In 2003 we conducted a study to determine the consequences of feral hog (Sus scrofa) invasions in several ecoregions of Texas. We examined the observations, experiences, and actions of landowners and managers concerning feral hogs on their property. We used purposive sampling of landowners and managers who fit 1 or more of 3 selection criteria. Landowners and managers were either sent a self-administered, mail-out questionnaire or given a copy of the questionnaire during pesticide applicator workshops. There were 775 survey participants. The effective response rate from those landowners and managers who received a mailed questionnaire was 62% (n=284). Nearly all (95%, n=491) of the pesticide applicator workshop participants turned in a completed questionnaire. Sampling error based on the farms (includes ranches) in Texas and in each region was ±3%, α =0.05. The majority (74%) of respondents were ranchers, and 18% were farmers. Most respondents felt that feral hogs came from the neighbor's property and were an agricultural pest. Rooting, wallowing, and crop damage were the major forms of damage caused by feral hogs. The average economic loss due to hog damage, over the lifetime ownership of the land by the respondent, was $7,515 (U.S). Hog control was an incidental process. The average cost for hog control over the lifetime ownership of the land by the respondent was $2,631 (U.S.). There was strong support for programs related to feral hog management and control, but only half of the survey participants responded to the question. The average quiz score of 11.5 indicated that respondents could correctly respond to <50% of the 26 questions. Region was found to have an effect (P≤0.05) on all questions tested except one. Management implications included the need for educational programs about feral hogs, how landowners can make better use of feral hogs on their property, ongoing education efforts about feral hogs, and the impact of this study on the public policy and decision-making process.
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