|Scientific Name:||Phacochoerus aethiopicus|
|Species Authority:||(Pallas, 1766)|
Aper aethiopicus Pallas, 1766
Two subspecies are recognised: the Cape Warthog, Phacochoerus aethiopicus aethiopicus, endemic to South Africa, became extinct in the 1870s (d'Huart and Grubb 2001, Grubb and d’Huart 2010); the Somali Warthog, P. a. delamerei, occurs in Kenya and the Horn of Africa. See Grubb and d’Huart (2010) for a detailed historic overview of the classification of Phacochoerus.
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||de Jong, Y.A., Butynski, T.M. & d'Huart, J.-P.|
Listed as Least Concern as this species is widespread, often locally abundant, and has a high reproductive rate. Nonetheless, most populations seem to be in decline over much of the geographic range.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
The Somali Warthog is distributed east of the Eastern (Gregory) Rift Valley in the Horn of Africa and Kenya. It is known to occur in north and south Somalia, southeast and south Ethiopia, and central, east, southeast, and extreme north Kenya (d'Huart and Grubb 2001, Culverwell et al. 2008, De Jong et al. 2009, De Jong and Butynski 2014, De Jong et al. in prep.). Probably present over almost all of Somalia, but information to support this opinion is lacking. Most records are between about sea level to 1,000 m asl. Highest altitudinal record is 1,690 m asl (north Somalia; D. Mallon pers. comm.). Extent of occurrence, as currently known, is c. 320,000 km2 (De Jong et al. in prep.). Actual extent of occurrence is probably much greater than this.
Native:Ethiopia; Kenya; Somalia
Regionally extinct:South Africa
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
P. aethiopicus occurs at low densities over most of its range. It is locally abundant where there is green grass and water, sometimes near small, remote, villages and lodges (Grubb and d'Huart 2010; T. Butynski, Y. de Jong, J. Culverwell, and J. King pers. obs.). In Ethiopia, common in the Ogaden region in aggregations of up to 30 individuals in bushland around permanent wells and close to towns (Wilhelmi et al. 2004). At high density during the dry season on patches of green grass along the Ewaso N’yiro River, central Kenya (Y. de Jong and T. Butynski pers. obs.). In Kenya, relatively abundant in predominantly Islamic areas compared to predominantly Christian areas (De Leeuw et al. 2001; T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. obs.). High mortality in central Kenya during dry periods (H. Dufresne pers. comm.). There are large areas within the geographic range were the species is absent or at very low density.
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|Habitat and Ecology:|
The habitat preferences of the Desert Warthog remain poorly understood (Grubb and d'Huart 2013, De Jong and Butynski 2014). Locality records, combined with several surveys in Kenya, indicate preference for low altitude semi-arid areas with sandy soils. Vegetation types range from xerophylous bush and open woodland, to sub-desert steppe. Absent from forest. (d'Huart and Grubb 2001, Grubb and d'Huart 2013, De Jong and Butynski 2014, De Jong et al. in prep.). Typically avoids hilly terrain and areas with a mean annual rainfall <100 mm or >750 mm (Grubb and d'Huart 2013, De Jong et al. in prep.). Mainly occupies areas with mean annual temperature >20°C, but in north Somalia occurs where mean annual temperature is as low as about 16 °C (De Jong et al. in prep.). The Desert Warthog is dependent on surface water, nutritious grass, shade, and shelter (Grubb and d'Huart 2010, T. Butynski and Y. de Jong pers. obs.). It grazes predominantly on nutritious grasses (Nyafu 2009, Y. de Jong and T. Butynski pers. obs.). The diet is poorly known, but comprised of grass leaves, bulbs, and tubers (De Jong and Butynski 2014), and expected to include rhizomes, fruits, invertebrates, and leaves from forbs and woody plants (T. Butynski, J.P. d’Huart and Y. de Jong pers. obs.).
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|
|Use and Trade:||
The species is hunted by people (mainly non-Muslims) (De Leeuw et al. 2001, Wilhelmi et al. 2004, De Jong and Butynski 2014). The larger tusks are traded as souvenirs in Somalia (Fagotto 1985) and sometimes exported.
The Desert Warthog is vulnerable to climatic extremes (including drought, high rainfall, low temperature), disease (including rinderpest), and predation. The main threats are human-caused habitat degradation, loss and fragmentation, competition with livestock for water and food, and hunting by people (mainly non-Muslims) (De Leeuw et al. 2001, Wilhelmi et al. 2004, De Jong and Butynski 2014). Limited drinking water and food appear to keep populations at low density in central Kenya (mean annual rainfall <500 mm), and probably elsewhere. Greatly increased human and livestock populations have led to declines and extirpations in recent decades in central Kenya; competition for water and food has become intense as the region is severely over-stocked with livestock, both outside and inside officially protected areas (De Jong and Butynski 2014, A. Caron pers. comm.). The larger tusks are traded as souvenirs in Somalia (Fagotto 1985) and sometimes exported. The current status of the Desert Warthog in Somalia and Ethiopia is unknown.
|Conservation Actions:||The Desert Warthog is a largely unstudied species for which many more field surveys are needed to determine geographic limits, area of occupancy, abundance, and the impacts of various human activities (particularly livestock raising) on distribution and abundance. Information on habitat preference, habitat limits, ecology, and behaviour are also needed.|
Culverwell, J., Feely, J., Bell-Cross, S., de Jong, Y.A. and Butynski, T.M. 2008. A new pig for Tsavo. Swara 31(3): 50-52.
De Jong, Y.A. and Butynski, T.M. 2014. Distribution, abundance, ecology, and conservation status of the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in northern Kenya. National Geographic Society , Washington D.C.
De Jong, Y.A., Culverwell, J. and Butynski, T.M. 2009. Desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus found in Tsavo West National Park, southern Kenya. Suiform Soundings 8(2): 4-6.
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.
De Leeuw, J., Waweru, M.N., Okello, O.O., Maloba, M., Nguru, P., Said, M.Y., Aligula, H.M., Heitkönig, I.M.A. and Reid, R.S. 2001. Distribution and diversity of wildlife in northern Kenya in relation to livestock and permanent water points. Biological Conservation 100: 297-306.
d'Huart, J.P. and Grubb, P. 2001. Distribution of the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in the Horn of Africa. African Journal of Ecology 39(2): 156-169.
Fagotto F. 1985. Larger animals of Somalia in 1984. Environmental Conservation 12: 260-264.
Grubb, P. and d’Huart, J.P. 2010. Rediscovery of the Cape Warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus: a Review. Journal of East African Natural History 99(2): 77-102.
Grubb, P. and d'Huart, J.P. 2013. Phacochoerus aethiopicus Desert Warthog. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), Mammals of Africa. Vol VI: Pigs, Hippopotamuses, Chevrotain, Giraffes, Deer and Bovids, pp. 51-53. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 04 September 2016).
Nyafu, K. 2009. Warthog as an introduced species in the Eastern Cape. MSc, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Obanda, V., Lekolool, I., Munyao, M., Chege, S., Manyibe, T. and Gakuya, F. 2011. New distribution records for the desert Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus delamerei – Pallas1766). African Journal of Ecology 49(3): 373-376.
Wilhelmi, F., Kaariye, X. Y. and Heckel, J. O. 2004. The Desert warthog in the Ogaden, Ethiopia. Suiform Soundings 4(2): 52-54.
|Citation:||de Jong, Y.A., Butynski, T.M. & d'Huart, J.-P. 2016. Phacochoerus aethiopicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T41767A99376685.Downloaded on 28 October 2016.|
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