A&M-Commerce Researchers Contribute to Pivotal Study on Feral Hog Damage

A team including a pair of faculty from Texas A&M University-Commerce recently published a research paper looking into the economic damage caused by feral hog populations in non-traditional areas such as golf courses and cemeteries.

Dr. Steven Shwiff and Dr. Lirong Liu, who are both faculty in the A&M-Commerce Department of Management and Economics, were a part of the research team that also consisted of faculty from New Mexico State University and Colorado State University, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The team has been together for 10 years and have primarily focused on the economic damages caused by invasive species such as the Brown Tree Snake in Hawaii, as well as zoonotic diseases such as rabies. This team was invited by the World Health Organization to Hanoi, Vietnam in 2020 to speak with the Vietnamese government on how to improve its rabies treatment policy.

Shwiff stated that the research shows that feral hogs are not only damaging to rural and agricultural areas but are encroaching on urban centers of population as well. In late May 2022, KXAS-TV aired a news segment detailing significant damage caused by feral hogs at the Lincoln Cemetery in southeast Dallas. Shwiff stated that he hopes the research could help lead to better mitigation efforts to prevent these types of events from happening.

The research into the costs associated with damage caused by feral hogs was published in Western Economics Forum, a publication of the Western Agricultural Economics Federation, in its Spring 2022 issue.