Stakeholder perspectives towards the use of toxicants for managing wild pigs.

Affiliation

Tucker Williams E(1), Lepczyk CA(1), Morse W(1), Smith M(1).
Author information:
(1)School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, United States of America.

Abstract

Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one of the most detrimental invasive mammals in the US. Lack of adequate population control has allowed pigs to become established across the landscape, causing significant ecological and economic damage. Given the need for additional tools for reducing wild pig populations, two toxicants, warfarin and sodium nitrite, are at the forefront of the discussion regarding future wild pig management. However, no research has examined stakeholders' perspectives towards the use of toxicants in wild pig management. Given the lack of knowledge, our goal was to determine stakeholders' perspectives towards the legal use of toxicants for managing wild pigs. We surveyed 1822 individuals from three stakeholder groups (hunters, farmers, and forestland owners) across Alabama during February 2018 using an online survey following the Tailored Design Method. All three stakeholder groups were generally supportive of toxicant use, though their views differed slightly by group. Furthermore, all stakeholder groups were supportive of toxicant purchasing and use regulations, while accidental water contamination, human health impact, and incorrect usage of a toxicant were stakeholders' greatest concerns. These results indicate that these groups would likely be in support of using toxicants for wild pig management in Alabama and could be a model for other states or locations. Consequently, these results have direct implications for shaping policy and possible use of toxicants as a future wild pig management tool.