In Assam, Conservationists Release the World’s Smallest Hog into the Wild. A dozen of the world’s tiniest pigs have been release into the wild. In northeastern India as part of a conservation effort to reintroduce the species.
The pygmy hog, scientifically known as porcelain Sylvania, prefers tall. Moist grasses and was formerly widespread along plains in India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
Its population decreased in the 1960s, leading environmentalists to believe it had gone extinct. Until it was initiate in 1971 in India’s northeastern province of Assam.
It was famaous in 1993 in a few areas of Assam’s Manas National Park, which borders Bhutan.
In 1996, the Pygmy Hog Conservation Program, a collaboration of many organizations, including state and federal agencies, began a captive breeding program with six pigs in an attempt to reintroduce them to the wild.
“This time, we’re releasing 12 pygmy pigs, seven males, and five females,” Dhritiman Das, the program’s field biologist, told AFP on Saturday at the release location in Manas National Park.
On Tuesday, eight pigs were release in Manas, follow by four more on Saturday. Last year, 14 were release.
The group cares for about 70 captive pigs and is breeding more hogs for release.
With this week’s releases, the initiative has successfully returned 142 pigs into the wild.
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Conservationists believe that the natural population is fewer than 250.
“We aim to release 60 pigs over the next four years… to enable them to develop a self-sustaining population in the wild,” Mr. Das said.
Additionally, the initiative aimed to restore the grasslands that are home to the small animals, who stand about 25 centimeters (9.8 inches) tall, measures 65 centimeters in length, and weigh approximately 8-9 kilograms (17.6-19.8 pounds).
According to scientists, the species’ existence is endangered by habitat loss and degradation caused by human activities such as settlement and agriculture, as well as poor management of such places.