Stochastic assessment of management strategies for a Mediterranean peri-urban wild boar population
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© 2018 González-Crespo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) population spread into urban and periurban areas has exacerbated conflicts with humans. There is a need for planned wild boar management strategies, and Population viability analysis (PVA) combined with perturbation analyses allow the assessment of the management effort of control methods. Our study aims to develop stochastic predictive models of the increasing wild boar population of the 80 km2 peri-urban Mediterranean area of Collserola Natural Park (CNP), located near Barcelona, Spain, as well as assessing specific management measures (including reduced food availability, selective harvest, and reduction in fertility). Population parameters were estimated from previously published census and hunting data provided by the CNP and the local hunting administration. The results revealed that under the current conditions the CNP wild boar population will continue to increase. The most efficient strategy to reduce wild boar abundance was a combination of reducing supplementary anthropogenic food resources and selective removal of juvenile (<1 year) and yearling (1–2 years) wild boar. These strategies will probably be also the most efficient ones in other oversupplemented increasing wild boar populations in similar situations, although specific studies will be needed to fine-tune the best management option for each context. PVA allows the prediction of future population trends and the assessment of the efficacy and efficiency of potential management strategies before implementing management measures.