The aim of this study was to examine the effects of sex and age of individuals, season, and human pressure (both human presence and habitat structure) on spatiotemporal behavior of wild boar (Sus scrofa). Specifically, we compared wild boar behavior under contrasting conditions of human pressure, within the primeval temperate forest of Białowieża (eastern Poland) and the metropolitan area of Cracow (Poland). It was predicted that, compared with the forest, wild boar within the urban area will have smaller home ranges due to restricted space, will show longer daily movements due to patchy resources, and will exhibit increased nocturnal activity and ranging behavior in an attempt to avoid human interference. We used radiotracking data from 35 wild boar. Animals inhabiting the urban area had smaller home ranges, yet covered almost twice as much distance on a daily basis than individuals inhabiting primeval forest. Daily duration of activity was similar in the 2 study areas. However, distribution of activity throughout the day differed considerably. In the urban area wild boar were almost exclusively nocturnal, whereas in the primeval forest wild boar activity was evenly distributed throughout the day. Additionally, in the urban area, activity was strongly associated with traveling speed, whereas in the primeval forest active wild boar moved about to little extent. Seasonal effects were stronger in the primeval forest and affected daily distance traveled, duration of activity, and level of diurnality. This study showed that wild boar can adjust their spatiotemporal behavior to local conditions and this may be one factor explaining recent rapid demographic expansion in Europe.
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Vol. 94 • No. 1