Factors predicting feral swine management preferences and willingness to pay

Harper, Erin E., author
Bright, Alan, advisor
Bernasek, Alexandra, committee member
Shwiff, Stephanie, committee member
Teel, Tara, committee member
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The population increase and spread of feral swine across the United States is of increasing concern to agricultural producers, land managers, and government. Feral swine cause extensive damage to property, carry several diseases, and are generalist that will eat anything. This study explores how aspects of the cognitive hierarchy and demographics influence management preferences and willingness to pay for management. Extension offices at Land-Grant Universities participated in a survey of limited resource farmers. The overall response rate for the offices that were able to provide such information was 46%. Statistical analysis revealed that a domination wildlife value orientation, negative attitudes toward feral swine, and income had an effect on respondents' support for all five management actions (hunting, hunting with the assistance of dogs, aerial sharpshooting, trapping and removing, and the use of poison) inquired about (p < .05). A mutualism wildlife value orientation and gender had an effect for two of the management actions (p < .05) and age had no effect on any actions. The amount farmers were willing pay for feral swine management on their lands was analyzed for two groups of farmers; those who had feral swine on their land and did not want them and those who did not have feral swine and wanted to continue to have none. Those with feral swine on their land were more willing to pay to manage feral swine. The amount farmers were willing to pay for both groups was influenced by gender, a negative attitude toward feral swine, and a domination wildlife value orientation. A mutualism wildlife value orientation also had an influence; however, income and age did not. As landowners and government agencies continue efforts to manage feral swine and mitigate the damages they cause the preferences of the landowners should be taken into account. The management actions chosen should reflect the actions supported by farmers in conjunction with cost considerations. If farmers are unwilling or unable to pay for management, then less costly yet also supported management strategies will need to be formulated.
2016 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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