Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Philippine warty pigs may be seen singly, in pairs during the breeding season, or in groups of 7 to 12, consisting of a boar, several sows and young pigs. Although most active at night, they may also move around during the day. They feed on the roots, leaves and tubers of grasses and other plants, using their mobile snouts to plough the ground for such food (2). Female Philippine warty pigs make nests in which to give birth, situated in carefully selected, concealed areas such as between the buttresses of giant trees surrounded by dense bushes (2). Litters average four to five piglets, but as many as eight may be born in a single litter (3). Wild pigs are normally shy and retiring but can be dangerous when cornered and will vigorously defend themselves in such a situation. Females in particular can be highly defensive when protecting their young, and will attack potential predators, including people, if threatened (2) (3).
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Description

The robustly built Philippine warty pig has a coarse, bristly, blackish coat with a scattering of silvery white hairs on the sides. Long, stiff hairs form a crest running down the middle of the back (2), which is particularly conspicuous in males during the breeding season when if forms a prominent mane over the head crest and neck (2) (3). The medium-length tail has a tuft of long, black hairs at the tip (2) (3), used to swat away flies and signal mood (4). The Philippine warty pig has a long snout, terminating in a flat, mobile disc with the nostrils in the centre (2). The teeth are well-developed, with the large upper and lower canines forming laterally and upwardly protruding tusks in males (3). It has relatively small eyes and ears, and its narrow feet have four toes, but only the two central toes are used for walking (2).
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Distribution

Range Description

S. Philippensis is endemic to the Philippines, and occurs through most of the country except the Palawan Faunal Region (where it is replaced by S. ahoenobarbus), Mindoro (where it replaced by S. oliveri), the Negros-Panay Faunal Region (where it is replaced by S. cebifrons), and the Sulu Faunal Region (where it is apparently replaced by a closely related, but as yet undescribed new species of warty pig, i.e. S. sp. Nov.). The ranges of the two currently recognised subspecies therefore also follow expected distribution patters, with S. p. philippensis being confined to and endemic to the ‘Greater Luzon Faunal Region’ (i.e. the islands of Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes and, formerly, Marinduque); and S. p. mindanensis being confined and endemic to the ‘Greater Mindanao Faunal Region’ (i.e. Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Bohol, Mindanao, Camiguin Sul, Basilan and associated smaller islands (Groves, 1981, 1997, 2001; Oliver 1995, 2001; Oliver 1995, 2001; Oliver et al. 1993; Rose and Grubb, unpublished).
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Range

Endemic to the Philippines, where it occurs as two currently recognised subspecies. Sus philippensis philippinesis is found on the northern islands of Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes and Marinduque, while Sus philippensis mindanensis occurs on the east-central islands of Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Bohol, and the southern islands of Camiguin Sul, Mindanao and Basilan (5) (6) (7).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It was formerly abundant from sea-level up to at least 2,800 m, in virtually all habitats (Rabor 1986). Now it is common only in remote forests (Danielsen et al. 1994, Heaney et al. 1991). It was reported to be common in montane and mossy forest from 925-2,150 m elevation in Balbalasang National Park, Kalinga Province (Heaney et al. 2005).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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The Philippine warty pig inhabits grasslands, forest and areas of parang, from sea level to the mountains (2).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A4cde

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Oliver, W. & Heaney, L.

Reviewer/s
Leus, K. & Oliver, W. ( Pig, Peccary & Hippo Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because it is currently undergoing a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over a period of three generations (estimated to be about 21 years), inferred from the apparent disappearance of several populations, and the effects of over-hunting, habitat loss and hybridization.

History
  • 2000
    Vulnerable
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).
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Population

Population
Precise data on wild pig populations is lacking for on most islands, particularly the smaller islands, though their present status may be inferred from the extent of remaining forest over their known ranges, likely extents of hunting pressure and other factors. As such, the species was undoubtedly far more extensively distributed in the past, and most extant populations, particularly on the larger islands, are badly fragmented and declining (Oliver et al. 1993). The species is extinct on Marinduque.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Most remaining populations of these animals are now widely fragmented and declining, and likely to face extinction, or may already be extinct on some islands (e.g. Marinduque), as a result of former widespread commercial logging operations, continued low-level illegal logging and agricultural expansion (particularly slash-and-burn cultivation or ‘kaingin’) and hunting pressure. The latter continues throughout its remaining range, including many (perhaps most) protected areas. Hunting is mostly practiced by local farmers and indigenous peoples in hinterland communities and recreational hunters from larger cities. Both of these groups also sell any surplus meat which usually commands at least twice the price of domestic pork in local markets and speciality restaurants. Efforts to reduce or discourage hunting are also often compromised by generally negative attitudes towards these animals, which can cause severe damage to crops planted within or close to existing forest boundaries, and which are therefore regarded as pests and, hence, a legitimate target for hunting activities. Unfortunately, this species is also threatened by genetic contamination via hybridization with free-ranging domestic and feral animals of ex-S. scrofa origin, and incidences of such hybridizations have been confirmed from Luzon and Mindanao, and reported from Basilan and other islands (Blouch, 1995; Oliver, 1995; 2001; Oliver et al. 1993).
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Philippine warty pigs survive in most of the remaining forested areas on the larger islands of the Philippines (8), but intense hunting pressure for its meat and extreme levels of deforestation have resulted in it disappearing from large areas of its historical range, and continue to threaten the remaining populations (1) (2) (8). These threats are being amplified by the rapidly growing human population in the Philippines (1), and illegal clearance of forest for agriculture; the latter also leading to increased incidences of crop damage by wild pigs, which will readily forage on cultivated corn, rice and cassava. Local farmers therefore consider them to be a legitimate target for reprisal hunting (2), and may strongly resist any local protection measures. Finally, hybridisation with free-ranging domestic pigs also threatens the existence of the wild Philippine warty pig (1).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
S. philippensis is now fully protected by Philippine law, though enforcement of protection measures is generally poor in most areas, including many ‘protected areas’, owing to lack of resources and other factors.

Understanding of the taxonomy, distribution and distributional relationships, threats and likely future management needs of this and other Philippine wild pig species, and hence also their inclusion in relevant protective legislation, research studies and education/awareness campaigns, have undoubtedly benefited from greatly increased local and international interest in the extraodinary diversity of Philippines endemic suids since the early 1990’s. However, much more needs to be done in order to:

• determine the identities and relationships of many (as yet unstudied and described) insular populations, some of which are likely to constitute new taxa; and therefore also to:

• identify and prioritise conservation needs and efforts on the most threatened and distinct taxa and populations via conduct of relevant (and comparative) population distribution and (perhaps especially) ethnobiological surveys, in order to:

• better understand and ameliorate existing or likely future threats, whether via increased advocacy in decision-making sectors, more effective enforcement of existing protective legislation, establishment of more effectively protected ‘protected’ areas, mitigation of prevailing negative attitudes through enhanced education/awareness initiatives, resolution of existing legislative anomalies re. traditional, commercial and other uses; etc.
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Conservation

The Philippine warty pig is technically fully protected by Philippine law, though there is little or effective enforcement of the relevant legislation in most areas (3). On the larger islands of the Philippines, such as Luzon and Mindanao, the warty pig occurs in all the principle national parks, although most of these protected areas also exist solely on paper. A number of such parks are known to have been virtually deforested (8), and illegal logging and hunting continues in many other areas (3). To improve this vulnerable pig's situation, programmes to educate local people and to alter their negative attitudes towards wild pigs have been recommended. Further research into its exact distribution, status, and biology has also been suggested (8), which will help inform any conservation or management plan for the Philippine warty pig.
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Wikipedia

Philippine warty pig

The Philippine warty pig, Sus philippensis, is one of four known pig species endemic to the Philippines. The other three endemic species are the Visayan warty pig (S. cebifrons), Mindoro warty pig (S. oliveri) and the Palawan bearded pig (S. ahoenobarbus), also being rare members of the Suidae family. Philippine warty pigs have two pairs of warts, with a tuft of hair extending outwards from the warts closest to the jaw.

Contents

Subspecies[edit]

There are at least three recognized subspecies of the Philippine warty pig:

  • S. p. philippensis (from Luzon and nearby islands)
  • S. p. oliveri (from Mindoro) (this subspecies has also been listed as a distinct species, S. oliveri, Mindoro warty pig).
  • S. p. mindanensis (from Mindanao)

Distribution and habitat[edit]

In general, the original distribution of S. philippensis covered the western islands of the Philippines, while the original distribution of S. cebifrons covered the central and eastern islands. Specifically, the range of Philippine warty pigs included Luzon, Biliran, Samar, Leyte, Mindoro, Mindanao, Jolo, Polillo, Catanduanes, and possibly other islands. Moreover, it was formerly found in most habitats (from sea level to up to 2800 m) but is now confined to remote forests due to loss of habitat and heavy hunting by noose traps or trigger set bullets.

Wild pigs have been reported in Bohol and Sibuyan, although it is unclear whether these populations are S. cebifrons or S. philippensis.

Genetic relation to other pigs (Suidae)[edit]

It is closely related to the Bornean bearded pig (Sus barbatus), and in fact was once thought to be a subspecies (i.e., S. b. philippensis) like the Palawan bearded pig (S. b. ahoenobarbus). The Palawan bearded pig is now also frequently classified not as a subspecies, but as a separate Philippine endemic pig species, S. ahoenobarbus.

Hybridization[edit]

With loss of its natural habitat from deforestation and uncontrolled logging and hunting, they have been forced into close contact with domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) (the domesticated variety of the non-endemic Eurasian wild boar), and hybridization between the two species has been reported. Accordingly, genetic contamination of Philippine warty pig stock is a real and irreversible problem.[verification needed][citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oliver, W. & Heaney, L. (2008). Sus philippensis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 5 April 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of vulnerable.
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