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Revista chilena de historia natural

Print version ISSN 0716-078X


SKEWES, ÓSCAR; RODRIGUEZ, ROBERTO  and  JAKSIC, FABIÁN M. Trophic ecology of the wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Chile. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2007, vol.80, n.3, pp.295-307. ISSN 0716-078X.

We document the diet of wild boar in south-central Chile based on analysis of 20 stomachs collected on the outskirts of Mocho-Choshuenco volcano (39°54' S, 72°02' W) and of Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park (41°03' S, 71°54' W). The diet incorporates animals, plants and fungi. Among the latter two, both epigeal and hypogeal parts are consumed, together with fruits and seeds. Fungi and rhizomes of Gunnera tinctoria are the most abundant plant items in the diet. The wild boar in Chile forages chiefly in forested environments, but nonetheless the most frequent plant items in its diet are found in open spaces or outside the forest. Environments dominated by bamboos Chusquea spp. constitute important foraging sites. Rodents in the family Muridae prevail among animal items in the wild boar diet. This situation, however, is associated to the occurrence of a mouse outbreak (ratada) resulting from the mast seeding of Chusquea spp. during our study. Birds in the family Rhinocryptidae together with invertebrates (specially Coleopteran larvae of Chiasognathus grantii) made up a sizeable part of the animals in the wild boar diet. In comparison to elsewhere, the wild boar in Chile consumes fungi in a similar percentage of occurence (65 %) as in the United States of America but much higher than in Europe (5-32 %). With regard to the animal component, the wild boar in Chile consumes more (20 % volume) of such items than in the United States of America (6 %) and in Europe (7-13 %)

Keywords : invasive species; South America; temperate forest; mouse outbreak; mast seeding.

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