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EN - Mindoro Warty Pig

Mindoro Warty Pig (Sus oliveri)
Status: Endangered B1ab(iii,v)+2ab(iii,v) ver 3.1
Pop. trend: decreasing

Taxonomy. Sus philippensis oliveri Groves, 1997. Mayapang, Rizal, Mindoro, Occidental, Philippines.

This species was recognized as a distinct subspecies of S. philippensis in 1997, and 4 years later designated as a full species, owing to various distinct characteristics setting it aside from S. philippensis.

Distribution (see map). This species is endemic to Mindoro Island in the central Philippines. This island is otherwise characterized by being surrounded by deep water channels indicating that it has had no recent landbridge connection with any other adjacent island in the Philippine Archipelago. It has thus been isolated remained isolated during repeated Pleistocene sea–level changes for tens of thousands of years. Surveys conducted in the late 1990s indicated the species is now mostly confined to the higher elevations parts of the central and north-western mountain ranges.

Descriptive notes. No body measurements are available for this species. Based on skull length measurements in 3 males specimens, S. oliveri appears to be of similar size to the Philippine Warty Pig, S. philippensis, but readily distinguished from this species by its very elongated facial skeleton, which points more downward, especially anterior to the canines. The braincase is more elongated behind the zygomatic roots. The palate is also more elongated, but not to the extent seen in S. ahoenobarbus.

The only currently available skin of S. oliveri suggests that it males have a black crown tuft mixed with straw-colored hairs. The preocular warts are well-developed, and they have a straw-colored gonial tuft. A photo of an adult female recently taken by trophy hunters on Mindoro shows a well developed blackish-grey, bristly mane that runs across the head and along the back. The coat is rather shaggy and blackish or blackish grey all over. Unfortunately, the large ears, short snout, and absence of warts may suggest that this might have been a feral or hybrid animal, which means that there is still no clear understanding of what true Mindoro Warty Pig looks like.

Habitat. Very few direct observations of the species in the wild have been recorded, mostly during annual Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) census exercises in Mt. Iglit-Baco National Park. Still, the species' habitat preference remains mostly unclear. It presumably favors remaining stands of forests and thickets where it can find shelter and food.

Activity patterns. Nothing is known.

Food and Feeding. Nothing is known.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. Nothing is known.

Breeding. Nothing is known.

Status and Conservation. Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km² and its area of occupancy is less than 500 km². Even though accurate records are lacking, the distribution range of S. oliveri is likely to be severely fragmented. There is also a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, and in the number of mature individuals caused by over-hunting. Hybridization with free-ranging domestic pigs introduced and maintained by hinterland communities is an additional and likely serious additional threat.



Text adapted from: Meijaard, E., J. P. d'Huart, and W. L. R. Oliver. 2011. Family Suidae (Pigs). Pages 248-291 in D. E. Wilson, and R. A. Mittermeier, editors. Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol 2. Hoofed Mammals. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Bibliography

Groves, C.P.  (1997).  Taxonomy of wild pigs (Sus) of the Philippines.  Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 120: 163-191.

.  (2001).  Taxonomy of wild pigs of Southeast Asia.  Asian Wild Pig News 1: 2-3.

Oliver, W.  (2008).  Sus oliveri. in IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. Downloaded on 27 April 2010.

Oliver, W.L.R.  (1995).  The taxonomy, distribution and status of Philippine wild pigs.  Ibex 3: 26-32.