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Open AccessArticle

Synthesizing Remote Sensing and Biophysical Measures to Evaluate Human–wildlife Conflicts: The Case of Wild Boar Crop Raiding in Rural China

by Madeline Giefer 1,* and Li An 2
1
Department of Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
2
Department of Geography and Center for Complex Human-Environment Systems, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(4), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12040618
Received: 27 December 2019 / Revised: 1 February 2020 / Accepted: 10 February 2020 / Published: 13 February 2020
Crop raiding by wild boars is a growing problem worldwide with potentially damaging consequences for rural dwellers’ cooperation with conservation policies. Still, limited resources inhibit continuous monitoring, and there is uncertainty about the relationship between the biophysical realities of crop raiding and humans’ perceptions and responses. By integrating data from camera traps, remote sensors, and household surveys, this study establishes an empirical model of wild boar population density that can be applied to multiple years to estimate changes in distribution over time. It also correlates historical estimates of boar population distribution with human-reported trends to support the model’s validity and assess local perceptions of crop raiding. Although the model proved useful in coniferous and bamboo forests, it is less useful in mixed broadleaf, evergreen broadleaf, and deciduous forests. Results also show alignment between perceptions of crop raiding and actual boar populations, corroborating farmers’ perceptions which are increasingly dismissed as a less reliable source of information in human–wildlife conflict research. The modeling techniques demonstrated here may provide conservation practitioners with a cost-effective way to maintain up-to-date estimates of the spatial distribution of wild boar and resultant crop raiding. View Full-Text
Keywords: feral pigs; habitat; wildlife management; Landsat; camera trap feral pigs; habitat; wildlife management; Landsat; camera trap
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Giefer, M.; An, L. Synthesizing Remote Sensing and Biophysical Measures to Evaluate Human–wildlife Conflicts: The Case of Wild Boar Crop Raiding in Rural China. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 618.

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