Forest hog

Hylochoerus meinertzhageni

ssp. ivoriensis (western Africa), rimator (central Africa) and meinertzhageni (central & eastern Africa)

Status: Least Concern

Did you know? Despite its often-used common name “Giant Forest Hog”, western races of this species are not much larger than Bushpigs - only East African hogs are true giants.

Forest hog - Nick Athanas.jpg

Habitat

Found in a variety of forest habitats (e.g. subalpine areas and bamboo groves, river galleries, wooded savannas or thickets), implying a high degree of adaptability to local climatic conditions. They live in cold uplands as well as hot lowlands, but do not tolerate low humidity or prolonged solar radiation.

Diet

Mainly grass and leaves; occasionally meat and bones of carrion, eggs and larvae.

Behaviour

The basic social group is a sounder of 4–20 animals, including a few males, several females and their offspring of up to three generations. Larger groupings of several sounders have been recorded when conditions are favourable. Forest hogs maintain unmarked or defended home ranges which may overlap extensively with ranges of other groups. The species is most active in the early morning and late afternoon with a rest during the hottest hours; there is no evidence of true nocturnal activity.

Threats

Very vulnerable to deforestation and hunting for subsistence and bushmeat trade. Western race H. m. ivoriensis is highly vulnerable to fragmentation of its habitat.

Conservation Actions

The species is relatively widespread, sometimes locally abundant with high reproductive potential, and inhabits many protected areas including several national parks.

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