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


Date of this Version

September 2007


Published in Human–Wildlife Conflicts 1(2):178–185, Fall 2007.


Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) negatively impact the environment in most places around the world where they have been introduced into the wild. In many places, hog removal is essential to protect special habitats, in particular, wetlands. This paper describes techniques developed for use in adaptive management approaches to enhance hog removal efforts in Florida, as well as methods to evaluate the economic impacts from hog management. A valuable adaptive management tool that can be an easily applied index to monitor feral hog activity is track plots. This method has been effective for monitoring hog distribution and relative abundance, thus aiding the location and timing of control method applications and the evaluation of control results. Hogs are usually managed because they are causing damage. Hence, it is also essential to monitor damage before and after implementation of a control program. To accomplish this, we developed a quadrat sampling methodology to estimate the percentage of hog-damaged habitat. We applied quadrat sampling safely to fragile seepage slopes. We also employed a series of transects specially applied to efficiently estimate damage to riparian zones. Hog management, like all wildlife management, is also rooted in economic realities. Hence, we developed means for estimating the monetary value of the damage based on the dollar amounts that wetland regulators have charged permit applicants to mitigate their damage to wetland resources. Universally, the economic analyses have demonstrated enormous benefit-cost ratios for hog removal.