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Comparing landowner support for wild hog management options in Tennessee

Watkins, Cristina, Caplenor, Carlotta A., Poudyal, Neelam C., Muller, Lisa I., Yoest, Chuck
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.232 pp. 722-728
Sus scrofa, data collection, income, introduced species, landowners, stakeholders, surveys, swine, wildlife management, Tennessee
Wild hogs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive, non-native species quickly gaining ground on private, as well as public, lands in Tennessee and much of the United States. Wildlife management personnel may benefit from assessing stakeholders’ views towards various management options to control and eradicate wild hogs. A statewide mail survey of 5000 randomly selected landowners in Tennessee counties known to have wild hogs yielded 1620 completed responses (33% response rate). Using this dataset, an index of potential for conflict among landowner groups was computed for each of eleven management options, which varied from leaving the wild hogs alone, to both lethal and non-lethal options. Results indicate varying levels of potential for conflict depending on hunter status, wild hog hunter status, presence of wild hogs on land, percent of income derived from land, and amount of land damage caused by wild hogs. Overall, three management options including leaving the wild hogs alone, allowing sale of wild hogs, and capturing and relocating were found unacceptable whereas many other options including capturing and killing, providing technical assistance to landowners and educating people on preventing damage were found to have high level of acceptability and most consensus among landowner subgroups. Findings will be useful in understanding how support for wild hog control options vary across population segments, and which options are likely to see more or less resistance from certain landowners.