Visayan Warty Pig
Found in the past throughout the Visayan Islands, which is the central archipelago in the Philippines, these pigs are now extinct in at least 98% of their former range. The few surviving populations are concentrated in remaining forest areas on the Negros and Panay islands of Negros in the Philippines.
The warty pigs eat fruits, roots and tubers but they have developed a taste for cereal crops and cultivated vegetables.
The warty pig gets its name from warts on the boar’s face that help protect him from war-wounds during the mating season. The boar also has a tall, stiff, spiky hair-do that grows only during the mating season to impress the females.
After about 118 days of gestation, females exhibit nesting behavior. The litters are usually two to four in number. Baby warty piglets are born with soft, stripey fur, but as they reach maturity they will lose this and grow their darker, tougher adult coat. The babies small striped bodies are nicely camouflaged allowing them to follow their mother around the forest or stay safely hidden away whilst she forages for food.
The Visayan Warty Pig Conservation Programme was established in 1991 with the aim of re-introducing the species on the islands in the Philippines where it has been lost. Captive breeding and rescue centres have been established on Negros, with zoos worldwide, including Newquay Zoo, contributing to the captive population.
Habitat destruction, over hunting for sport, reprisals for raids on crops and inadequate protection have resulted in the dramatic decline and likely extinction of the warty pig in the wild. There are now as few as 200 left in the wild.
- Latin Name: Sus cebifrons
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Suidae
- Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
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