A Gustatory Repellent for Protection of Agricultural Land from Wild Boar Damage: An Investigation on Effectiveness

  •  Adrian Schlageter    
  •  Daniel Haag-Wackernagel    


Following the spread and increase of wild boar populations in Europe during the last decades, conflicts with humans have intensified also in Switzerland. Damage to crops and grassland augmented considerably and became unacceptable. Farmers and authorities are highly interested in efficient alternatives to the installation of costly and time consuming electric fences for crop protection. In the present study we investigated the effectiveness of a gustative repellent in field experiments with free-ranging wild boars in clover sowings, meadows, and wheat fields. Although we observed a slight trend towards a damage reduction, the results show, that the repellent was not able to prevent damage at a significant level. We further could not detect any area avoidance by the wild boars as a response to the repellent. On the basis of our findings we conclude that gustative repellents relying on learned avoidance as a consequence of negative experience are not a promising means for protection of crops and grassland from wild boar damage. We further discuss the effects of different agricultural crops and the anthropogenic influence on the frequency of damage.

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