Oral Presentation- Symposium 12th International Mammalogical Congress

Evolutionary and demographic consequences of exploitation: Wild boar as a case study (#368)

Marlène Gamelon 1 , Eric Baubet 2 , Stefano Focardi 3 , Bernt-Erik Sæther 1 , Jean-Michel Gaillard 4
  1. Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD), NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
  2. French National Agency for Wildlife (ONCFS), Birieux, France
  3. Istituto per i Sistemi Complessi (CNR), Firenze, Italy
  4. University Lyon 1, Lyon, France

Understanding how some species respond quickly enough to deal with anthropogenic pressure is of prime interest in evolutionary biology, conservation, and management. Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are mainly regulated by hunting and seed availability (acorns/beechnuts) in Europe. From a long-term monitoring of two populations subjected to markedly different environmental contexts in terms of both frequency of pulsed resources and hunting pressure, we assessed how pulsed resources shape the reproductive output of females. Using path analyses, we showed that in both populations, abundant seed availability increases body mass and both the absolute and the relative (to body mass) allocation to reproduction through higher fertility. In the lightly hunted population also characterised by few resources, females equally relied on past and current resources for reproduction and ranked at an intermediate position along the capital-income continuum of breeding tactics. In contrast, in the heavily hunted population with high availability of food resources, females relied on current more than past resources and ranked closer to the income end of the continuum. We discussed these results at the light of recent works showing different wild boar life history strategies in populations subjected to contrasting hunting pressures.