Using spatial data on habitat suitability in estimation of wild boar resources in Russia
Wild boar resources in Russia
AbstractWild boar is one of the most important hunting husbandry resources in Eurasian boreal and temperate forests. In Russia, these animals inhabit a large part of the territory; however, official bodies do not allow public access to relevant and unbiased regional statistics. In parallel with official figures, such statistics have been kept for decades by VNIIOZ (All-Russian Scientific Research Institute for Hunting and Animal Breeding): the resource is estimated using the indirect method of recalculating multiple scores from independent respondents. We compared VNIIOZ long-term datasets with the wild boar habitat suitability distribution in the Russian territory to assess the reliability of these figures and to carry out a pilot evaluation of the need for their adjustment. Our results show a good correlation between the abundance assessment by VNIIOZ and habitat suitability (about 0.7); we also identified several regions where wild boar abundance indicators are sharply dissonant with the existing environmental capacity. We discussed the impact of man-made and natural factors on the population growth rate of wild boar in Russia.