Bushpig

Potamochoerus larvatus

ssp. hassama (eastern Africa), somaliensis (north-eastern Africa) and koiropotamus (central & southern Africa)

Status: Least Concern

Did you know? Contrary to other wild pigs, adult male bushpigs play an active role in rearing and defending the young.

Bushpig - Nik Borrow.jpg

Habitat

Wide range of forested and woodland habitats, from sea level to montane forest (up to 4000 m on Mt Kilimanjaro), with a marked preference for valley bottoms with soft soils and dense vegetation.

Diet

Varied and highly adaptable, including roots, tubers, bulbs, corn, fungi, fruit, eggs, invertebrates, birds, small mammals, and carrion.

Behaviour

Very social and territorial species, generally seen in family sounders of 6 to 12, led by a dominant male, with one or more females and their young. When needed, family boars and sows defend piglets cooperatively and aggressively against threats. Males are known to disperse from the natal group and old males may be solitary; females, instead, remain on their natal home range. Bushpigs are predominantly nocturnal, resting during the day, but tend to be more diurnal during the colder months. The species seems to be very adaptable and may even benefit from clearing of forested areas and conversion to cropland.

Threats

Reported to be widely hunted either for subsistence or commercial bushmeat trade at local level (urban markets). The species is also considered to be an agricultural pest, or a vector of livestock diseases (e.g. African swine fever, nagana epidemic and sleeping sickness) leading to their decline.

Conservation Actions

The species is relatively widespread, common, and is present in well-protected areas. Though the bushpig is still relatively widespread, its distribution is patchy in certain regions.

IUCN WPSG Projects