Wild boar rewilding in Border Park Kempen~Broek: An analysis of ecosystem services and disservices
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Rewilding is an increasingly popular way of restoring ecosystems by maintaining or increasing biodiversity while reducing the impacts of human interventions through restoration of species and ecological processes. It is important to develop evidence-based arguments to support the wide-range impacts of rewilding. For the past 20 years, conservationists have worked on developing nature together with recreational areas within Border Park Kempen~Broek. One species that has returned to Kempen~Broek is the wild boar (Sus scrofa). This research aims to map the ecosystem services (rooting in natural habitat) and disservices (rooting in agricultural areas, wildlife-vehicle collisions and official damage reports) caused by the wild boar and investigate how these services and disservices are associated with natural and agricultural habitats. It also looks into how these services and disservices are spatially linked. Through collection of existing data as well as fieldwork, data on land use, rooting occurrence in natural habitat, vehicle collisions, agricultural damage claims and hunting numbers was collected. The results showed that there is no evidence for clustering of ecosystem services and disservices, and also no relationship with habitat type. The research did show a relationship between the occurrence of rooting in natural habitat and the distance from a forest edge. Rooting in natural habitat occurred more near a forest edge than away from a forest edge. This can be useful in the development of agricultural areas into natural areas, since rooting can break open grasslands and can contribute to the development of pioneer plant species. Furthermore, it is crucial to promote ecosystem services and mitigate ecosystem disservices. Creating an environment where disservices are minimized as much as possible allows for the further development of ecosystem services and the habitat as a whole.