Phacochoerus africanus 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Suidae

Scientific Name: Phacochoerus africanus
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1788)
Common Name(s):
English Common Warthog, Warthog, Eritrean Warthog
French Phacochère Commun
Taxonomic Notes:

Four subspecies recognised; Northern Warthog Phacochoerus africanus africanus, Eritrean Warthog P. a. aeliani, Central African Warthog P. a. massaicus, and Southern Warthog P. a. sundevallii (Grubb 1993, Cumming 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-17
Assessor(s): de Jong, Y.A., Cumming, D., d'Huart, J. & Butynski, T.
Reviewer(s): Meijaard, E.
Justification:

The Common Warthog is listed as Listed Concern as it is widespread, often locally abundant, has a high reproductive rate, and is expanding its geographic range in South Africa (Nyafu 2009, Cumming 2013, Swanepoel et al. 2015). Nonetheless, most populations seem to be in decline over much of the geographic range (De Jong and Butynski 2014, Butynski and De Jong in prep).

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Common Warthog is widely distributed over sub-Saharan Africa, occurring in scattered populations in West Africa eastwards to Eritrea and Ethiopia, southward through eastern Africa, and over much of southern Africa to southern Angola, Botswana, and Mozambique to northeast South Africa. Historically, the common warthog was not present in the arid Karoo of South Africa where the extinct Cape (desert) warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus aethiopicus was present (Cumming 2013). Expansion of the Sahel-zone has resulted in a marked contraction in the range of the common warthog since at least the early 1980s. J. Newby (pers. comm. in Vercammen and Mason 1993) reported the extinction of the species in Niger but then notes their persistence in south-central Aïr Mts., Niger. (J. Newby pers. comm. in Cumming 2013). In addition, P. africanus were photographed in 2014 in W National Park, southwest Niger (C.T. Hash pers. comm.).

The common warthog is expanding its geographic range in South Africa (Nyafu 2009).

Sympatric with the Somali (desert) warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus delamerei) in north Somalia, and central, east, and southeast  Kenya (De Jong and Butynski 2014, De Jong et al. in prep.).

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mauritania; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Congo
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):3500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:

The overall number of Common Warthog in South Africa is currently estimated to be at least 22,250 (Swanepoel et al. 2016).  Current estimates of numbers in other southern African countries are not available. In Eastern Africa, absent, or at very low densities, in large areas but can be locally abundant where hunting is uncommon and livestock densities are low (De Jong and Butynski 2014, T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. obs.). Most populations seem to be in decline over much of the geographic range  (De Jong and Butynski 2014, Butynski and De Jong in prep.).

Typical densities range from 1-10 animals/km² in protected areas (Cumming 2013), but local densities of 77 animals/km² on short grass in Nakuru National Park, central Kenya (Radke 1991).

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Confined to savanna grasslands, open bushlands, and woodlands (Cumming 2013). Although usually absent from forests, thickets, cool montane grasslands, deserts, and succulent steppes, the Common Warthog occupies forested areas in parts of eastern Africa; Goda Mts. in Djibouti), Bale Mts. In Ethiopia, and Mathews Range in Kenya (Yalden et al. 1996, Künzel et al. 2000, Cumming 2013, L. Borgesia pers. comm. in Butynski and De Jong in prep.). Recorded to 3,500 m asl on Mt Gaysay, Ethiopian Highlands (Waltermire 1975, in Yalden et al. 1996).  

Dependent on perennial surface water at some sites (Estes 1999, Meijaard et al 2011, Cumming 2013), but drinking water not essential at other sites (Dorst and Dandelot 1970, Skinner and Smithers 1990, De Jong and Butynski 2014, Butynski and De Jong in prep.). In north Kenya, low densities of common warthog occur in sub-desert where drinking water is absent for several months of the year (De Jong and Butynski 2014).

Generally diurnal but sometimes active at night in West Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe (Cumming 1975, De Jong and Butynski 2014). This is likely an adaptation to avoid the hottest hours of the day, humans and other diurnal predators, and competition for water and food (De Jong and Butynski 2014).

Systems:Terrestrial
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

Larger tusks are traded (Vercammen and Mason 1993, Y. de Jong and T. Butynski pers obs.).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Major natural causes of mortality are climatic extremes (including droughts), disease (including rinderpest), and predation (Vercammen and Mason 1993, Somers 1997, Butynski and De Jong in prep.). Desertification has caused a decline in parts of the Sahel (Vercammen and Mason 1993). The main threats in eastern Africa are human-caused habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation, and competition with livestock for water and food (De Jong and Butynski 2014). Hunted for entertainment, bush meat, skins, tusks (only the upper tusks are considered for trophy), as bait for hunting large carnivores, in response to crop raiding, to reduce grazing pressure, and in eradication programs (De Tray 1957, Mason 1985, Vercammen and Mason 1993, Grubb et al 1998, Deribe et al 2008, Cumming 2013, De Jong and Butynski 2014, Butynski and De Jong in prep.).

In the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, Common Warthog are a ‘nuisance’ animal as a result of introduction programmes (Skead 2007, Nyafu 2009).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Common Warthog is present in numerous protected areas across its extensive range.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Marginal  
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.2. Savanna - Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability:Marginal  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability:Marginal  
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.2. Droughts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.2. Wood & pulp plantations -> 2.2.2. Agro-industry plantations
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.4. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.3. Other ecosystem modifications
♦ timing:Ongoing  ♦ severity:Rapid Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Butynski, T.M. and De Jong, Y.A. In prep. Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus). . In: M. Melletti and E. Meijaard (eds), Ecology, Evolution and Management of Wild Pigs and Peccaries. Implications for Conservation. , Cambridge University Press.

Cumming, D.H.M. 1975. A Field Study of the Ecology and Behaviour of Warthog. . National Museums& Monuments of Rhodesia, Salisbury.

Cumming, D.H.M. 2013. Phacochoerus africanus Common warthog. In: J.S. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, pp. 54-60. Bloomsbury, London.

De Jong, Y.A. and Butynski, T.M. 2014. Distribution, abundance, ecology, and conservation status of the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in northern Kenya. . Unpublished report to the National Geographic Society, Washington D.C.

De Jong, Y.A., d'Huart, J.P. and Butynski, T.M. in prep.. Biogeography of the desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus (Pallas, 1766) and common warthog Phacochoerus africanus (Gmelin, 1788) in the Horn of Africa and Kenya.

Deribe, E., Bekele, A., and Balakrishnan, M. 2008. Population status and diurnal activity patterns of the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) in the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. . International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 34: 91-97.

De Tray, D.E. 1957. African swine fever in warthogs (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). . Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association 130: 537-540.

Dorst, J. and Dandelot, P. 1970. A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa. . Collins, London.

Estes, R.D. 1999. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, and Primates. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, Vermont.

Grubb, P. 1993. The Afrotropical suids Phacochoerus, Hylochoerus and Potamochoerus. 4.1 Taxonomy and description. . In: Oliver, W.L.R. (ed.), Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan; Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos. , pp. 66-73.. IUCN/SSC Pigs and Peccaries Specialist Group and IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Grubb, P., Jones, T.S., Davies, A.G., Edberg, E., Starin, E.D. and Hill, J.E. 1998. Mammals of Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. . The Trendrine Press, Zennog, Cornwall.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Künzel, T., Rayaleh, H.A. and Künzel, S. 2000. Status Assessment Survey on Wildlife in Djibouti. Final Report. Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (Z.S.C.S.P.) and Office National du Tourisme et de l’Artisanat (O.N.T.A.).

Mason, D.R. 1985. Postnatal growth and physical condition of warthogs Phacochoerus aethiopicus in Zululand. . South African Journal of Wildlife Research 15: 89-97.

Meijaard, E., d'Huart, J.P. and Oliver, W.L.R. 2011. Family Suidae (Pigs). In: Wilson, D.E. and Mittermeijer, R.A. (eds), Mammals of the World, Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Nyafu, K. 2009. Warthog as an introduced species in the Eastern Cape. . MSc., Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Radke, R. 1991. Monographie des warzenschweines (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). Bongo, Berlin 18: 119-134.

Skead, C.J., Boshoff, A.F., Kerley, G.I.H., and Lloyd, P.H. 2007. Historical incidence of the larger land mammals in the broader Eastern Cape. Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth.

Skinner, J.D. and Smithers, R.H.N. 1990. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. University of Pretoria, Pretoria.

Somers, M.J. 1997. The sustainability of harvesting a warthog population: assessment of management options using simulation modelling. . South African Journal of Wildlife Research 27: 37-43.

Swanepoel, M., Schulze, E. and Cumming, D.H.M. 2016. A conservation assessment of Phacochoerus africanus. In: Child, M.D., Raimondo, D. Do Linh San, E., Roxburgh, L. and Davies-Mostert, H. (eds), The Red List of Mammals of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho, South African National Biodiversity Institute and Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa.

Tompkins, S. 2015. Warthogs invade south Texas. . Houston Chronicle.

Vercammen, P. and Mason, D. R. 1993. The Warthogs (Phacochoerus africanus and P. aethiopicus). In: W. L. R. Oliver (ed.), Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, pp. 75-84. IUCN/SSC Pigs and Peccaries Specialist Group - IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Yalden, D.W., Largen, M.J., Kock, D. and Hillman, J.C. 1996. Catalogue of the Mammals of Ethiopia and Eritrea. 7. Revised checklist, zoogeography and conservation. Tropical Zoology 9(1): 73-164.


Citation: de Jong, Y.A., Cumming, D., d'Huart, J. & Butynski, T. 2016. Phacochoerus africanus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41768A44140445. . Downloaded on 10 December 2016.
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