Endangered Pygmy hog heads home

21 May 2008 | News story

The world's smallest and rarest species of wild pig was once believed to be extinct - but it may now be saved thanks to conservation efforts.

Just a few hundred of the Pygmy hog (Porcula salvania) are thought to remain, all of them in India's north-eastern state of Assam.

Over the past decade the pigs have been bred in captivity and the process of releasing them into the wild has now begun.

Chair person of the IUCN Pig, Pecary and Hippos Specialist Group, Dr. William Oliver, had this to say about the release programme:

"The practice of indiscriminate dry season annual burning and uncontrolled livestock grazing threatened the last population of the pygmy hog in Manas and, if continued, may affect many other threatened and sensitive grassland species.

This (programme) is a historic development and it would set a very good precedent, which can be emulated for other species."