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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Species Fact Profile: Visayan Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons)

Visayan Warty Pig
Sus cebifrons (Heude, 1888)

Range: Visayan Islands (Philippines)
Habitat: Dense Rainforest
Diet: Invertebrates, Roots, Tubers, Fruit
Social Grouping: Family Groups, Bachelor Groups
Reproduction: Litters of 2-4 piglets born after 118 gestation period, usually in the dry season; piglets begin eating solids at one week and are fully weaned at six months.  Piglets are born striped but acquire adult coloration at 1 year old.  Reproductively mature at 2-3 years old (earlier in captivity).
Lifespan: 10-15 Years (Wild)
Conservation Status: IUCN Critically Endangered

  • Body length 1-1.25 meters, 30-65 centimeters tall at the shoulder, weigh 20-40 kilograms, but occasionally as much as 80 kilograms.  Males larger than females
  • Typical pig build with short necks, longish heads, and prominent snouts.  Both sexes covered with sparse, bristly gray or black fur, including a tuft on the crown of the head.  Three pairs of fleshy facial warts present on males.  White stripe runs over bridge of nose behind mouth
  • One of only two pig species with only three sets of teats - smaller litter size than many species
  • Males can erect their crests to look bigger when in conflict.  The facial warts may protect the face from tusks during sparring matches
  • Two subspecies recognized - the nominate, from the island of Cebu, and S. c. negrinus, from Negros Island.  Other islands may have had additional subspecies
  • Threatened by habitat loss, hunting, and  persecution from farmers in retaliation for crop-raiding.  Now extinct on 3 of the 6 islands where it was previously known
  • Additional threat has been cross-breeding with domestic pigs; Visayan warty pigs killed by poachers often show evidence of being hybrids with domesticated pigs, sometimes even piebald coats
  • Breeding programs in the Philippines attempt to maintain pure breed stock of the species
  • Latin name translates to "Pig from Cebu", where the first specimen was collected

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