Pygmy hog

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Pygmy hog
Pygmy hog in Assam breeding centre AJT Johnsingh.JPG
CITES Appendix I (CITES)
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Porcula
Hodgson, 1847
Species:
P. salvania [2]
Binomial name
Porcula salvania [2]
Hodgson, 1847
Synonyms

Sus salvanius

The pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) is a suid native to alluvial grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas at elevations of up to 300 m (980 ft). Today, the only known population lives in Assam, India and possibly southern Bhutan. As the population is estimated at less than 250 mature individuals, it is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. [1]

Contents

Characteristics

Painting of a piglet born in the London Zoological Gardens in 1883 PorculaSalvaniaSmit.jpg
Painting of a piglet born in the London Zoological Gardens in 1883

The pygmy hog's coat is brown with a few dark hairs. Its head is tapered with a slight crest of hair on the forehead and on the back of its neck. Its iris is hazel brown. It is about 20–25 cm (8–10 in) high and 45.5–51 cm (18–20 in) long with a short tail of about 2.5 cm (0.98 in). It weighs 3.2–5.4 kg (7–12 lb). [3] Adult males have the upper canines visible on the sides of their mouths.

Behaviour and ecology

Piglets are born grayish-pink, becoming brown with yellow stripes along the body length. They live for about eight years, becoming sexually mature at one to two years old. They breed seasonally before the monsoons giving birth to a litter of three to six after a gestation of 100 days. In the wild, they make small nests by digging a small trench and lining it with vegetation. During the heat of the day, they stay within these nests. They feed on roots, tubers, insects, rodents, and small reptiles.

Taxonomy

Porcula salvania was the scientific name proposed by Brian Houghton Hodgson in 1847 who described a pygmy hog from the Sikkim Terai. [3] Later, the pygmy hog was moved with other pig species in the genus Sus and named Sus salvanius. [4] [5] A 2007 genetic analysis of the variation in a large section of mitochondrial DNA suggested that the original classification of the pygmy hog as a distinct genus was justified. [6] The resurrection of the original genus status and the species name Porcula salvania has been adopted by GenBank. The species name salvania is after the sal forests where it was found. [7] [8]

Distribution and habitat

Skull of Porcula salvania Porcula skull.jpg
Skull of Porcula salvania

The pygmy hog used to be widespread in the tall, wet grasslands in the southern Himalayan foothills from Uttar Pradesh through Nepal, Bangladesh, northern West Bengal to Assam. [4] [5] [1] By 2002, only one viable population remained in Manas National Park, which had been estimated to comprise a few hundred individuals. [9] [10] In 2021, it was estimated that about 250 hogs lived in the wild. [11]

Conservation

The pygmy hog is designated as a Schedule I species in India under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and offences against them invite heavy penalties. [12]

In 2021, twelve pygmy hogs were released into the wild in northeast India as a part of a conservation program. [13] [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Sus</i> (genus) genus of even-toed ungulates

Sus is the genus of wild and domestic pigs, within the even-toed ungulate family Suidae. Sus include domestic pigs and their ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar, along with other species. Sus species, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents, ranging from Europe to the Pacific islands. Suids other than the pig are the babirusa of Indonesia, the pygmy hog of South Asia, the warthogs of Africa, and other pig genera from Africa. The suids are a sister clade to peccaries.

Pygmy hippopotamus Small species of hippopotamus from West Africa

The pygmy hippopotamus is a small hippopotamid which is native to the forests and swamps of West Africa, primarily in Liberia, with small populations in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Ivory Coast. It has been extirpated from Nigeria.

Suidae Family of mammals belonging to even-toed ungulates

Suidae is a family of artiodactyl mammals which are commonly called pigs, hogs, or boars. In addition to numerous fossil species, 18 extant species are currently recognized, classified into between four and eight genera. Within this family, the genus Sus includes the domestic pig, Sus scrofa domesticus or Sus domesticus, and many species of wild pig from Europe to the Pacific. Other genera include babirusas and warthogs. All suids, or swine, are native to the Old World, ranging from Asia to Europe and Africa.

Suina Lineage of omnivorous, non-ruminant artiodactyl mammals that includes the pigs and peccaries

Suina is a suborder of omnivorous, non-ruminant artiodactyl mammals that includes the pigs and peccaries. A member of this clade is known as a suine. Suina includes the family Suidae, termed suids, known in English as pigs or swine, as well as the family Tayassuidae, termed tayassuids or peccaries. Suines are largely native to Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia, with the exception of the wild boar, which is additionally native to Europe and Asia and introduced to North America and Australasia, including widespread use in farming of the domestic pig subspecies. Suines range in size from the 55 cm (22 in) long pygmy hog to the 210 cm (83 in) long giant forest hog, and are primarily found in forest, shrubland, and grassland biomes, though some can be found in deserts, wetlands, or coastal regions. Most species do not have population estimates, though approximately two billion domestic pigs are used in farming, while several species are considered endangered or critically endangered with populations as low as 100. One species, Heude's pig, is considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature to have gone extinct in the 20th century.

Orang National Park National park in the state of Assam, India

Orang National Park is a national park in India located on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam. It covers an area of 79.28 km2 (30.61 sq mi). It was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a national park on 13 April 1999. It has a rich flora and fauna, including great Indian rhinoceros, pygmy hog, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo and Bengal tiger. It is the only stronghold of rhinoceros on the north bank of the Brahmaputra river.

Collared peccary Species of mammals belonging to the peccary family

The collared peccary is a species of artiodactyl (even-toed) mammal in the family Tayassuidae found in North, Central, and South America. It is the only member of the genus Dicotyles. They are commonly referred to as javelina, saíno, or báquiro, although these terms are also used to describe other species in the family. The species is also known as the musk hog. In Trinidad, it is colloquially known as quenk.

Bornean bearded pig Species of mammal

The Bornean bearded pig, also known ambiguously as the bearded pig, is a species in the pig genus, Sus.

Endangered mammals of India are the mammal species in India that are listed as threatened in the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Animals

Philippine warty pig Species of mammal

The Philippine warty pig is one of four known species in the pig genus (Sus) endemic to the Philippines. The other three endemic species are the Visayan warty pig, Mindoro warty pig and the Palawan bearded pig, also being rare members of the family Suidae. Philippine warty pigs have two pairs of warts, with a tuft of hair extending outwards from the warts closest to the jaw. It has multiple native common names, but it is most widely known as baboy damo in Tagalog.

Biodiversity of Assam Biodiversity of Assam, a state in North-East India

অসমৰ বৈচিত্ৰ

Celebes warty pig Suid from Sulawesi (Sus celebensis)

The Celebes warty pig, also called Sulawesi warty pig or Sulawesi pig, is a species in the pig genus (Sus) that lives on Sulawesi in Indonesia. It survives in most habitats and can live in altitudes of up to 2,500 m (8,000 ft). It has been domesticated and introduced to a number of other islands in Indonesia.

Javan warty pig Species of mammal

The Javan warty pig, also called Javan pig, is an even-toed ungulate in the family Suidae. It is endemic to the Indonesian islands Java and Bawean, and is considered extinct on Madura. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List since 1996.

Haematopinus oliveri, known commonly as the pygmy hog-sucking louse, is a critically endangered species of insect in the suborder Anoplura, the sucking lice. It is an ectoparasite found only on another critically endangered species, the pygmy hog. It is endemic to India and can now only be found in parts of north-western Assam.

Suinae Subfamily of mammals

Suinae is a subfamily of artiodactyl mammals that includes several of the extant members of Suidae and their closest relatives – the domestic pig and related species, such as babirusas. Several extinct species within the Suidae are classified in subfamilies other than Suinae. However, the classification of the extinct members of the Suoidea – the larger group that includes the Suidae, the peccary family (Tayassuidae), and related extinct species – is controversial, and different classifications vary in the number of subfamilies within Suidae and their contents. Some classifications, such as the one proposed by paleontologist Jan van der Made in 2010, even exclude from Suinae some extant taxa of Suidae, placing these excluded taxa in other subfamilies.

Togian babirusa Species of mammal

The Togian babirusa, also known as the Malenge babirusa, is the largest species of babirusa. It is endemic to the Togian Islands of Indonesia, but was considered a subspecies of Babyrousa babyrussa until 2002. Compared to the better-known north Sulawesi babirusa, the Togian babirusa is larger, has a well-developed tail-tuft, and the upper canines of the male are relatively "short, slender, rotated forwards, and always converge". The Togian babirusa is omnivorous, feeding mainly on roots and fallen fruit but also worms and invertebrates. Unlike other pig species, the Togian babirusa does not root at the ground with its snout when foraging, but instead can be seen pawing at the ground to uproot plants.

Banded pig

The banded pig also known as the Indonesian wild boar is a subspecies of wild boar native to the Thai-Malay Peninsula and many Indonesian islands, including Sumatra, Java, and the Lesser Sundas as far east as Komodo. It is known as the wild boar in Singapore. It is the most basal subspecies, having the smallest relative brain size, more primitive dentition, and unspecialised cranial structure. It is a short-faced subspecies with a white band on the muzzle, as well as sparse body hair, no underwool, a fairly long mane, and a broad reddish band extending from the muzzle to the sides of the neck. It is much smaller than the mainland S. s. cristatus subspecies, with the largest specimens on Komodo weighing only 48 kg.

References

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  2. 1 2 Grubb, P. (2005). "Species Porcula salvania". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 641. ISBN   978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC   62265494.
  3. 1 2 Hodgson, B.H. (1847). "On a new form of the Hog kind or Suidae". Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 16 (May): 423–428.
  4. 1 2 Oliver, W.L.R. (1980). The Pigmy Hog: the Biology and Conservation of the Pigmy Hog, Sus (Porcula) salvanius, and the Hispid Hare, Caprolagus hispidus. Special Scientific Report No 1 (Report). Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust.
  5. 1 2 Oliver, W.L.R. & Roy, S.D. (1993). "The Pigmy Hog (Sus salvanius)". In Oliver, W.L.R. (ed.). Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/SSC Pigs and Peccaries Specialist Group, IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist Group. pp. 121–129. ISBN   9782831701417.
  6. Funk, S.M.; Verma, S.K.; Larson, G.; Prasad, K.; Singh, L.; Narayan, G. & Fa, J.E. (2007). "The pygmy hog is a unique genus: 19th century taxonomists got it right first time round". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 45 (2): 427–436. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.08.007. PMID   17905601.
  7. Horsfield, T. (1849). "Brief Notice of several Mammalia and Birds discovered by B. H. Hodgson, Esq., in Upper India". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 3 (15): 202. doi:10.1080/03745485909494621.
  8. Garson J.G. (1883). "Notes on the anatomy of Sus salvanius (PorcuIa salvania, Hodgson). Part 1. External characters and visceral anatomy". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 413–418.
  9. Narayan, G. & Deka, P. J. (2002). "Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme in Assam, India". IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group (PPHSG) Newsletter. 2 (1): 5–7.
  10. Narayan, G. (2006). "Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme – an update". IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group (PPHSG) Newsletter. 6 (2): 14–15.
  11. 1 2 "World's Smallest Hogs Released Into Wild". Gizmodo. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  12. Talukdar, S. (23 March 2014). "21 pygmy hog nests found in Manas National Park". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  13. "These little piggies are going all the way home… to the wild | The Optimist Daily". 2 July 2021. Retrieved 5 July 2021.