Pygmy hog

Porcula salvania

 

Status: Endangered

Did you know? The pygmy hog is the smallest and rarest wild suid in the world.

Pygmy hog - William Oliver.jpg

Habitat

Found in undisturbed patches of grassland, typically comprising dense tall grass intermixed with a wide variety of herbs, shrubs and young trees, at the foothills of the Himalaya.

Diet

Diverse; primarily roots, tubers, shoots and ground vegetation, along with worms and other invertebrates and, probably, small vertebrates (e.g. reptiles, eggs and nestlings of ground birds).

Behaviour

The species lives in small family groups of four to six individuals, including one or more adult females and their juveniles. Adult males are usually solitary, but are reported to join oestrous sows during the rut and to associate loosely at other times of the year. Pygmy hogs are usually active during the day, spending most of their time looking for food.

Threats

Mainly loss and degradation of habitat through dry-season burnings, human settlements, agricultural encroachments, flood control schemes, and contacts with domestic livestock leading to increased risk of contagious diseases.

Conservation Actions

A highly successful conservation breeding programme was initiated in 1996 following the construction of the ‘Pygmy Hog Conservation Research and Breeding Centre’, located on the outskirts of the Assam State capital, Guwahati, and the capture of two males and four females in Manas. This breeding programme led to successful releases in wildlife sanctuaries which helped increase wild populations and ensure the survival of the pygmy hogs.

IUCN WPSG Projects