The Rarest Pig In The World

Warty pigs of Bawean

The diminutive warty pigs of Bawean (an island within Indonesia, on the Java sea) has officially been declared the rarest pig in the world.

The warty pigs of Southeast Asia come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and many are quite rare. For many years biologists have grouped the pigs together, seeing only minor variations between ‘one species.’

Now, thanks to a new paradigm and the use molecular biology, the warty pigs, across different islands, have been found to be composed of several different species. One of these is considered to be the rarest of all, with only 230 individuals tracked down. This is the the Bawean warty pig (Sus blouchi). The variation into different species is a product of the islands having been separated out some 10,000 years ago, and the subsequent process of evolution.

The pig has been identified by Dutch researcher Mark Rademaker of the VHL University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.

Commenting on the find, Johanna Rode-Margono, a wild-pig specialist from the North of England Zoological Society, told New Scientist magazine: “The males have three pairs of enormous warts on each side of their face.”

The research into the pigs is published in the journal PLOS Biology, in a paper titled “First Ecological Study of the Bawean Warty Pig (Sus blouchi), One of the Rarest Pigs on Earth.”

About the author

Tim Sandle

Dr. Tim Sandle is a chartered biologist and holds a first class honours degree in Applied Biology; a Masters degree in education; and has a doctorate from Keele University.