Babyrousa babyrussa 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Suidae

Scientific Name: Babyrousa babyrussa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English Hairy Babirusa, Babiroussa, Babirusa, Buru Babirusa, Deer Hog, Golden Babirusa, Moluccan Babirusa
Babyrousa alfurus (Lesson, 1827)
Babyrousa babirousa (Linneaus, 1758) [orth. error]
Babyrousa babirusa (Linneaus, 1758) [orth. error]
Babyrousa babirussa (Linneaus, 1758) [orth. error]
Babyrousa babyrussa ssp. babyrussa (Linnaeus, 1758)
Babyrousa frosti (Thomas, 1920)
Babyrousa indicus (Kerr, 1792)
Babyrousa orientalis (Brisson, 1762)
Babyrousa quadricornus Perry, 1811
Sus babyrussa Linneaus, 1758
Taxonomic Notes: Groves (2001) and Meijaard and Groves (2002a, b) proposed to upgrade the three extant subspecies of Babyrousa to species level: B. celebensis from northern Sulawesi; B. togeanensis from the Togian islands; and B. babyrussa from Buru and the Sula Islands. A single skull from central Sulawesi may or may not represent the species known otherwise only as a subfossil from the southern peninsula, B. bolabatuensis. The taxonomic identity of the individuals from central, eastern and southeastern Sulawesi was left undecided. Until further studies have brought clarity all individuals occurring on Sulawesi, Muna, Buton and Lembeh are treated as Babyrousa celebensis. Preliminary investigations hint at a possible closer affinity of central Sulawesi individuals with Babyrousa babyrussa, but further anatomical as well as genetic studies are necessary and are being conducted to confirm or refute this.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Macdonald, A.A., Burton, J. & Leus, K.
Reviewer(s): Leus, K. & Oliver, W. ( Pig, Peccary & Hippo Red List Authority)
Listed as Vulnerable as the species has a restricted distribution (extent of occurrence less than 20,000 km²), limited to two of the Sula Islands and Buru. Moreover this species has declined in the past largely because of habitat loss through logging and conversion, and to some extent through hunting by non-muslim communities. At least some level of decline in habitat quality and number of mature individuals can be expected to continue.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:>B. babyrussa occurs on two of the Sula Islands (Mangole and Taliabu) and on Buru (Macdonald, 1993) in Indonesia. The species is reported to be extinct on Sulabesi (formerly Sanana) (Sol unpublished, 1986).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The current population status of B. babyrussa is unknown. Although the forests in the northern portions of Buru have been degraded and cleared in the coastal lowlands, two large, contiguous, remaining forest blocks remain and current threats to the forest appear low (Wikramanayake et al., 2001). Most of Taliabu, the largest of the Sula Islands, is still forested, but there has been large-scale logging in the lowlands. Mangole, the other Sula island with babirusa, has been heavily degraded (Wikramanayake et al., 2001). Babirusa continue to be hunted for meat by local non-muslim village communities in some areas.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Little is known about the habitat and ecology of the B. babyrussa specifically, but it is assumed that this is very similar than that of B. celebensis. Babirusa inhabit tropical rain forest on the banks of rivers and ponds abounding in water plants. In common with most of the other suids, babirusa are omnivorous and both wild and captive individuals consume a wide variety of leaf, root, fruit and animal matter (invertebrates and small vertebrates). At least on Sulawesi they visit volcanic salt licks and drink the water and ingest the soil (Clayton, 1996; Leus et al., 2002), so this might also be the case with B. babyrussa. Although detailed studies of their diet in the wild still need to be carried out, a review of the available information from the wild combined with studies on the stomachs and digestive abilities of captive animals suggest that from an anatomical/digestive point of view, they are most likely non-ruminant forestomach fermenting frugivores/concentrate selectors (Leus et al., 2004). Their jaws and teeth are reported to be strong enough to crack very hard nuts with ease. However, babirusa do not exhibit the rooting behaviour typical of other suids because of the absence of a rostral bone in the nose. They will probe soft sand as well as wet, muddy places for food.

Specific data are lacking for B. babyrussa, but in northern Sulawesi groups or troops of up to 13 individuals of B. celebensis have been observed in rainforest, especially around water, communal wallowing areas and salt licks (Patry et al., 1995; Clayton, 1996). Older adult males were often observed singly and most groups were composed of five or fewer animals, the majority of which were females with young animals.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Large-scale commercial logging operations have posed a major threat to this species (Smiet 1982). Current threats to the remaining Buru rainforests are low and the conservation outlook is relatively stable, but remains vulnerable - commercial logging and shifting cultivation are the primary threats (Wikramanayake et al., 2001). Babirusa continue to be hunted for meat in some places by local non-Muslim village communities.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The babirusa was accorded full protection under Indonesian law in 1931 (Dammerman, 1950; Setyodirwiryo, 1959). The species has been included on Appendix I of CITES since 1982, although international trade in this species is not thought to be have been an important issue in recent times (Macdonald 1993).

There are two protected areas in the remaining Buru rainforest, Gunung Kelpat Muda (1380 km²) and Waeapo (50 km²), and one on Taliabu, Pulau Taliabu (700 km²) (Wikramanayake et al., 2001). Gunung Kelpat Muda, to the west-central part of the island. has the additional advantage of continuing to be an animal sanctuary according to local custom (Macdonald unpublished, 2008).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ 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 -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Blouch, R.A. 1990. Report from the field: Indonesia. Smithsonian Institution Conservation and Research Centre Newsletter 1: 6-8.

Clayton, L.M. 1996. Conservation Biology of the Babyrusa Babyrousa babyrussa in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oxford.

Dammerman, K.W. 1950. Geschiedenis van de natuurbescherming in Indonesië. Chronica Naturae 106: 216-228.

Deninger, K. 1910. Über Babyrusa. Berichte der Naturforschenden Gesellschaft zu Freiburg i. Br 18: 1-22.

Groves, C.P. 2001. Mammals in Sulawesi: Where did they come from and when, and what happened to them when they got there? In: I. Metcalfe, J. M. B. Smith, M. Morwood, and I. Davidson (eds), Faunal and floral migration and evolution in SE Asia-Australasia, pp. 333-342. A.A. Balkema Publishers, Lisse, The Netherlands.

Ito, M., Nakata, H., Jaga, I.M. and Balik, I.W. 2005. Status of Togian babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa togianensis) on Malenge Island, Central Sulawesi. In: N. Sugiri, A. H. Mustari, I. S. Suwelo and I. Djuwita (eds), Kumpulan makalah seminar sehari peduli Anoa dan Babirusa Indonesia, Bogor, pp. 71-77. Bogor, Indonesia.

Lee, R.J., Gorog, A.J., Dwiyahreni, A., Siwu, S., Riley, J., Alexander, H., Paoli, G.D. and Ramono, W. 2005. Wildlife trade and implications for law enforcement in Indonesia: a case study from North Sulawesi. Biological Conservation 123: 477-488.

Leus, K., Macdonald, A. A., Goodall, G. P., Veitch, D., Mitchell, S. and Bauwens, L. 2004. Light and scanning electron microscopy of the cardiac gland region of the stomach of the babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa - Suidae, Mammalia). Comptes Rendus Biologies 327: 735-743.

Leus, K., Morgan, C. A. and Dierenfeld, E. S. 2002. Nutrition of the babirusa. In: M. Fischer (ed.), Husbandry Guidelines for the Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) Species Survival Plan, pp. 12-25. St Louis Zoo, St Louis, Missouri, USA.

Macdonald, A.A. 1993. The Babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa). In: W.L.R. Oliver (ed.), Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Meijaard, E. and Groves, C.P. 2002a. Proposal for taxonomic changes within the genus Babyrousa. IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group (PPHSG) Newsletter 2(1): 9-10.

Meijaard, E. and Groves, C.P. 2002b. Upgrading three subspecies of Babirusa (Babyrousa sp.) to full species level. IUCN/SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Group (PPHSG) Newsletter 2(2): 33-39.

Milner-Gulland, E.J. and Clayton, L. 2002. The trade in babirusas and wild pigs in North Sulawesi. Indonesia Ecological Economics 42: 165–183.

Patry, M., Leus, K. and Macdonald, A.A. 1995. Group structure and behaviour of babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa) in northern Sulawesi. Australian Journal of Zoology 43: 643-655.

Riley, J. 2002. Current Wildlife Conservation Society research and conservation of Sulawesi's suids. Asian Wild Pig News 2(2): 26-30.

Setyodirwiryo, K. 1959. Nature protection in Indonesia. Proceedings of the Ninth Pacific Science Congress of the Pacific Science Association 7: 18-20.

Smiet, F. 1982. Threats to the Spice Islands. Oryx 14: 323-328.

Wikramanayake, E., Dinerstein, E., Loucks, C., Olson, D., Morrison, J., Lamoreux. J., Mcknight, M. and Hedao, P. 2002. Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a conservation assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Macdonald, A.A., Burton, J. & Leus, K. 2008. Babyrousa babyrussa. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T2461A9441445. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided