TAXONOMY

Hylochoerus meinertzhageni Thomas, 1904, Kenya. Three subspecies: West African forest hog ( H. m. ivoriensis), Congo forest hog (H. m. rimator), and big forest hog (H. m. meinertzhageni).

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Hylochére; German: Riesenwaldschwein; Spanish: Hilóquero.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Length 51–83 in (130–210 cm); top 30–43 in (76–110 cm); males 506.5 lb (230 kg) (vary 319–606 lb [145–275 kg]), females 397 lb (180 kg) (vary 286–449 lb [130–204 kg]). The pelage is sparse and composed of lengthy, coarse, darkish hairs. The pores and skin is slate to blackish grey. Young are straw coloured and lack stripes. Patches of pores and skin anterior to the eyes are comparatively hairless and kind massive protruding cheek pads in males. The snout is massive and discoid in form. Tusks are smaller than within the warthog (12 in [30 cm] or much less). There are 32–34 tooth. Females have 4 pairs of mammae.

DISTRIBUTION

Found in quite a lot of forested habitats across western, central, and east tropical Africa. Elevations to 12,500 ft (3,800 m), subalpine forests, bamboo groves, montane, swamp, and gallery forests, savanna-forest mosaics, and wooded savannahs. More probably to happen in areas with everlasting water sources, thick understorey vegetation, and quite a lot of vegetation sorts. Does nicely on habitat edges.

BEHAVIOR

Generally most energetic from nightfall to midnight, however may be diurnal in areas freed from human persecution. The fundamental social group is a sounder containing a number of grownup males, a number of grownup females, and dependent juveniles or infants. These teams could typically kind bigger, short-term aggregations; nevertheless, males from totally different sounders are mutually illiberal of each other. Sounders have overlapping residence ranges, with every vary containing a community of well-worn trails to feeding websites, latrines, mineral licks, water holes for ingesting and wallowing and sleeping websites. Home ranges could also be up to 2.5 acres (1 ha) in measurement. Hyenas ( Crocuta crocuta) and leopards (Panthera pardus) are the principle predators.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Diet is principally grass and dicotyledons in forested areas. Eggs and carrion could also be eaten sometimes, whereas coprophagy and geophagy are widespread. Only root in mushy soils.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygamous. Male-male preventing is much less ritualized than in another African suids and infrequently leads to critical damage and typically demise. Breeding is mostly steady, however mating is usually most frequent in direction of the top of a wet season. Two distinct breeding seasons have been recognized within the Virunga National Park in jap Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire). Copulation could final up to 10 minutes. Sows give delivery in sheltered nests lined with dry grasses after a gestation of about 151 days. The litter measurement generally ranges from two to 4 however could attain 11 piglets. Piglets stay in thick cowl for about seven days, however then accompany the sow. Young are weaned at 9 weeks and attain grownup physique measurement by roughly 18 months. Females could disperse from the natal group and conceive at one year of age, whereas males stay within the natal group till secondary intercourse characters comparable to cheek pads develop.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Main threats are extreme looking and habitat destruction. Deforestation is especially Challengeatic in western Africa. Hunting stress varies in depth in accordance to native non secular beliefs or superstitions, however subsistence looking will not be thought to pose a critical Challenge. Commercial looking is a critical Challenge in cities with surrounding forested areas. Forest hogs may be eradicated in response to crop raiding. Population trends across its vary are unclear in lots of instances. Not listed in CITES, however the West African forest hog is taken into account susceptible by the IUCN.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Like different African suids, the forest hog is a big supply of meat for subsistence or industrial functions. Certain tribes use the hides for struggle shields, whereas others superstitiously keep away from killing them altogether so as to keep away from hassle.

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