Institute for Fish and Wildlife Health


Wildboar and human activities

After the occurrence of African Swine Fever in Belgium in 2018, the question of which control measures to implement arose there and elsewhere. While hunting has been shown to increase wild boar movements and thus the risk of disease spread, the effect of occupational (forestry work) and leisure activities in the forest on wild boar behaviour is unknown.

The goal of this study is to investigate the response of wild boars to different kinds of anthropogenic disturbances under Swiss conditions. Wild boar from different sounders will be fitted with GPS collars and tracked before, during, and after disturbances. The data will be analysed in relation to topological features and combined with National Forest Inventory data to identify areas within and outside the study area that are at higher risk of disease transmission. Our results will shed light on the spatiotemporal behavior of wild boar in response to human activities. They shall advice policy makers involved in risk management and disease control.

The project is a collaboration between the Vetsuisse Faculty of Bern, the HEPIA (Haute école du paysage, d'ingénierie et d'architecture de Genève) and WSL (Federal Research Institute for Forests, Snow and Landscape) and is led by Dr. Beatriz Vidondo (Veterinary Public Health Institute, Vetsuisse Bern). The FIWI is responsible for the veterinary aspects of the project.

Contact at FIWI: Simone Pisano; Marie-Pierre Ryser-Degiorgis