Fundación Mar Adentro and the Universidad Católica in Temuco Announce Collaboration Agreement and Joint Activities in Research and Culture

The first collaborative project will be an evaluation of the wild boar population in Bosque Pehuén, a foreign invasive species in Chile.

Bosque Pehuén, Araucanía Region, Chile

During the month of July, Fundación Mar Adentro signed a collaboration agreement with the Universidad Católica in Temuco, in which they committed to organize activities together in the academic, scientific, and cultural realms.

The first project together will be the evaluation of the population of wild boar in Bosque Pehuén, a privately protected forest located in the Andean Araucanía region managed by Fundación Mar Adentro.

This research will begin in August 2019, conducted by Lesly Estrada Henríquez, an engineer in natural resources student at UC of Temuco, together with professor Pamela Sánchez (Researcher and Professor at the Ecology and Biodiversity Laboratory of the Environmental Sciences Department at UC of Temuco). Carlos Mendoza, PhD in environmental sciences and the Conservation Coordinator at Fundación Mar Adentro will also help lead this study.

The presence of invasive alien species is considered a major global threat to biodiversity. The wild boar currently occupies the twelfth spot on the list of invasive alien species in Chile yet information on the wild boar’s population in Chile has been limited. The results of this work will be important in providing preliminary data on the activity of this animal in the region.

Image © Colegio Médico Veterinario de Chile

In recent years, the wild boar population in Chile has seen a rapid increase in density and area of habitat, which has had several consequences, for example: increased erosion; alteration of the physical and chemical characteristics of the soil; reducing herbaceous coverage; disturbances in seed banks (in this case, the kernels of the Araucaria Araucana tree); destruction of tree growth; transmission of diseases, including trichinosis, pseudo rabies and parvovirus; and predation of vegetables, fungi and animals.

The research entitled “Assessment of the populations of Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) present in the private wilderness area Bosque Pehuén, an Andean ecosystem of the Araucanía Region, Chile” aims to geo-spatialize the sighting and record points of the presence of wild boar in the study area, exploring their presence with the help of key markers and trap cameras, located in 60 randomly chosen sampling points in the study area. In addition, mapping of the terrain will be done using the ArcGIS 10.5 software.