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
P. salvania [2]
Binomial name
Porcula salvania [2]
Hodgson, 1847

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]



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.


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]


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

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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

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অসমৰ বৈচিত্ৰ

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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.

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