Bawean warty pig
Did you know? The Bawean warty pig lives only on the small island of Bawean between Java and Borneo. It is the most isolated and possibly the rarest pig species in the wold and it is regarded as a pest.
The small remnant volcanic island of Bawean (197 km²) is dominated by semi-evergreen forest, with a dry season during June-November and a wet season during December-May. Central to the island is an extinct volcano, which reaches 655 m altitude. All remaining forests on Bawean are encompassed within the 46.6 km² Bawean Island Nature Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary and are under varying levels of protection.
Like its close relative, the Java warty pig, the Bawean warty pig is omnivore with a wide food spectrum. It feeds on small vertebrates, insects, worms and plant food, including fallen fruit, roots and crops such as rice and cassava.
Bawean warty pigs can be active at any time of day or night. However, due to intensive hunting, they are strictly nocturnal outside the protected areas. Females with piglets form groups with an average litter size of 3-4. Interestingly, males can also form bachelor groups and even two old males can roam together.
The Bawean warty pig is threatened by the loss of its habitat, hunting with dogs, nets, snares and poisoning to protect agricultural fields. It is also necessary to ensure that African swine fever (ASF), which has already reached Java, does not reach Bawean, because due to the nearly 100% mortality rate of ASF-infected Eurasian pigs, the disease would most certainly eradicate the species.
Recently, a total population of between 234 and 467 animals was estimated based on camera trap observations (Rode-Margono et al. 2020). However, the Bawean warty pig is not protected and approximately 50 animals are killed by hunters each year. The species is considered a pest and there are no active conservation measures.