Visayan warty pig

Common Name: Visayan warty pig

Scientific Name: Sus cebifrons negrinus

Visayan warty pigs play a key role in maintaining and regenerating the rainforest habitat, aerating the soil as they root for invertebrates and tubers, as well as being the main seed dispersers for the larger fallen fruits that they eat and then spread within their poo.

Despite their name, Visayan warty pigs are not very warty compared to other species. Males have three pairs of warts on their faces which are thought to protect them when fighting.

Male Visayan warty pigs can grow up to four times bigger than females!

Male Visayan warty pigs regrow their mane every year in order to attract females. During the mating season, their mane hair can grow to 23cm in length!

Piglets are born with pale, orangey-brown horizontal stripes to help camouflage them on the forest floor. These fade from about 7 to 9 months old when they are large enough to be less vulnerable to predators.

Fast Facts

  • Status

    Critically endangered

  • Size

    100 cm tail 23 cm; Height to shoulder: males up to 63 cm females 30 – 45 cm

  • Weight

    35-40 kg (males)
    20-35 kg (females)

  • Gestation

    118 days

  • Young

    2 - 4

  • Life span

    Up to 18 years in captivity, less in the wild

In the wild

Visayan warty pigs are omnivorous, eating a variety of plants such as vines, palms, and wild bananas, supplemented by earthworms and small animals such as rats, mice.

These sociable pigs live in small groups of between 6 and 12 individuals, usually made up of a single adult male, and a number of females and their piglets, or bachelor groups of males. They prefer more remote, dense rainforest areas in the West Visayas islands of Panay and Negros, but due to habitat deforestation also now populate surrounding grasslands.

Both male and female warty pigs have a distinctive mane that grows from head to tail along their backs. When threatened adult Visayan warty pigs raise the hairs on their manes to make themselves appear more imposing. During the mating season from November to March, the adult males grow a much longer and thicker mane which is later shed and regrown for the next season. Females begin nesting one or two weeks before their litter of 2 to 4 piglets are born. They remain hidden in the nest for about a week before they venture out and begin to taste solid food and are fully weaned by 6 months.

Visayan warty pigs are usually nocturnal or crepuscular, and therefore mainly rest during the heat of the day. Apart from humans, adult Visayan warty pigs have no known predators in the wild.

Visayan warty pigs originally inhabited all six of the West Visayas islands, but habitat loss due to logging and farming, as well as unsustainable hunting for their meat, have reduced the species to just two fragmented populations on the islands of Panay and Negros, in the Philippines. Fortunately, Visayan warty pigs breed well in captivity, and it is hoped that small groups from some of these captive populations could be reintroduced to increase numbers in existing wild populations as well as re-establishing new populations in other suitable areas.

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