Capture effects in wild boar: a multifaceted behavioural investigation

8 January 2019

Brogi, Rudy; Brivio, Francesca; Bertolucci, Cristiano; Benazzi, Michele; Luccarini, Siriano; Cappai, Nadia; Bottero, Elisa; Pedrazzoli, Carlo; Columbano, Nicolò; Apollonio, Marco ; Grignolio, Stefano

Although the proliferation of the wild boar in Europe makes capturing and handling necessary for both management and research, the behavioural responses of this species to capture are still unknown. We evaluated how capture affects wild boar behaviour during the first 30 days after the release, focusing on the animals’ total activity, mobility and activity rhythms and their variation in response to different drug mixtures used for sedation. Low levels of activity and mobility characterized the first 10 post-capture days. After this period, a gradual restoring of stable levels occurred. Wild boar captured by using different drug mixtures exhibited slightly different patterns of activity depression. We also showed capture to produce a partial effect on wild boar behavioural rhythmicity. Our findings highlight the case study variability of the capture effect and offer useful insights into several conservation and management implications.