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Scientists and technical experts in wild boar management from all over the world will meet at the International Symposium on wild boar and other Suids to be held in Montseny from 6 to 9 September.

The International Symposium on wild boar and other Suids will start on 6 September and will focus on the challenge of controlling the growth of wild boar populations and mitigating the social, economic and biodiversity impacts caused by this species. It will last until 9 September and will take place in the municipality of Seva (Barcelona), in the Montseny Biosphere Reserve.

The challenge of the growth of wild boar populations in Europe

The wild boar is one of the most successful mammal species in Europe, and in the world. Populations are expanding in numbers and distribution, colonising all types of habitats and regions, from high mountain areas to plains and urban areas.

The challenge of controlling the growth of wild boar populations and mitigating the social, economic and biodiversity impacts caused by this species will be one of the main themes of this symposium. Both common conflicts (crop damage, road accidents, presence in urban areas, etc.) and new risks, such as the spread of African Swine Fever, require new approaches to the management of wild boar populations and their impacts.

Management based on scientific and applied knowledge is needed now more than ever to mitigate human-wild boar conflicts.

The 13th International Wild Boar Symposium

The International Wild Boar Symposium is held every 2 years, and the edition held in Catalonia was planned for 2020 but was postponed due to Covid.

The main organisers are the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) through the Institute for Biodiversity Research_IRBio and Minuartia, which are sponsored by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Diputació de Barcelona. The Collserola Park, the Barcelona City Council, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and SECEM (Spanish Society for the Conservation and Study of Mammals), among others, also support the organisation of the congress.

The Symposium is promoted by a scientific committee that appoints the Chair of each edition, which in this case is Dr. Carme Rosell, researcher and consultant at Minuartia and collaborator of the University of Barcelona.

This year there are 207 registered participants from 25 different countries, mainly from Europe, but also from the United States, the Philippines, India and South Africa.

There are 118 papers (62 oral and 56 in poster format) that have passed the evaluation of the scientific committee and there are also 3 plenary conferences.

"During the congress, researchers from all over the world will provide data from the latest research on various important aspects of wild boar management in their countries and possible solutions to the conflicts they generate," says Dr. Carme Rosell, Chair of the Congress.

Four technical outings are scheduled, in which methods of damage prevention, urban wild boar management measures, capture systems and innovative techniques such as the use of drones for wild boar management, or systems to reduce the risk of accidents with wild boar on the roads will be presented.

The symposium will include thematic sessions on wild boar biology, eco-ethology, management, population control strategies and damage mitigation methods. Other suids from all over the world, such as babirusas, warthogs and peccaries, will also be part of the congress theme.

Experiences in Catalonia

"In Catalonia, as in the rest of Europe, the wild boar is a species in strong expansion. The extinction of the wolf means that the species has no natural predators to limit the growth of its populations; this, together with the increase in forest area, has led to an increase in the number of wild boars. In recent years, the loss of fear of humans has significantly increased the conflicts generated by the species due to the occupation of cities and crop areas where it has access to unlimited sources of food, causing great economic losses to the Catalan peasantry," says Dr. Rosell.

It is estimated that more than 200,000 wild boar live in Catalonia and hunting, together with captures made with different types of traps and other systems, are currently the techniques used to try to curb the growth of populations. Other systems are under study, such as the administration of contraceptive vaccines. Meanwhile, studies and research into techniques to prevent damage are also key.

Experiences of international relevance carried out in Catalonia will be presented at the congress. Specifically, the long-term monitoring programme for wild boar populations, promoted by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Diputació de Barcelona, which has data from more than 30 years of monitoring on the evolution of populations and hunting practices. It has the technical assistance of Minuartia and provides the basis for research studies and modelling of factors that condition the populations that this entity carries out together with Prof. Jose Domingo Rodriguez Teijeiro of the University of Barcelona and IRBio.

The symposium will also present the 'Guide of measures to reduce damage' and the website where all the monitoring on wild boar in Catalonia is gathered www.Senglar.CAT.

Other experiences presented at the congress include the work being carried out on the management of urban wild boar by Barcelona City Council and the Collserola Park, in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB); the trials on fertility control by the UAB in collaboration with the Diputació de Barcelona; aspects related to the perception and social dimension of wild boar carried out by the Department of Social Anthropology of the UB, the experience of capture of feral Vietnamese pigs by FAADA and studies on the shared use by humans and wild boar of wildlife crossings on the High Speed Railway Line.

The use of drones for the management of the species and the various techniques for capturing wild boar with traps and other systems will also be demonstrated during the technical outings.

The Symposium Programme

The Symposium has three invited speakers: Dr. Ferran Jori, from ASTRE research unit, CIRAD-INRAE (France) with the lecture: 'African swine fever reservoirs in wild swine. A moving target', Dr. Oliver Keuling from the Institute for Terrestrial and Aquatic Wildlife Research, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover (Germany) with the presentation: 'Hunting wild boar: How, why and at what cost?' Giovanna Massei, from the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control, Animal and Plant Health Agency (UK) with the presentation: 'What we don't know about wild boar: knowledge gaps and management priorities'.

During the first day there will be 3 thematic sessions: 'Management of African Swine Fever', 'Use of space' and 'Ecology and damage mitigation'.

The second day will be devoted to field trips to exchange knowledge and show the techniques and measures currently being used by organisations in Catalonia:

DRONEBOAR. Use of drones for the census and management of wild boar (Empordà Wetlands Natural Park) Techniques for capturing and preventing damage and methods for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the measures. Visit to the Aiguamolls de l'Empordà Natural Park visitor centre.

ROADBOAR. Conflicts on roads and census with photo-trapping cameras (Montseny Natural Park). Visits to wildlife crossings, high-speed railway line crossings and points where accidents are concentrated on roads. Different techniques for estimating wild boar density.

URBANBOAR. Mitigation of wild boar presence and captures in urban areas (Collserola Park, Barcelona) Visit to areas of Barcelona where wild boar regularly venture into urban areas. Wild boar and Vietnamese pig trapping techniques. Conflicts and non-lethal mitigation measures used to reduce the presence of wild boar in urban areas.

WINEBOAR. Measures to reduce crop damage (San Lorenzo del Munt and Obac Natural Park). Visit to agricultural areas including vineyards where different techniques have been applied to prevent damage to wild boar (perimeter fences, electric fences and other methods). Techniques for capturing and monitoring wild boar in the Natural Park and a visit to the visitor centre.

The third day will be devoted to the sessions 'Population control', 'Abundance estimation methods', 'Ecology and management of other suids', 'Genetics' and 'Health'.

Finally, Friday will focus on sessions on 'Janglars in urban areas' and the 'Social dimension' of the wild boar.

IWBS 2022 Secretariat. For more information, please contact