Growing populations of wild boar are increasingly causing damage to farmland in Europe, requiring hundreds of thousands of euros in compensation. A new method that uses a drone, makes it possible to estimate crop damage in a fast, standardized and objective way.

The increase in the number of wild boar is related to the increase in damage to crops, the transmission of diseases and car accidents in many European countries. In Belgium, wild boar had been extinct for almost 50 years and only returned in 2006. The structure of the Belgian landscape changed in the years of absence of the animals, resulting in a dense, mosaic-like pattern of agricultural, natural and urban areas (especially in Flanders).

Anneleen Rutten, a Limburg PhD student at the University of Antwerp, used a drone to take aerial photographs of damaged agricultural fields, and analyzed them using an algorithm that identifies the damaged area. All photos in this article were made on fields in the province of Limburg. In the video you can see the Munsterbos in Bilzen.

Check out the video here.



Photo: Anneleen Rutten