On 4–5 September, the 12th International Symposium on Wild Boar and Other Suids was held in the Czech Republic. At the conference, Minuartia presented a project at the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà Natural Park to construct and assess the effectiveness of an exclusion fence designed to prevent boar and American mink predation of a nesting zone in one of the Park’s Nature Reserves. The protection led to the western marsh harrier returning to nest in the area this year.
The enclosure is an innovative solution to reduce the damage of boar in wetlands. It was installed in 2016 to protect about 5 hectares that comprise an important area for nesting of grey heron, marsh harrier, and bittern, among others. This zone has been strongly affected by the increase in density of wild boar and American mink – an invasive exotic species.
Over the last two years, monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the enclosure has been carried out through periodic visual inspections to record all traces of fauna and any attempts to enter the enclosure. Drone flights were also carried out to detect any nesting. Monitoring confirmed the presence outside the enclosure of wild boar, fox, badger, otter and, in less abundance, genet and beech marten. The measure appeared to be effective since it was found that although there have been numerous attempts by wild boar to enter the protected area, none of them have been successful, as the mesh was buried. Nesting of the western marsh harrier during spring 2018 was also confirmed, and the presence of white egret was observed.
View the presentation at the following link where you can read more about tht Project.