What Do We Know About Wild Boar in Iberia?

  • Alberto Giménez-Anaya
  • C. Guillermo Bueno
  • Pedro Fernández-Llario
  • Carlos Fonseca
  • Ricardo García-González
  • Juan Herrero
  • Carlos Nores
  • Carme Rosell


Wild boar is an important species throughout the Iberian Peninsula, and populations exist from sea level to elevations of >2000 m in high mountain environments, which reflects its incredible ability to adapt to a wide range of natural and cultural environments. To summarize the scientific and management knowledge on this species in Portugal and Spain, we reviewed 174 published and unpublished texts written since 1914. Research has progressed from descriptive studies toward applied ecology, which has focused on the problem that species poses to its environment. We identified six main fields of study interest and potential wild boar conflict: (i) the role of the species in natural and semi-natural ecosystems, (ii) agricultural damages, (iii) car accidents, (iv) disease transmission and reservoir, (v) hunt and control, and (vi) urban wild boars.

The ability of wild boar to adapt to and transform a wide variety of ecosystems has to be monitored carefully, particularly within the context of adaptive management in natural areas. The lack of a rapid response causes high social and economic costs, and the problem has worsened. The increase in the frequency of interactions between humans and wild boars underscores the importance of management actions that address not only the wild boar populations but also human behaviour and the avoidance of risk situations, e.g. urban wild boars and traffic collisions, which includes environmental education.


Wildlife management Agricultural damages Car accidents Diseases Hunt Ecosystem engineer Protected areas Urban wild boars Culling 



This chapter is dedicated to Carlos Sáez Royuela, ‘Cartucho’ (Shotgun Shell), whose PhD thesis, the first on wild boar in Iberia, was a remarkable example and a source of inspiration to all of us. Our thanks go to the countless collaborators who helped us with our field and lab work, who were motivated by their interest in learning more about this fascinating species. Regional administrations and several scientific institutions contributed financing to local studies, exhibited interest towards the issues that we have studied, and helped to increase the understanding of the role of wild boar in Iberian ecosystems. Bruce MacWhirter reviewed the English.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alberto Giménez-Anaya
    • 1
  • C. Guillermo Bueno
    • 2
  • Pedro Fernández-Llario
    • 3
  • Carlos Fonseca
    • 4
  • Ricardo García-González
    • 5
  • Juan Herrero
    • 1
  • Carlos Nores
    • 6
  • Carme Rosell
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Area of Ecology, Department of Agrarian and Environmental Sciences, Technical SchoolUniversity of ZaragozaHuescaSpain
  2. 2.Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, Department of BotanyUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  3. 3.Innovación en Gestión de Ungulados SLCáceresSpain
  4. 4.CESAM and Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal
  5. 5.Pyrenean Institute of Ecology (CSIC)JacaSpain
  6. 6.INDUROT, University of OviedoOviedoSpain
  7. 7.Animal Biology DepartmentUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.MinuartiaBarcelonaSpain

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