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World's Smallest Hog Species Successfully Reintroduced To Indian Wildlife Refuge

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-13-09 12:31 PM
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World's Smallest Hog Species Successfully Reintroduced To Indian Wildlife Refuge
The critically-endangered pygmy hog Porcula salvania is thriving one year after being reintroduced into Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam, India.

According to researchers with the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (DWCT), surveys and camera traps have shown that two-thirds of the 16 originally released pygmy hogs have survived their first year. One of two pregnant females gave birth successfully with tracks of baby pygmy hogs found in the summer of last year.

Pygmy hogs have the honor of being the worlds smallest wild pig, standing between 20 and 30 centimeters off the ground. The hogs natural habitat is grasslands which have been increasingly cultivated by humans. The species remains threatened by agricultural expansion, livestock, burning of the grasslands, and the commercial forestry industry. The vanishing grasslands are important to several other species including the swamp deer Cervus duvauceli, wild buffalo Bubalus bubalis, hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus, and Bengal florican Houbaropsis bengalensis.

The Pygmy Hog Conservation Program (PHCP), which oversaw the reintroduction, is planning a second release of 14 more pygmy hogs this month. The pygmy hogs have been preparing for their release since last December in special pens. Currently the breeding facility for this critically-endangered species has a total of 41 adults.

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