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Sus philippensis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA SUIDAE

Scientific Name: Sus philippensis
Species Authority: Nehring, 1886
Common Name(s):
English Philippine Warty Pig
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon was formally recognized as a distinct species endemic to the Philippines by Groves (1981), who subsequently proposed recognition of three subspecies: philippensis from Luzon and associated islands; mindanensis from Mindanao and associated islands; and oliveri from Mindoro (later separated as a full species (Groves 1997, 2001; Groves and Grubb 1993)). More recent mtDNA studies have suggested the likelihood for separating ‘philippinensis’ and ‘mindanensis’ as full species (T. Ozawa pers. comm. and in prep).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A4cde ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Oliver, W. & Heaney, L.
Reviewer(s): Leus, K. & Oliver, W. ( Pig, Peccary & Hippo Red List Authority)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable because it is currently undergoing a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over a period of three generations (estimated to be about 21 years), inferred from the apparent disappearance of several populations, and the effects of over-hunting, habitat loss and hybridization.
History:
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: S. Philippensis is endemic to the Philippines, and occurs through most of the country except the Palawan Faunal Region (where it is replaced by S. ahoenobarbus), Mindoro (where it replaced by S. oliveri), the Negros-Panay Faunal Region (where it is replaced by S. cebifrons), and the Sulu Faunal Region (where it is apparently replaced by a closely related, but as yet undescribed new species of warty pig, i.e. S. sp. Nov.). The ranges of the two currently recognised subspecies therefore also follow expected distribution patters, with S. p. philippensis being confined to and endemic to the ‘Greater Luzon Faunal Region’ (i.e. the islands of Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes and, formerly, Marinduque); and S. p. mindanensis being confined and endemic to the ‘Greater Mindanao Faunal Region’ (i.e. Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Bohol, Mindanao, Camiguin Sul, Basilan and associated smaller islands (Groves, 1981, 1997, 2001; Oliver 1995, 2001; Oliver 1995, 2001; Oliver et al. 1993; Rose and Grubb, unpublished).
Countries:
Native:
Philippines
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Precise data on wild pig populations is lacking for on most islands, particularly the smaller islands, though their present status may be inferred from the extent of remaining forest over their known ranges, likely extents of hunting pressure and other factors. As such, the species was undoubtedly far more extensively distributed in the past, and most extant populations, particularly on the larger islands, are badly fragmented and declining (Oliver et al. 1993). The species is extinct on Marinduque.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It was formerly abundant from sea-level up to at least 2,800 m, in virtually all habitats (Rabor 1986). Now it is common only in remote forests (Danielsen et al. 1994, Heaney et al. 1991). It was reported to be common in montane and mossy forest from 925-2,150 m elevation in Balbalasang National Park, Kalinga Province (Heaney et al. 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Most remaining populations of these animals are now widely fragmented and declining, and likely to face extinction, or may already be extinct on some islands (e.g. Marinduque), as a result of former widespread commercial logging operations, continued low-level illegal logging and agricultural expansion (particularly slash-and-burn cultivation or ‘kaingin’) and hunting pressure. The latter continues throughout its remaining range, including many (perhaps most) protected areas. Hunting is mostly practiced by local farmers and indigenous peoples in hinterland communities and recreational hunters from larger cities. Both of these groups also sell any surplus meat which usually commands at least twice the price of domestic pork in local markets and speciality restaurants. Efforts to reduce or discourage hunting are also often compromised by generally negative attitudes towards these animals, which can cause severe damage to crops planted within or close to existing forest boundaries, and which are therefore regarded as pests and, hence, a legitimate target for hunting activities. Unfortunately, this species is also threatened by genetic contamination via hybridization with free-ranging domestic and feral animals of ex-S. scrofa origin, and incidences of such hybridizations have been confirmed from Luzon and Mindanao, and reported from Basilan and other islands (Blouch, 1995; Oliver, 1995; 2001; Oliver et al. 1993).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: S. philippensis is now fully protected by Philippine law, though enforcement of protection measures is generally poor in most areas, including many ‘protected areas’, owing to lack of resources and other factors.

Understanding of the taxonomy, distribution and distributional relationships, threats and likely future management needs of this and other Philippine wild pig species, and hence also their inclusion in relevant protective legislation, research studies and education/awareness campaigns, have undoubtedly benefited from greatly increased local and international interest in the extraodinary diversity of Philippines endemic suids since the early 1990’s. However, much more needs to be done in order to:

• determine the identities and relationships of many (as yet unstudied and described) insular populations, some of which are likely to constitute new taxa; and therefore also to:

• identify and prioritise conservation needs and efforts on the most threatened and distinct taxa and populations via conduct of relevant (and comparative) population distribution and (perhaps especially) ethnobiological surveys, in order to:

• better understand and ameliorate existing or likely future threats, whether via increased advocacy in decision-making sectors, more effective enforcement of existing protective legislation, establishment of more effectively protected ‘protected’ areas, mitigation of prevailing negative attitudes through enhanced education/awareness initiatives, resolution of existing legislative anomalies re. traditional, commercial and other uses; etc.

Citation: Oliver, W. & Heaney, L. 2008. Sus philippensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.
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