Seasonal variation in effectiveness of the boar-operated system to deliver baits to wild boar.
Pest Manag Sci. 2018 Feb;74(2):422-429
Authors: Ferretti F, Coats J, Cowan DP, Pietravalle S, Massei G
BACKGROUND: Wild boar and feral pig numbers are growing worldwide and have substantial economic and environmental impacts. Bait-delivered pharmaceuticals such as disease vaccines, toxicants and contraceptives are advocated to mitigate these impacts. Effective campaigns based on these pharmaceuticals rely on optimising the target species’ bait uptake, which may differ between seasons. We investigated seasonal differences in the use of Boar-Operated Systems (BOSs) by wild boar and non-target species in an English woodland.
RESULTS: In a pre-trial phase (BOS left open), wild boar, wild mammals, birds, livestock and companion animals fed on the peanuts and maize used as bait in the BOS. During the trial (BOS closed), only wild boar consumed the baits. Wild boar visited and fed from a larger number of BOSs in spring than in summer or winter. No aggressive intra-group interactions were recorded when wild boar fed from the BOSs but adult males were observed to monopolise two BOSs. Group size was highest in spring and bait uptake was lowest in winter.
CONCLUSION: The study confirmed the species-specificity of the BOS throughout the year and highlighted that, at least in this area, bait uptake by wild boar for baits delivered through the BOS would be maximised in spring. © 2017 Crown copyright. Pest Management Science © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.
PMID: 28869327 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]