Natural resource managers and agricultural producers are seeking innovative tools to minimize damages caused by rapidly expanding feral pig (Sus scrofa) populations. One tool that has received little scientific inquiry is the use of exclusion fences to protect economically and ecologically sensitive areas. Our objectives were to evaluate the ability of electric fencing to minimize feral pig movements in a captive setting as well as in rangeland and agriculture land. In captivity, we tested a 1-, 2-, and 3-strand electric fence. In our captive trial, we found 65% fewer intrusions (F2,18 = 20.46, P < 0.001) for electric fences (x̄ = 12.4, SE = 2.8) compared with nonelectric fences (x̄ = 35.6, SE = 6.9). We found no difference (F2,9 = 1.85, P = 0.212) for 1-strand (x̄ = 28.1, SE = 7.8), 2-strand (x̄ = 14.2, SE = 3.2), and 3-strand (x̄ = 16.9, SE = 4.3) electric fences. However, we found 50% and 40% fewer crossings for the 2- and 3-strand fences, respectively, compared with the 1-strand fence. In our rangeland trial, we found 49% fewer intrusions (F2,18 = 4.39, P = 0.028) into bait stations with a 2-strand electric fence (x̄ = 4.1, SE = 1.8) compared with no fence (x̄ = 8.1, SE = 2.4). Finally, in our agriculture trial, we found 64% less damage (χ22 = 5.77, P = 0.016) to sorghum crops with a 2-strand electric fence (x̄ = 4.48, SE = 0.01%) compared with no electric fence (x̄ = 12.46, SE = 0.03%). Furthermore we found no (χ21 = 3.72, P = 0.054) wildlife pathways in areas with an electric fence (x̄ = 0.0, SE = 0.0) compared with no fence (x̄ = 2.4, SE = 1.3). No electric fence design we tested was 100% pig-proof. However, we found electric fencing restricted feral pig movements. Combining electric fencing with other damage control methods in an integrated management program may be the best method for alleviating feral pig damages.
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Vol. 72 • No. 4