Ten captive-bred pygmy pigs were released into Manas National Park in Assam by the Pygmy Hog Conservation Program (PHCP) on June 8 and 10, officials said.
This is the third time that pygmy pigs, the world’s smallest and rarest most endangered wild pigs, have been reintroduced to Manas following the successful release of 14 in 2020 and 12 in 2021.
The PHCP plans to release 60 pygmy pigs to Manas by 2025.
Manas field manager Vaibhav Chandra Mathur said the pygmy pig species that has been recovered from the brink of extinction in the wild.
With the tiger reserve serving as the source stock of pigs for the PHCP, this supplementation tranche with a captive-bred population will bolster conservation efforts, especially for the high wet grasslands, for which the pygmy pig serves as an indicator species, did he declare.
Mathur said that at the same time, it is an opportunity to develop scientifically and statistically robust monitoring protocols for the species, which are practically applicable in the field on a periodic basis, in order to keep a pulse on the number of pigs. pygmies and their distribution. status.
In 1995, the UK’s Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust joined forces with the Assam Forestry Department, IUCN, the Feral Pig Specialist Group and the Department of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change of the Union to form the PHCP.
Mathur said the iconic species is now returning home where its last original population still survives but has declined significantly.
With this release, the number of pygmy pigs reintroduced into the wild by the PHCP has reached 152 (70 males, 82 females), which is more than their current original global wild population.