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Habitat preference of wild boar (Sus scrofa) for feeding in cool-temperate forests

  • Kim, Youngjin (Department of Biological Sciences, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Cho, Soyeon (Department of Biological Sciences, Kangwon National University) ;
  • Choung, Yeonsook (Department of Biological Sciences, Kangwon National University)
  • Received : 2019.04.17
  • Accepted : 2019.07.16
  • Published : 2019.09.30

Abstract

Background: The growing wild boar population has become a social issue and its feeding characteristics could affect the physical condition and the plant species composition in the South Korean forests. We aimed to reveal the preference of the wild boar on forest type and site condition as feeding grounds in two cool-temperate forested national parks, Odaesan and Seoraksan, in order to provide information to manage the growing population. Results: The 75 plots (53.6%) out of 140 plots were used as feeding grounds by the wild boar, implying a considerably large population. Especially, the observation frequency as feeding ground was the highest in Quercus forests (73.3%), and it was significantly more preferred than deciduous forest type (44.2%) and coniferous forest type (32.4%) (${\chi}^2=17.591$, p < 0.001). Significantly more and deeper pits were found in Quercus forests. Moreover, high elevation and gentle slope ridge were relatively preferred regardless of forest distribution. Conclusions: South Korean forests are growing qualitatively and quantitatively. Particularly, Quercus forest area has increased markedly, while coniferous forest area has decreased. Since the Quercus forest provides rich food sources for the wild boar, the enlargement of this forest type is expected to increase the wild boar population. The forests located at high elevations have high species diversity, and it is expected that these forests will be greatly affected by the increase in the wild boar population as preferred feeding grounds.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), National Institute of Ecology, Kangwon National University

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