Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Using habitat suitability model for the wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) to select wildlife passage sites in extensively disturbed temperate forests

Published Date
Journal title : Journal of Ecology and Environment
 Volume 38, Issue 2,  2015, pp.163-173
 Publisher : The Ecological Society of Korea
 DOI : 10.5141/ecoenv.2015.018

Abstract

The occurrence of wild boars (Sus scrofa Linnaeus) and reports of wildlife-vehicle conflicts (i.e., road-kill) involving them have increased in natural forest regions of Korea. In the past few decades, many wildlife passages have been constructed to reduce vehicle collisions involving wildlife species. However, few studies have assessed the habitat suitability of target wildlife species when locating the construction sites of wildlife passages. Target species rarely use wildlife passages if built in an inappropriate location. Therefore, a quantitative habitat model is required to find suitable sites for wildlife passages that can connect the fragmented forest patches of wildlife habitats in Korea. In this study, the wild boar was selected as the target species, and six environmental variables (percentage of Quercus forest, slope aspect, distance to roads, water accessibility, forest stand age and density) were measured. The habitat model for wild boars was developed with a Delphi survey, and habitat suitability maps were delineated for the provinces of Gangwon-do and Jeollanam-do. In this study, 298 and 64 boars were observed in Gangwon-do and Jeollanam-do, respectively. Observations of wild boars derived from the second nationwide natural environmental survey were used to evaluate the habitat model. Habitat suitability maps that superimposed existing road networks suggested that wild boar habitats were severely fragmented in both provinces, particularly in Gangwon-do. To connect the fragmented habitats and prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions, this study proposes 11 and 5 wildlife passage sites in Gangwon-do and Jeollanam-do, respectively.

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