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Methods and strategies to monitor and manage human impact on urbanized protected areas (UPA)


Case 3: The effect of stress on wild life in an urbanized protected area

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CASE 3: THE EFFECT OF STRESS ON WILD LIFE IN AN URBANIZED PROTECTED AREA

Lead

Faculty of Sciences

Mentor

dr. Natalie Beenaerts
Prof. dr. Francois Rineau

Case

The NPHK is a protected natural area located within a dense, urbanized region. The wildlife in this park is therefore at the same time influenced by human presence and affecting human activities nearby. This is for example the case for wild boar, an increasingly common wild animal that has a major impact on ecosystems, whether they are natural or managed by humans. It is therefore necessary not only to address how human activity does alter wild boar ecology, but also how is their coexistence with local inhabitants and visitors is perceived. Moreover, wild boars can significanlty alter ecosystem functioning while for example foraging for food; one may therefore assess if the ecosystem services are affected in the same way. Finally, the management of the park will have an influence on wild boar behaviour, migration and densities, and could be used as a tool to mitigate the effects of this animal on humans nearby or ecosystem services. How to achieve this goal, and even if it is attainable at all, is still unclear and this question needs to be addressed.