U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

November 2003


Amount and Economic Valuation of Feral Hog Damage to a Unique Basin Marsh Wetland in Florida. Florida Park Service "Parternship" Technical Report. 5 pp.


Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) have been introduced into many natural habitats throughout the world, and they have adversely affected the environment in most of those places. Basin marshes are unique, but dwindling ecosystems in Florida that are especially vulnerable to damage by feral hogs. We estimated the amount of hog damage to the last remnant of a basin marsh system in Savannas Preserve State Park (SPSP), and to ecotones within the marsh. We also applied an economic valuation method for the hog damage that was based on the dollar amounts that wetland regulators have allowed permit applicants to spend in mitigation attempts to replace lost wetland resources. We found that hogs damaged 19% of the exposed portion of the basin marsh in our study area. Seventy percent of the sample sites showed hog damage at the shoreline ecotone and 58% showed damage at the upland ecotone. The area damaged within our study site alone was valued between $1,238,760 and $4,036,290. These damage valuation estimates were considered conservative, because it was impossible to incorporate values for such contingencies as hog impacts to state and federally listed endangered plants in SPSP, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. We also could not extrapolate an economic quantity to describe the threat posed by the hogs inhabiting SPSP as a reservoir for transmission of diseases to livestock and wildlife.