Visayan Warty Pig (Sus cebifrons)
Visayan Warty Pig
Range: Central Philippine Islands
Conservation Status: Critically endangered
Scientific Name: Sus cebifrons
This bizarre-looking forest-dweller was only recognized as a separate species in 1993. Adult male warty pigs usually develop pairs of warts on their cheeks, jaws and above their canine teeth. They also have distinctive crests and manes. When threatened, the pigs raise their mane to make themselves appear larger and more menacing.
Visayan warty pigs live in groups of four or five. They dine on tubers, roots and fruits of the forest, but they may also eat cultivated crops. Their crop-eating ways have increased in recent years -- about 95% of the pigs' forest habitat has been cleared by local farmers who cut down woodlands to plant crops. When the soil becomes unproductive in a few years, they move on to clear more land. As a result, the pigs are now reduced to only a few Visayan Islands in the Philippine island chain.
Still other factors are endangering the warty pigs. These include overhunting and inter-breeding with domestic pigs. Scientists are working to protect the remaining warty pigs and rebuild wild populations.
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