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The most widespread pig species on Earth: wild boar | Candid Animal Cam

  • Every two weeks, Mongabay brings you a new episode of Candid Animal Cam, our show featuring animals caught on camera traps around the world and hosted by Romi Castagnino, our writer and conservation scientist.

Camera traps bring you closer to the secretive natural world and are an important conservation tool to study wildlife. This week we are meeting the most widespread pig species and one of the widest-ranging mammals in the world: the wild boar.

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The wild boar (Sus scrofa), also known as the common wild pig, is native to Eurasia and North Africa and introduced to the Americas and Oceania. Wild pigs are gregarious, forming groups or sounders of varying sizes depending on where in the world they live. Usually, these groups consist of between 6-20 individuals, though sounders of over 100 have been reported. The wild boar communicates with different sounds divided into three categories: contact, alarm and combat calls. Studies have shown that piglets imitate the sounds of their mother; that is why some litters may have unique vocalizations. Wild pigs are normally most active in the early morning and late afternoon; they will spend between 4 to 8 hours traveling to feeding areas and foraging together.

Wild boars are both highly adaptable and resilient to human pressure and may thrive under conditions of habitat modification and hunting. Throughout history, wild boars have been a primary resource of subsistence hunters, and now they are one of the most targeted animals for recreational hunting wherever it remains abundant. However, populations can be depressed in places where hunting intensity is high, for example, in eastern and southeastern Asia. Also, in some countries, wild pigs are killed because they are considered pests as a result of their depredations on crops. Currently, they are listed as least concern by the IUCN due to their wide range, abundance, tolerance to habitat disturbance, and presence in many protected areas. Watch the video to learn more about this species!

Special thanks to Sian Green for sharing her footage with us. Sian Green is a PhD candidate at Durham University working with the citizen science project MammalWeb, which uses camera traps for mammal monitoring and public engagement in the UK. You can follow her work on Twitter.

Banner image by Mariomassone via Wikimedia commons (CC BY 3.0).

Romi Castagnino is Mongabay’s bilingual writer. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @romi_castagnino

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