used control method was culling from hunting hides. In our analysis, we did not find significant relationships between the number of shot boars and the damage amount. The factors that determine the decrease of damage probability to crops are mainly related to human disturbance and the characteristics of the fields. The predictive model of damage risk built comparing damaged and undamaged fields showed a good predictive ability. The population viability analyses showed that it is impossible to obtain a drastic reduction of population with the current harvest rate. By tripling it and focusing on the females and sub-adult a numerical reduction of 50% of the population would be achievable in 7 years and the probability of population survival would be halved in 3 years.
, Kim M. Pepin, Kurt C. VerCauteren, James C. Beasley
Published: 25 March 2021
Scientific Reports, Volume 11, pp 1-14; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86363-3

Abstract:
Elucidating correlations between wild pig (Sus scrofa) behavior and landscape attributes can aid in the advancement of management strategies for controlling populations. Using GPS data from 49 wild pigs in the southeastern U.S., we used hidden Markov models to define movement path characteristics and assign behaviors (e.g., resting, foraging, travelling). We then explored the connection between these behaviors and resource selection for both sexes between two distinct seasons based on forage availability (i.e., low forage, high forage). Females demonstrated a crepuscular activity pattern in the high-forage season and a variable pattern in the low-forage season, while males exhibited nocturnal activity patterns across both seasons. Wild pigs selected for bottomland hardwoods and dense canopy cover in all behavioral states in both seasons. Males selected for diversity in vegetation types while foraging in the low-forage season compared to the high-forage season and demonstrated an increased use of linear anthropogenic features across seasons while traveling. Wild pigs can establish populations and home ranges in an array of landscapes, but our results demonstrate male and female pigs exhibit clear differences in movement behavior and there are key resources associated with common behaviors that can be targeted to improve the efficiency of management programs.
Published: 12 March 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Microorganisms
Abstract:
Brucellosis is a zoonosis caused by different Brucella species. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) could be infected by some species and represents an important reservoir, especially for B. suis biovar 2. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of Brucella spp. by serological and molecular assays in wild boar hunted in Tuscany (Italy) during two hunting seasons. From 287 animals, sera, lymph nodes, livers, spleens, and reproductive system organs were collected. Within sera, 16 (5.74%) were positive to both rose bengal test (RBT) and complement fixation test (CFT), with titres ranging from 1:4 to 1:16 (corresponding to 20 and 80 ICFTU/mL, respectively). Brucella spp. DNA was detected in four lymph nodes (1.40%), five epididymides (1.74%), and one fetus pool (2.22%). All positive PCR samples belonged to Brucella suis biovar 2. The results of this investigation confirmed that wild boar represents a host for B. suis biovar. 2 and plays an important role in the epidemiology of brucellosis in central Italy. Additionally, epididymis localization confirms the possible venereal transmission.
Published: 4 March 2021
by MDPI
Journal: Biology
Abstract:
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging and worldwide diffused zoonosis. Recently, the high importance of their epidemiology was explained by the intermediate Leptospira strains. Among these strains, Leptospira fainei was the first intermediate strain detected in domestic and wild swine. Wild boars (Sus scrofa) are well known as a reservoir, as well as all swine, for pathogenic Leptospira, but very little information is available concerning intermediate Leptospira infection. The investigation aim was to evaluate if intermediate Leptospira can infect the reproductive systems of wild boars hunted in the Tuscany region (Italy), as previously demonstrated for pathogenic ones. The reproductive system tissue (testicles, epididymides, uteri), and placentas and fetuses, were collected from 200 regularly hunted animals. Bacteriological examination and real-time PCR were performed to detect intermediate Leptospira DNA. Unfortunately, no isolates were obtained. Using real-time PCR, in six (3%) male organs (both testicles and epididymis), intermediate Leptospira DNA was found. The amplification of the 16S rRNA gene identified that all DNA obtained belong to Leptospira fainei. The results of this investigation highlighted for the first time the localization of Leptospira fainei in the male wild boar reproductive system, opening up a new avenue to further investigate.
Sonia Almería, , Paloma Prieto, Jitender P. Dubey, Débora Jiménez‐Martín, Sabrina Castro‐Scholten, Jorge Paniagua,
Published: 22 February 2021
Zoonoses and Public Health, Volume 68, pp 263-270; https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12821

Abstract:
The possibility of Toxoplasma gondii transmitted from game meat to humans is of public health concern. Here we determined seroprevalence and risk factors associated with T. gondii in large game ungulates that cohabit in Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park (SCSV‐NP) (Southern Spain), a natural park with high human–animal interaction. Antibodies against T. gondii in 328 wild ungulates were assayed by the modified agglutination test (MAT ≥ 1:25). Antibodies were found in 39 (11.9%, 95% CI: 8.4–15.4) wild ungulates, with seroprevalence levels of 20.8% in wild boars (Sus scrofa) (5/24), 19.0% in fallow deer (Dama dama) (12/63), 13.9% in Iberian ibex (Capra pyrenaica hispanica) (14/101), 7.9% in red deer (Cervus elaphus) (6/76), and 3.1% in mouflons (Ovis aries musimon) (2/64). Significantly higher seroprevalence was observed in fallow deer and wild boars compared to mouflons. Animals living close to urban areas (5 km of urban areas. The results indicate high circulation of T. gondii in wild ungulates in SCSV‐NP, which is of animal and public health concern. The increased seroprevalence of T. gondii detected in wildlife ungulates living close to urban areas may increase human infection in those areas if meat from infected animals is consumed raw or undercooked.
Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Gregorio Mentaberre, , Carles Conejero, Andreu Colom-Cadena, Arián Ráez-Bravo, Carlos González-Crespo, Johan Espunyes, Santiago Lavín,
Published: 4 February 2021
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 773; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145593

Abstract:
Urbanisation is a global human-induced environmental change and one of the most important threats to biodiversity. To survive in human-modified environments, wildlife must adjust to the challenging selection pressures of urban areas through behaviour, morphology, physiology and/or genetic changes. Here we explore the effect of urbanisation in a large, highly adaptable and generalist urban adapter species, the wild boar (Sus scrofa, Linnaeus 1758). From 2005 to 2018, we gathered wild boar data and samples from three areas in NE Spain: one urban (Barcelona municipality, n = 445), and two non-urban (Serra de Collserola Natural Park, n = 183, and Sant Llorenç del Munt i Serra de l'Obac Natural Park, n = 54). We investigated whether urbanisation influenced wild boar body size, body mass, body condition, and the concentration of serum metabolites, considering also the effect of age, sex and use of anthropogenic food resources. Wild boars from the urban area had larger body size, higher body mass, better body condition, and a higher triglyceride and lower creatinine serum concentrations than non-urban wild boars. In addition, urban wild boars consumed food from anthropogenic origin more frequently, which suggests that differences in their diet probably induced the biometric and the metabolic changes observed. These responses are probably adaptive and suggest that wild boars are thriving in the urban environment. Our results show that urbanisation can change the morphological and physiological traits of a large mammal urban adapter, which may have consequences in the ecology and response to urban selection pressures by the species. The phenotypic plasticity shown by wild boars provides both further and new evidence on the mechanisms that allow urban adapter species of greater size to respond to urbanisation, which is expected to continue growing globally over the coming decades.
, , , Maria Nicoletta Ponti, Barbara Turchi, , Francesca Parisi, Paolo Pinzauti, , Bruna Palmas, et al.
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Volume 14; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0008982

Abstract:
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging and globally spread zoonosis caused by pathogenic genomospecies of Leptospira. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) are an important Leptospira host and are increasing in population all over Europe. The aim of this investigation was to evaluate Leptospira spp. infection in the reproductive systems of wild boar hunted in two Italian regions: Tuscany and Sardinia. From 231 animals, reproductive system tissue samples (testicles, epididymides, uteri) as well as placentas and fetuses were collected. Bacteriological examination and Real-Time PCR were performed to detect pathogenic Leptospira (lipL32 gene). Leptospires were isolated from the testicles and epididymides of one adult and two subadult wild boar. Four isolates from the two subadult males were identified as Leptospira interrogans serogroup Australis by MLST, whereas Leptospira kirschneri serogroup Grippotyphosa was identified from the adult testicles and epididymis. Using Real-Time PCR, 70 samples were positive: 22 testicles (23.16%) and 22 epididymides (23.16%), 10 uteri (7.35%), 3 placentas (6.66%), and 13 fetuses (28.88%). Amplification of the rrs2 gene identified L. interrogans and L. kirschneri species. The results from this investigation confirmed that wild boar represent a potential source of pathogenic Leptospira spp. Isolation of Leptospira serogroups Australis and Grippotyphosa from the male reproductive system and the positive Real-Time PCR results from both male and female samples could suggest venereal transmission, as already demonstrated in pigs. Furthermore, placentas and fetuses were positive for the lipL32 target, and this finding may be related to a possible vertical transmission of pathogenic Leptospira.
Published: 4 November 2020
Journal: Chemosphere
Abstract:
Organic pollutants (OPs) are widely distributed around the globe, their presence has become an issue of great concern in the last years due to their potential health effects. Wildlife biomonitoring of OPs has been nowadays a common approach to assess chemical exposure in wildlife and humans. In a sample of 60 wild boars (Sus scrofa) from NW Spain, we evaluated the suitability of using liver and hair samples for the assessment of exposure and bioaccumulation of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) including dioxin and non-dioxin like PCBs (DLPCBs and NDLPCBs), organochlorine and organophosphate pesticides (OCPs and OPPs, respectively), polybromodiphenyl ethers (PBDEs), pyrethroids (PYRs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Selective pressurized liquid extraction (SPLE) and liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) methodologies were used to determine the target OPs in liver and hair samples. Clean-up of extracts was performed by solid-phase extraction (SPE) using EZ-POP cartridges and detection by gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (GC-QqQ-MS/MS). We found a distribution pattern of ΣPAHs > ΣOCPs > ΣPYRs > ΣNDLPCBs > ΣOPPs > ΣDLPCBs > ΣPBDEs in liver and of ΣPAHs > ΣOCPs > ΣNDLPCBs > ΣPYRs > ΣOPPs > ΣDLPCBs > ΣPBDEs in hair. Significant correlations (p < 0.050) between the socio-demographic characteristics (gender, age and place) and OP concentrations of OCPs, PBDEs, PYRs, OPPs and PAHs were detected. Moderate correlation was found between HCB, PCB28, PCB157 and chlorpyrifos contents in both hair and liver samples. On the basis of these results, our data shows the correlation and complementary information given by both biological samples.
, Marta Valldeperes, Emmanuel Serrano, Jorge Ramón López-Olvera, Santiago Lavín,
Published: 15 September 2020
Parasites & Vectors, Volume 13, pp 1-4; https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04347-0

Abstract:
This letter comments on the article “The treatment of sarcoptic mange in wildlife: a systematic review” published in Parasites & Vectors 2019, 12:99, and discusses the limitations in the use of endectocides for scabies control in free-ranging wildlife. The ecological impact and drug resistance to ivermectin are also discussed. In our view, scabies control in free-ranging wildlife should be based preferably on population management measures, and whether to apply individual treatments to free-ranging populations should be considered very carefully and avoided where not absolutely warranted.
Irene Torres‐Blas, Gregorio Mentaberre, Raquel Castillo‐Contreras, , Carles Conejero, Marta Valldeperes, Carlos González‐Crespo, Andreu Colom‐Cadena, Santiago Lavín,
Published: 21 August 2020
Veterinary Record, Volume 187; https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.105766

Abstract:
Background Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are increasing worldwide and invading urban areas. Live-capture can improve the management of this challenge, maximising efficiency, allowing scientific studies and potentially improving animal welfare. This study assesses teleanaesthesia, drop-net, corral trap and cage trap to live-capture wild boar in urban and peri-urban areas, evaluating efficiency and animal stress through haematology and serum biochemistry. Methods From 2012 to 2018, 655 wild boars were captured in 279 operations (drop-net=17, teleanaesthesia=186, cage trap=66 and corral trap=10) in the urban and peri-urban areas of Barcelona (Spain). Haematological and serum biochemical variables were determined in 145 wild boars (42 drop-netted, 41 teleanaesthetised, 38 cage-trapped and 24 corral-trapped). Results Performance (wild boars captured per operation) was highest for drop-net, followed by corral and cage traps, and finally teleanaesthesia. The three physical capture methods were more stressful than teleanaesthesia, causing a more intense physiological reaction, muscular damage, renal function impairment and homeostasis adaption. Stress response was predominantly adrenergic for drop-net and cortisol-induced for cage and corral traps. Conclusion Teleanaesthesia is the choice in reactive urban situations thanks to its adaptability; drop-net effectively targets wild boars in peri-urban environments; cage and corral traps are useful as long-term methods in specific areas.
Yuichi Yokoyama, Yoshihiro Nakashima, Gota Yajima, Tadashi Miyashita
Published: 19 August 2020
Royal Society Open Science, Volume 7; https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.200579

Abstract:
Analyses of life history and population dynamics are essential for effective population control of wild mammals. We developed a model for the simultaneous estimation of seasonal changes in three parameters—population density, habitat preference and trap catchability of target animals—based on camera-trapping data and harvest records. The random encounter and staying time model, with no need for individual recognition, is the core component of the model—by combining this model with the catch-effort model, we estimated density at broad spatial scales and catchability by traps. Here, the wild boar population in central Japan was evaluated as a target population. We found that the estimated population density increased after the birth period and then decreased until the next birth period, mainly due to harvesting. Habitat preference changed seasonally, but forests having abandoned fields nearby were generally preferred throughout the season. These patterns can be explained by patterns of food availability and resting or nesting sites. Catchability by traps also changed seasonally, with relatively high values in the winter, which probably reflected changes in the attractiveness of the trap bait due to activity changes in response to food scarcity. Based on these results, we proposed an effective trapping strategy for wild boars, and discussed the applicability of our model to more general conservation and management issues.
Justin W. Fischer, Nathan P. Snow, Bradley E. Wilson, Scott F. Beckerman, Christopher N. Jacques, Eric H. VanNatta, Shannon L. Kay, Kurt C. VerCauteren
Published: 13 July 2020
Scientific Reports, Volume 10; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68264-z

Abstract:
The human-mediated spread of exotic and invasive species often leads to unintentional and harmful consequences. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one such species that have been repeatedly translocated throughout the United States and cause extensive damage to natural ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, agricultural resources, and private lands. In 2005, a newly established population of wild pigs was confirmed in Fulton County, Illinois, U.S. In 2011, a state-wide wild pig damage management program involving federal, state, and local government authorities directed a concerted effort to remove wild pigs from the county until the last wild pig (of 376 total) was successfully removed in 2016. We examined surveillance data from camera traps at bait sites and records of wild pig removals during this elimination program to identify environmental and anthropogenic factors that optimized removal of this population. Our results revealed that wild pigs used bait sites most during evening and nocturnal periods and on days with lower daily maximum temperatures. Increased removals of wild pigs coincided with periods of cold weather. We also identified that fidelity and time spent at bait sites by wild pigs was not influenced by increasing removals of wild pigs. Finally, the costs to remove wild pigs averaged $50 per wild pig (6.8 effort hours per wild pig) for removing the first 99% of the animals. Cost for removing the last 1% increased 84-fold, and averaged 122.8 effort hours per wild pig removed. Our results demonstrated that increased effort in removing wild pigs using bait sites should be focused during periods of environmental stress to maximize removal efficiency. These results inform elimination programs attempting to remove newly established populations of wild pigs, and ultimately prevent population and geographic expansion.
, Nathan P. Snow, Bradley E. Wilson, Scott F. Beckerman, Christopher N. Jacques, Eric H. VanNatta, Shannon L. Kay, Kurt C. VerCauteren
Published: 13 July 2020
Scientific Reports, Volume 10

Abstract:
The human-mediated spread of exotic and invasive species often leads to unintentional and harmful consequences. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one such species that have been repeatedly translocated throughout the United States and cause extensive damage to natural ecosystems, threatened and endangered species, agricultural resources, and private lands. In 2005, a newly established population of wild pigs was confirmed in Fulton County, Illinois, U.S. In 2011, a state-wide wild pig damage management program involving federal, state, and local government authorities directed a concerted effort to remove wild pigs from the county until the last wild pig (of 376 total) was successfully removed in 2016. We examined surveillance data from camera traps at bait sites and records of wild pig removals during this elimination program to identify environmental and anthropogenic factors that optimized removal of this population. Our results revealed that wild pigs used bait sites most during evening and nocturnal periods and on days with lower daily maximum temperatures. Increased removals of wild pigs coincided with periods of cold weather. We also identified that fidelity and time spent at bait sites by wild pigs was not influenced by increasing removals of wild pigs. Finally, the costs to remove wild pigs averaged $50 per wild pig (6.8 effort hours per wild pig) for removing the first 99% of the animals. Cost for removing the last 1% increased 84-fold, and averaged 122.8 effort hours per wild pig removed. Our results demonstrated that increased effort in removing wild pigs using bait sites should be focused during periods of environmental stress to maximize removal efficiency. These results inform elimination programs attempting to remove newly established populations of wild pigs, and ultimately prevent population and geographic expansion.
Enrique Alabau, Gregorio Mentaberre, , Raquel Castillo-Contreras, Inés S. Sánchez-Barbudo, Carles Conejero, María S. Fernández-Bocharán, Jorge R. López-Olvera,
Published: 30 May 2020
Science of the Total Environment, Volume 738; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.139828

Abstract:
We studied the prevalence of anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) in liver and muscle tissues of wild boar captured in the urban area of Barcelona, the suburban area of Collserola Natural Park and the rural area of Santa Quiteria, next to Cabañeros National Park, in Spain. The objective was to assess the influence of both urbanisation and wild boar (Sus scrofa) trophic opportunism on the accumulation of these compounds. We have also evaluated the risk for human consumers of this game meat. Wild boars from Barcelona city showed the highest prevalence of ARs detection (60.8%), followed by the adjoining suburban area of Collserola N.P. (40%) and the rural distant area of Santa Quiteria (7.7%). Liver bioaccumulated ARs (45.2%) more frequently than muscle (11.9%). A significant proportion (13.7%) of wild boar captured in Barcelona city exceeded 200 ng/g of total ARs in liver, a threshold for adverse effects on blood clotting. For difenacoum, there was a predominance of cis isomer, while for brodifacoum and bromadiolone cis and trans isomers appeared in a similar proportion. According to the scarce available information on ARs toxicity in humans, the risk of acute poisoning from game meat consumption seems to be low. However, repeated exposure through liver consumption should be considered in further risk assessments because of the high concentration detected in some samples (up to 0.68 mg/kg).
, M. Heltai, K. Katona
Published: 25 May 2020
Journal: Biologia Futura
Biologia Futura, Volume 71, pp 69-80; https://doi.org/10.1007/s42977-020-00012-w

Abstract:
Expansion and urbanization process of wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations lead to serious human–wildlife conflicts in many cities, e.g. in Budapest, Hungary. In this study we evaluated the penetration potential of the species into the inner urban areas by identifying the occurrence of wild boar and the quality of the habitat patches for them along an urban gradient from the periphery towards the centre. Wild boar rooting intensity, shrub cover and the availability of woody species giving favourable food to wild boar were measured in four different habitat patches. The availability of hiding shrub patches was much higher in the outer areas than in the inner ones. Similarly, the proportion of shrub and tree species providing favourable food for wild boar decreased towards the centre. Accordingly, we found rooting only in two areas nearer to the city boundary. Based on our results at the peripheral areas permanent presence of wild boar in near-natural habitats should be expected, but not in the inner green zones. We recommend to monitor the urban wild boar presence and evaluate the quality of urban green patches to mitigate problems related to the wild boars.
Published: 14 May 2020
by MDPI
Journal: Pathogens
Abstract:
Leptospirosis is a re-emerging, worldwide zoonosis, and wild boar (Sus scrofa) are involved in its epidemiology as the reservoir. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Leptospira with serological, bacteriological, and molecular assays in wild boar hunted in Tuscany (Italy) during two hunting seasons. In total, 287 specimens of sera, kidneys, and liver were collected to perform microscopic agglutination tests (MATs), isolation, and RealTime PCR to detect pathogenic (lipL32 gene), intermediate (16S rRNA gene), and saprophytic (23S rRNA gene) Leptospira. Within sera, 39 (13.59%) were positive to the MAT, and Australis was the most represented serogroup (4.88%), followed by Pomona (4.18%), and Tarassovi (3.14%). Moreover, four Leptospira cultures were positive, and once isolates were identified, one was identified as L. borgpetersenii serovar Tarassovi, and three as L. interrogans serovar Bratislava. Pathogenic Leptospira DNA were detected in 32 wild boar kidneys (11.15%). The characterization through the amplification of the rrs2 gene highlighted their belonging to L. interrogans (23 kidneys), L. borgpetersenii (four), and L. kirschneri (one), while nine kidneys (3.14%) were positive for intermediate Leptospira, all belonging to L. fainei. The results of this study confirmed the importance of wild boar in the epidemiology of leptospirosis among wildlife in Central Italy.
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