Author: Nabaz R. Khwarahm, Korsh Ararat, Barham A. HamadAmin, Peshawa M. Najmaddin, Azad Rasul & Sarchil Qader …
Author contact: Nabaz R. Khwarahm
Department of Biology, College of Education, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimani, 334, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
Wild boar (Sus scrofa L., 1758), was once native to Eurasia, is currently one of the most widely distributed species in the world. Apart from its economic values, the species is considered as a pest (e.g., for rooting behavior, agricultural damages and influencing livestock) and vector for spreading diseases (e.g., swine fever) particularly by farmers, villagers, and epidemiologists. Global climate change has shown to influence population growth and geographical distributions in a wide range of species. Expanding our knowledge on the potential distribution of S. scrofa under current and future climate change conditions is useful for effective management strategies. For example, for managing human-wildlife conflicts, locating and controlling the spread of diseases, population control, and reducing ecological threats. Using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm and geographic information system (GIS) techniques, we aimed at (i) modeling current known distribution and predict the potential distribution of S. scrofa in the northeast of Iraq; (ii) modeling potential future distribution of the species under climate change scenarios; and (iii) identifying the most relevant environmental predictors influencing the spatial distribution. Sus scrofa populations are mainly distributed in the mountainous areas, within the optimal altitude range of 750 -1250 m a.s.l. The range of contraction would be larger than the expansion range. Future distribution of the species would be toward the mountain forests of the east (mainly) and southeast of the Zagros Mountains where the forests are denser. Mixed oak forests and mosaic landscapes of grassland, shrubland, and croplands provide hideout, shade and abundant food choices for S. scrofa populations. Management strategies should focus primarily on the mixed forests and croplands, for locating and controlling the possible spread of diseases, population control, reducing ecological threats, and controlling human-wildlife conflicts. Current and future distribution maps (categorized maps) generated from the study provide invaluable baseline information for further research on the forest and mountain ecosystems in Iraq and across the Zagros Mountains.
Cite this article
Khwarahm, N.R., Ararat, K., HamadAmin, B.A., Najmaddin, P.M., Rasul, A. and Qader, S., 2022. Spatial distribution modeling of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) under current and future climate conditions in Iraq. Biologia, 77(2), pp.369-383.