Wild boar (Sus scrofa) can act as reservoirs of diseases that can infect both livestock and humans. In certain regions of Europe, populations of wild boar are responsible for maintaining and spreading African swine fever (ASF) across borders.
In this paper, authors use standardized global vegetation data combined with expert opinions to generate a map showing quality of available habitats in endemic (mainly Russia) and non-endemic (mainly EU) scenarios. They superimpose occurrences of wild boar from GBIF and other sources, as well as reported ASF cases on the generated map to assess the quality of their model.
More than half of the occurrences were in areas classified as having the highest level of suitability, indicating a good predictive ability of the model. However, ASF cases differed in the endemic and non-endemic scenario showing that wild boar play a key role ASF spread in the EU.
The presented map suggests areas that should be the focus of wildlife management and can be an important tool in epidemiological studies.