Wild boar is a very challenging species in terms of biology, demography and movement ecology. The species has an important human dimension, showing increasing interactions with environmental and socio-economic issues including spread of diseases. Developing science about wild boar should be the priority of many European regions because of its huge demographical and geographical expansion. Despite its ecological and societal importance this species has been usually understudied in theEuropean context. Thus data and expertise sharing is fundamental to face the relevant management problems carried out by the wild boar in Europe.
The Euroboar project aims to take benefit from the experience of the existing Eurodeer platform under the umbrella of Euroungulates. It is first of all an open network of researchers who collaborate sharing data and knowledge to produce better science.
EUROBOAR group is trying to fully explore the opportunities given by the new monitoring technologies for conservation and management at both local and continental scale. The spatial database, built upon open source software (mainly, PostgreSQL + PostGIS + R) and hosted at Fondazione Edmund Mach, can be connected to a large set of client applications (GIS, web interfaces, statistics) to help storing, managing, accessing and analysing tracking data from several research groups throughout Europe.
EUROBOAR group is also trying to explore the “non-movement” data usually collected on wild boar such like demographical parameters associated or not to tracking data.
The ultimate goal of the EUROBOAR project is to investigate ecological aspects that require the collaboration and data sharing of multiple institutes and researchers. Joining knowledge and information from different study areas and research projects open up many perspectives for scientists at both global and local scale. The final goal is to produce knowledge and in particular to support a science-driven sustainable management of environmental resources and conservation. In a nutshell:
EUROBOAR is about collaborative science
Data sharing is only one of the elements. In fact, what is peculiar to EUROBOAR as compared to other data sharing project is that the collection, quality control, standardization and sharing of data and of the e-infrastructure to manage and analyze them is not an objective per se, for example to to make available raw data and tools to third parties, but rather tasks needed to create a scientific network of scientists that collaborate to produce science.
The activities of the project that underpin the intense and motivating collaboration between researchers based on the shared data and tools can be summarized as follow:
- Effectively store and archive wild boar location data across Europe
- Encourage collaborations to work on several aspects of animal ecology jointly
- Inspire discussions to identify research gaps
- Promote accessibility of large scale datasets to address research questions at multiple spatio-temporal scales, as approved by data owners
- Promote education of young researchers, particularly on topics related to data management, movement ecology and collaborative science
- Create a larger network of collaborations with other projects, scientific communities, environmental managers
- Promote an open approach to science, which include both data sharing and use and development of open source tools
What is specific to EUROBOAR is that the main goal is not to share data per se or to make them available to the general public but rather to create a scientific network to investigate biological aspects that can be disclosed only analyzing data coming from different study areas and with the support of field knowledge gained by researchers working with animals in different conditions. As a direct consequence, data store in the database are species specific and are not limited to tracking data. Additional information like capture, study area, population, management regimes etc. are not seen as metadata of tracking data but as proper data sets with lots of information standardized among groups. Ultimately, the database and related tools for data management and analysis, are one of the tools needed for collaborative science but it is not the final output of the project.
EUROBOAR is a dynamic project and we are all very open to new interesting perspectives and ways to explore the huge amount of data in the database. Any contribution and active participation to the project are very welcome! You are very welcome to contact us.