Vol 3 (1995)


Cover Page

Why should the Proceedings of a Symposium on Wild boar be published in the Journal of Mountain Ecology?

After carefully examining the work done, the editorial board of “Ibex - Journal of Mountain Ecology”, has decided to publish the Proceedings of the “2nd International Symposium on Wild boar (Sus scrofa) and on sub-order Suiformes” for three basic reasons.

1 - The present distribution of the species in the Alps. The Wild boar reappeared in many parts of the Alps at the beginning of this century. From the mid-sixties, its population has expanded in the mountain areas of many european countries, Italy in particular. The causes of this phenomenon are to be found in the far-reaching transformation of the local environment and in climatic changes that have taken place since the 1960s. In addition to such factors, we find that man has abandoned much of the mountain areas located above 800-1,000 metres, entailing profound environmental changes, such as: the expansion of wooded areas, the invasion of Alpine meadows by bushes, the transformation of undergrowth and woods that are no longer managed. As a result of this there is more food available with a high nutritional value in particular chestnuts, acorns and beech nuts, no longer used for human and animal food.
There is a continuous increase in the local populations that correspond to the increase in the areas available to the species. This is brought about by the numerous acts of introducing wild boars for hunting. Many of the wild boars set free in the hilly and pre-Alpine areas end up by colonizing, at least seasonally, even the highest of mountain districts.

2 - Role of the protected mountain areas. The wild boar’s territorial expansion involves many Alpine areas, where there are full protection or hunting restrictions, whereby any kind of intervention on fauna is strictly limited or forbidden. The coming of this species in many Alpine parks is considered as a very important ecological event not only for its impact on vegetation, but also for the one it has on several species of Alpine fauna that are particularly at risk and threatened. Such interference in an Alpine environment is still largely unstudied. Moreover, the Wild boar, in many protected areas, risks exasperating relations between the park managers and the local populations. The latter end up by considering the measures for protecting fauna as responsible for the expansion of the species in areas where farming and forestry activities are already highly penalised.

3 - Impact of Wild boar on Alpine meadows. The appearance of Wild boars at high altitudes has important repercussions on the Alpine ecosystem. In many moutain areas indirect signs of their presence have been seen on Alpine meadows above 2,400 m. Frequently these areas are steep sloping and man undertakes no maintenance work here. What impact can the presence of this species have over time on such delicate ecosystems where any restoration is slow and difficult?
These and other points may find an answer in the works presented at this Symposium and the experience reported by researchers from various countries, albeit with very different environmental conditions, may be extremely useful for directing new research projects and for understanding what may be the future developments of Wild boar in the mountains.

The Editor in Chief of Ibex
V. Peracino


The 2nd Symposium was held in Turin, Italy, sponsorised by the University of Turin, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Production, Epidemiology and Ecology, under the professorship of Ecology (Prof. P. Durio), together with the sponsorship of Piedmont Region. In this occasion, researchers from all over the world, rapresenting Universities, National Research Institutes, nature reservers and game reserves, met in Turin.

E. Macchi, C. Mann, D. Fogliato & P. Durio (eds).

Journal of Mountain Ecology
The Journal of Mountain Ecology is an OPEN ACCESS peer reviewed journal published by the Gran Paradiso National Park.