Javan warty pig

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Javan warty pig
Sus verrucosus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Suidae
Genus: Sus
Species: S. verrucosus
Binomial name
Sus verrucosus
Boie, 1832

The Javan warty pig or Javan pig (Sus verrucosus) is a species of even-toed ungulate in the family Suidae. It was originally endemic to the Indonesian islands Java, Bawean, and Madura, but is considered extinct in Madura. It lives in fragmented teak forest regions ranging in elevation from sea level to 800 m (2,600 ft).[1]

Characteristics

The Javan warty pig's pelage is red near the tip and a yellow or white color at the base of the hair. It has a long mane on top of its head that follow its spine down its backs to the rump. Its tail has a tuft of long, red hairs at the end. It has skinny legs and a large, oblong body. The most distinguishing feature of males is the three pairs of facial warts, the preorbital, infraorbital, and the mandibular, which is the largest. As the pigs age, the warts grow in size.[2] Male Javan warty pigs weigh about 108.2 kg (239 lb), whereas females only about 44 kg (97 lb).[3]

Ecology and behaviour

The Javan warty pig is mainly a solitary creature, but groups of three or four individuals have been sighted. It is nocturnal and crepuscular. When the warty pig is startled, its mane stands erect. If the animal is fleeing from a predator, its tail is erect and curved towards its body. When a group of individuals is frightened, the recorded alarm call sounds like a shrill whistle.[3]

Diet

The Javan warty pig is an omnivore, feeding on vegetables, crops, and small mammals. Its diet includes roots, tubers, bark, seeds and grains. It also raids farmers fields and is considered an agricultural pest.[citation needed]

Reproduction

The specific mating structure of this species has not been observed. It is thought to be polygynous (males compete and mate with multiple females within a breeding season) like other members in the genus Sus. Sus species become reproductively mature around the age of nine months. Females normally begin mating at the age of 1.5 years, while males wait to reach full size at five years of age to be able to compete for a mate.[4] The mating season of this species is from September through December. The gestation period for the Javan warty pig is four months. During January through April, the rainy season in Indonesia, the sows give birth to litters ranging from three to nine piglets. The piglets are born in a nest and nursed for the following three to four months. On average, the species lives to be eight years of age, with a few individuals living to 14 years of age.[5]

Conservation

According to the IUCN Red List, S. verrucosus was first declared vulnerable in 1988 and listed as endangered in 1996. A drastic 53% drop in the population occurred from 1982 through 2006. The species is believed to be still declining.[1] A recent study estimated a population of 172-377 individuals, making the Javan warty pig one of the rarest pig species.[6] The main threat to this species is habitat encroachment by humans. Agriculture is a large influence in the decline of the Javan warty pig. These pigs are also killed by farmers who spot the pigs raiding their crops at night. Since this is a large animal, sports hunters also consider killing the animal a challenge and see it as a trophy. An interesting threat to this species is actually occurring naturally. The closest relative to Sus verrucosus is the banded pig (Sus scrofa vittatus). This species shares similar habitat ranges as the Javan pig. This species threatens the Javan pig not only through resource competition, but also by cross-mating and creating hybrids of S. verrucosus and S. scrofa.[7]

The most recent conservation project, through the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, aims to capture healthy Javan warty pigs and breed them in captivity. The offspring of this program are then supposed to be released into protected habitats.[7] This method of reintroduction of the offspring will ensure the long-term survival of the species. One of the problems with this project is finding true S. verrucosus, not hybrids, which brings up another goal of the program, molecular mapping. Scientists will extract DNA from the wild pigs and record their genetic code to separate hybrids from true S. verrucosus. Along with this project are plans to educate the locals of the importance and endangerment of this species. The locals sometimes comment that they cannot distinguish the banded pig from the Javan pig, and with education this confusion can be reduced.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c Semiadi, G.; Rademaker, M. & Meijaard, E. (2016). "Sus verrucosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T21174A44139369.en
  2. ^ Huffman, Brent. "Javan Warty Pig (Sus Verrucosus) - Quick Facts". Ultimateungulate.com. Archived from the original on 12 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b Blouch, R. (1993). "The Javan Warty Pig (Sus verrucosus)". In W.R. Oliver. Pigs, peccaries, and hippos. Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. International Union for the Conservation of Nature: IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist Group. pp. 129−136. ISBN 2-8317-0141-4.
  4. ^ Nowak, R. M. (1995). "Pigs, Hogs, and Boars". Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ Grzimek, B. (1972). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Litton World Trade Corporation.
  6. ^ Rademaker, M.; Meijaard, E.; Semiadi, G.; Blokland, S.; Neilson, E.W.; Rode-Margono, E.J. (2016). "First Ecological Study of the Bawean Warty Pig (Sus blouchi), One of the Rarest Pigs on Earth". PLoS ONE. 11 (4): e0151732. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151732. PMC 4822801. PMID 27049756.
  7. ^ a b "ZGAP - Projects - Conservation of the Javan Warty Pig in Indonesia". ZGAP - Zoologische Gesellschaft Für Arten- Und Populationsschutz E.V. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. 15 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Cikananga Wildlife Center - Javan Warty Pig". Cikananga Wildlife Center.

External links

  • April 6 2016 Bawean warty pig captured on video
  • ‘World’s ugliest pig’ spotted in Indonesia
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