The pygmy hog is both the smallest of the wild hogs, measuring a maximum of 70 cm in length and 30 cm in height, and the most endangered. The species was thought to be extinct in the wild, but a small population was discovered in 1971 in the north-eastern part of the Assam region in India.

A species living on borrowed time

Loss of habitat due to human activities (agriculture, urbanisation, and hunting) has been the main threat to this species. Classified as "critically endangered" by the IUCN, its population is estimated to include just 200 individuals that live in the tall grasslands of Manas National Park.

Conservation actions

In 1996, the Aaranyak association set up an ex-situ reproduction and reintroduction programme for the species in order to save the pygmy hog from extinction. Between 2006 and 2020, 130 pygmy hogs born as a result of the programme were reintroduced into four protected areas: Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary, Orang National Park, Barnadi Wildlife Sanctuary, and Manas National Park.

Alongside this, missions to protect the species and its habitat as well as activities to raise public awareness are also carried out. This work serves to protect not only the pygmy hog but also the other endangered species that share its habitat: Bengal tigers, Indian rhinoceros, barasingha, water buffalo, hispid hares, and Bengal floricans.

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