Javan warty pigs are distributed on the Indonesian Islands of Java, Bawean, and Madura, and is endemic to these islands.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
Other Geographic Terms: island endemic
Javan warty pigs range in weight from 44 to 108 kg, and are 90 to 190 cm in length.
The most distinguishing characteristic of Sus verrucosus is the growth of three pairs of warts on its face. One pair is the preorbital, and the other two are the infraorbital and the larger mandibular warts.
All the members of this species have a long-haired mane that runs down the nape of the neck, along the spine and all the way to the rump. The mane becomes thinner as it extends posteriorly.
The hair of this species is usually a reddish color, with the underside sharply marked as the hair turns to a yellowish color.
These pigs have slender legs and a long tail. The tail has a small tuft of hair on it. The head is large, heavy and appears slightly convex when viewing it in profile. The face is long, and the ears are large. The dental formula is 1/3,3/1,1/2,3/3.
Range mass: 44 to 108 kg.
Range length: 90 to 190 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; ornamentation
Sus verrucosus is found in secondary forest at elevation levels below 800 m. The distribution of these animals is fragmented, because human civilization and agricultural crops have taken over much of their natural habitat.
Range elevation: 800 (high) m.
Habitat Regions: tropical
Terrestrial Biomes: forest
Habitat and Ecology
The vegetation in which they occur is dominated by mixed age teak (Tectona grandis) plantations interspersed with lalang grasslands (Imperata cylindrical), brush and patches of secondary forest. This apparently provides an optimum habitat for this species. Javan warty pigs are everywhere restricted to elevations below about 800 m. The reasons for this are not known, but it might be due to their being unable to tolerate low temperatures (Blouch 1993). They evidently prefer secondary or disturbed forests, though they are also often found near the coasts in remnant patches of mangrove and swamp forest such as in Pangandaran (West Java) and Cilacap (Central Java). They are rare in the few remaining lowland primary forests, and in areas with high human populations where otherwise suitable habitat is fragmented and surrounded by agricultural land. However, they do feed on crops, making nocturnal raids on fields of corn and cassava and, in common with Sus scrofa, the species is widely persecuted for such depredations (Blouch 1988).
Sus verrucosus is omnivorous. They are known to feed on vegetables, small mammals and human crops.
Animal Foods: mammals
Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers; wood, bark, or stems; seeds, grains, and nuts
Primary Diet: omnivore
These animals ar probably important in affecting the plants and animals upon which they feed. Because they are large, they are probably important in the diets of their predators, also.
Anitpredator adaptations have not been reported in this species. However, they are good runners, and tend to stick to areas where there is cover. One of their biggest predators, historically, has probably been humans, although tigers and leopards also prey on them.
- humans (Homo sapiens)
- leopards (Panthera pardus)
- tigers (Panthera tigris)
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Known prey organisms
This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Life History and Behavior
These pigs can warn each other of danger with a shrill whistle. These animals probably also use a variety of visual cues, and have some tactile communication, especially between mates, and mothers and their offpsring.
Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic
Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Piglets are very small when born and have faint stripes. Males grow up to two times the size of the female. A gonion wart forms late in life for males. This wart appears where a long tuft of hair has been growing on the gonion. (Day, 1985)
The avaerage life span of these animals is eight years, with few reaching fourteen year old.
Status: wild: 14 (high) years.
Status: wild: 14 (high) years.
Status: wild: 8 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
The mating system of this species has not been reported. However, other members of the genus Sus are polygynous. Males compete aggressively for sexual access to females.
Javan warty pigs have a gestation period of approximately four months. They give birth to three-nine young once a year during the rainy season between January and March.
Within the genus Sus, neonates weigh between 500 and 1500 g. The young are born in a nest, where they stay for some time. Weaning occurs around 3 or 4 months of age.
The timing of reporoductive maturation has not been reported for this species. However, withing the genus, females may reach sexual maturity as early as 8 months of age. However, they usually do not breed until they are 1.5 years old. Males do not breed until they reach full size and are capable of competing for females-- around the age of 5 years.
Breeding interval: These pigs typically produce one litter per year.
Breeding season: Breeding in this species occurs between September and November, with births following in the rainy season.
Range number of offspring: 3 to 9.
Average gestation period: 4 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous
Average birth mass: 1000 g.
Average gestation period: 120 days.
Average number of offspring: 6.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 274 days.
As in most mammals, the care of the young seems to be largely the concern of females of the species. Females build a nest for the young, which are born pretty helpless, and nurses them for approximately 3 to 4 months.
Females care for the young in groups with other females and their young, while males remain solitary.
Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-independence (Protecting: Female)
Javan warty pigs are island endemic animals, with inherently restricted populations. They are threatened, as are many animals in the region, by shrinking habitat due to human encroachment. There are only a few Javan warty pigs in captivity. These pigs are put in breeding colonies, all of which are zoos in Eastern Java.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1994Vulnerable(Groombridge 1994)
- 1990Vulnerable(IUCN 1990)
- 1988Vulnerable(IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
Semiadi and Meijaard (2004), as a result of widespread interviews, reported the species from the following areas:
1. S. verrucosus occurs in the area between Malingping and Rangkasbitung, but is rarely encountered. There were no reports of recent kills of verrucosus, but some were shot several years ago. Semiadi and Meijaard (2006) considered that that a small population probably remains. However, because S. scrofa is a major agricultural pest, hunting intensity is high
2. Pigs are common in the area between Sukabumi and the coastal nature reserve of Cikepuh, and are considered a major agricultural pest. S. verrucosus, however, is rarely encountered, with two hunters reporting that they had not shot one since 1998. One hunter suggested that over-hunting was the most likely cause of the species’ decline.
3. Interviewees in the area near Purwakarta reported the presence of S. verrucosus between the 1960s and 1990s, with steady declines of the weight of killed animals and numbers of pigs encountered. They now consider verrucosus to be very rare, the latest report being a specimen that was shot in 2001.
4. Near and south of Garut several small populations remain, with reported sightings of S. verrucosus in 2002 and 2001.
5. Around Majalengka and towards Sumedang interviewees reported recent sightings or killings of S. verrucosus, but all emphasize that the species is now much rarer than in the past. Pigs are much sought after here for illegally organized fights with dogs.
6. A population of S. verrucosus still exists east of Tasikmalaya towards Ciamis. There were several reports of recent sightings or killings. Still, people consider S. verrucosus to be rare in comparison to S. scrofa.
7. Several interviewees reported recent sightings of verrucosus from the area around Cilacap, Cipatujuh, and Nusakambangan Nature Reserve, including some from the Nusakambangan Nature Reserve offshore Cilacap, but the species seems to be rare and fragmented into many small populations.
8. S. verrucosus is still relatively common around Subah, generally seen in small groups of 1–2 animals, but in up to 4–6 animals/group during mating season. Females with young are seen between August and December. S. verrucosus has not declined as much as S. scrofa, but one interviewee expected rapid population declines of the former because teak forests, its prime habitat, are disappearing.
9. S. verrucosus appears to be relatively common around Blora and Bojonegoro, and every interviewee was familiar with the species and confirmed its local presence. Still, according to one interviewee, the species used to occur in groups of 10–20 animals, but now only 1–3 animals/group are encountered. Five to seven years ago, every hunt resulted in the capture of 1–2 S. verrucosus, or 2–3 according to another informant, but now the species is rarely caught; the most recent one in April/May 2003. One interviewee reported that pigs have especially declined since the fall of President Suharto in 1998, because then local people started to log the state-owned teak forests.
10. Bawean island is the only area where the subspecies S. v. blouchi occurs. Several interviewees reported the presence of S. verrucosus on the island, but all sightings predated 2002, and the reports gave the impression that the species was now rare. A recent (c. 2004) survey of Bawean deer Axis kuhli on Bawean Island also yielded disturbing reports of the likely dramatic diminution of this species and all wild pig populations (including S. v. blouchi) on Bawean Island, reputedly as a consequence of severe hunting pressure following the transmigration settlement of Christian communities from Sumatra (these animals having been previously left mostly undisturbed by the formerly predominant Moslem communities; R. Ratajszsak, unpubl; pers. comm. to W. Oliver).
Efforts to corroborate and document recent reports of the dramatic reduction in the numbers of S. v. blouchi and other threatened endemic taxa on Bawean Island are also required as a matter of urgency and with view to the institution of more effective protective measures being implemented in the Bawean Island Wildlife Reserve and other parts of this island, especially against hunting by recent immigrant communities.
Currently (2008) a project to establish a captive breeding population of S. v. verrucosus is underway by collecting founders from zoos and from the wild. The aim is to establish a captive population that reliably produces offspring later to be reintroduced in selected protected habitats.
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
avan warty pigs are a pest for human agriculture.
Negative Impacts: crop pest
This species is hunted for its meat. It may also be an important resource for scientific research because they are similar to humans with an omnivorous diet, little body hair and a relatively high degree of intelligence.
Positive Impacts: food ; research and education
Javan warty pig
The Javan warty pig or Javan pig (Sus verrucosus) is a species of even-toed ungulate in the Suidae family. It was originally endemic to the Indonesian islands Java, Bawean, and Madura, but has recently been found extinct in Madura. Sus verrucosus lives in fragmented teak forest regions ranging in altitudes from sea level to 800 m above sea level.
The Javan warty pig ranges from 44 to 108 kg in weight and from 90 to 190 cm long. Their pelage is red near the tip and a yellow or white color at the base of the hair. All members of this species have long manes on top of their heads that follow their spines down their backs to their rumps. The tail of the Javan pig has a tuft of long, red hairs at the end. The build of this animal is skinny legs and a large, oblong body. The most distinguishing feature of the males of Sus verrucosus 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, so the eldest Javan pig has the largest warts.
The Javan warty pig is mainly a solitary creature, but sightings of groups of three or four individuals have been made. They are nocturnal (most active at night) and crepuscual (also active during dusk and dawn). 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 of the pig sounds like a shrill whistle. On average, the species lives to be eight years of age, with a few individuals living to 14 years of age.
Sus verrucosus is an omnivore, feeding on vegetables, crops, and small mammals. Some vegetation they consume includes roots, tubers, bark, seeds and grains. They also raid farmers fields and are considered an agricultural pest.
The specific mating structure of this species has not been observed, but is believed to be polygynous (males compete and mate with multiple females within a breeding season) like other members in the genus Sus. In the genus Sus, species become reproductively mature around 9 months old, but females normally begin mating at 1.5 years old while males wait to reach full size at age 5 to be able to compete for a mate. 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 liters ranging from three to 9 piglets. The piglets are born into a nest and nursed for the following three to four months.
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. No records of population numbers are known, but the species is believed to be still declining. 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). 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.
The most recent conservation project, through the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, aims to capture healthy Javan pigs and breed them in captivity. The offspring of this program are then supposed to be released into protected habitats. 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.
- Semiadi, G., Meijaard, E. & Oliver, W. (2008). Sus verrucosus. 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 endangered.
- McMahon, Sara. "ADW: Sus Verrucosus: Information." Animal Diversity Web. Interagency Education Research Initiative,, 2008. Web. 9 December 2011.<http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Sus_verrucosus.html>.
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- Blouch, R. 1993. The Javan Warty Pig (Sus verrucosus). Pp. 5.4 in W.R. Oliver, ed. Pigs, peccaries, and hippos, Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist Group. Switzerland: International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Accessed 27 August 2007 at http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgs/pphsg/APchap5-4.htm.
- Grzimek, B., 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Litton World Trade Corporation.
- Nowak, R. M., 1995. "Pigs, Hogs, and Boars, Walker's Mammals of the World Online" (On-line). Accessed 15 November 2001 at http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/walker/artiodactyla.
- Grzimek, B., 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Litton World Trade Corporation
- Semiadi, G., Meijaard, E. & Oliver, W. 2008. Sus verrucosus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 9 December 2011
- "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 Nov. 2011. Web. 4 December 2011.<http://www.zgap.de/Java-pustelschweinEN.html>
- The Establishment of a Conservative Breeding Program for Javan Warty Pig (Sus verrucosus) Gono Semiadi Resit Sözer (with input from Roland Wirth & Walter Schulz, ZGAP München, Germany) December 2007 (updated July 2008) Research
- "Cikananga Wildlife Center - Javan Warty Pig." Cikananga Wildlife Center Javan Warty Pig. Cikananga Wildlife Center, 2011. Web. 4 December 2011.<http://www.cikanangawildlifecenter.com/id/?page_id=541>.
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