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Assessing methods to live-capture wild boars (Sus scrofa) in urban and peri-urban environments
  1. Irene Torres-Blas1,
  2. Gregorio Mentaberre1,2,
  3. Raquel Castillo-Contreras1,
  4. Xavier Fernández-Aguilar1,3,
  5. Carles Conejero1,
  6. Marta Valldeperes1,
  7. Carlos González-Crespo1,
  8. Andreu Colom-Cadena1,
  9. Santiago Lavín1 and
  10. Jorge Ramón López-Olvera1
  1. 1 Wildlife Ecology & Health group and Servei d' Ecopatologia de Fauna Salvatge (SEFaS), Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
  2. 2 Serra Húnter fellow, Departament de Ciència Animal, Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyeria Agraria (ETSEA), Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Lleida, Spain
  3. 3 Department of Ecosystem & Public Health, University of Calgary. 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jorge Ramón López-Olvera; Jordi.Lopez.Olvera{at}


Background Wild boar (Sus scrofa) populations are increasing worldwide and invading urban areas. Live-capture can improve the management of this challenge, maximising efficiency, allowing scientific studies and potentially improving animal welfare. This study assesses teleanaesthesia, drop-net, corral trap and cage trap to live-capture wild boar in urban and peri-urban areas, evaluating efficiency and animal stress through haematology and serum biochemistry.

Methods From 2012 to 2018, 655 wild boars were captured in 279 operations (drop-net=17, teleanaesthesia=186, cage trap=66 and corral trap=10) in the urban and peri-urban areas of Barcelona (Spain). Haematological and serum biochemical variables were determined in 145 wild boars (42 drop-netted, 41 teleanaesthetised, 38 cage-trapped and 24 corral-trapped).

Results Performance (wild boars captured per operation) was highest for drop-net, followed by corral and cage traps, and finally teleanaesthesia. The three physical capture methods were more stressful than teleanaesthesia, causing a more intense physiological reaction, muscular damage, renal function impairment and homeostasis adaption. Stress response was predominantly adrenergic for drop-net and cortisol-induced for cage and corral traps.

Conclusion Teleanaesthesia is the choice in reactive urban situations thanks to its adaptability; drop-net effectively targets wild boars in peri-urban environments; cage and corral traps are useful as long-term methods in specific areas.

  • wild boar
  • haematochemistry
  • haematology
  • stress
  • wildlife
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  • Funding This research was funded by contracts 13/051, 15/0174, 16/0243-00-CP/00 and 16/0243-00-CP/01 between the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Ajuntament de Barcelona. RC-C benefited from a PhD grant (2016FI_B 00425) co-financed by the Generalitat de Catalunya (Secretaria d’Universitats i Recerca, Departament d’Economia i Coneixement) and the European Social Fund (ESF). MV is supported by a FI-GENCAT Fellowship (2018FI_B_00978) co-financed by the Agència de Gestió d'Ajuts Universitaris i de Recerca (AGAUR) and the ESF. XF-A and AC-C received a predoctoral grant (FI-DGR 2013 and FI-DGR 2014, respectively) from the AGAUR of the Generalitat de Catalunya.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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