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Free-ranging wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Switzerland: casual observations and model-based projections during open and closed season for hunting

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Vargas Amado M, Grütter R, Fischer C, Suter S, Bernstein A,
Project PIG DATA: Health Analytics for the Swiss Swine Industry
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd
Volume (Issue) 162(6)
Page(s) 365 - 376
Title of proceedings Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd
DOI 10.17236/sat00262

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Wild boar (i.e., Sus scrofa) are susceptible to a range of diseases that can be transmitted to domestic pigs. Assessing the potential risk of transmission-related events involves identifying where wild boar occur in Switzerland and where they still can colonize. It also involves identifying zones where piggeries are dense. In the work presented here, the distribution of wild boar in Switzerland was projected from grid data as probabilities of presence using an approach based on statistical modeling, separately for closed and open season for hunting. The predicted probabilities of wild boar presence were related to the density of piggeries in the six agricultural zones. The resulting maps show how the potential risk of transmission-related events, as a proxy for disease transmission, is distributed in Switzerland. Wild boar presence data consisted of hunting data and casual observations recorded from September 2011 to February 2018 at the coordinate level. They were obtained from all 16 Swiss cantons maintaining a license hunting system plus Solothurn (for 2017) and Zurich, as well as from info fauna. The probability of wild boar occurrence was high (> 0.7) in Jura, the valleys of the Southern Alps, the Rhone Valley down the river from Martigny, and the Rhine Valley down the river from Bündner Herrschaft; it was fair (0.5–0.7) in the Swiss Plateau. These regions broadly overlap agricultural zones with a high density of piggeries. Patches of perennially suitable, but currently not colonized habitat were found in the cantons of Berne, Obwalden, Uri, Schwyz, Glarus, and Grisons. The probability of wild boar occurrence across the entire study area, including the Alps, increased by 12% during closed season for hunting. The results were discussed with reference to similar studies.