Endangered Philippine Warty Pig and His Famous Mohawk Make First-Time Appearance at Mt. Apo
When was the last time anyone's seen this little guy?
During Holy Week, a group from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Davao went on its annual Lenten climb monitoring trail at the Mount Apo Natural Park in Davao City. There, the team saw a rare sight: the endemic Sus philippensis or Philippine warty pig, or as most people know it, the “baboy-ramo” or “baboy-ihalas.”
In an interview with Sun-Star Davao, Dr. Franklyn Buenaflor, who is an assistant technical services division chief of Penro-Davao del Sur, claimed that this was the first-ever sighting of a male warty pig in and around Mount Apo's peak area.
“Even up to now wala tayong document na actual sighting ng Philippine Warty Pig except now,” Buenaflor claimed. “We have two Asean Heritage Parks in Davao Region, Mount Hamiguitan and Mount Apo, nakakita lang tayo ng warty pig through 'yung camera traps na nilalagay nila, but this one is a confirmed visual sighting."
Known for the males' signature mohawks, the Philippine warty pig is an extremely rare species that was usually found throughout the country's six West Visayas Islands, most notably in Panay and Negros.
In the '70s and '80s, however, near-total deforestation in West Visayas decimated their habitat and led to the shrinking of the area to less than eight percent of its original size in Panay and less than four percent in Negros.
According to various reports, there are more or less 300 Philippine warty pigs left in the wild. At the very least, these pigs are protected by Philippine law and are categorized as vulnerable due to their decreasing population. While they aren't classified as "endangered" at the moment, these pigs' population should be monitored more closely in the coming years.
This Philippine warty pig sighting, however, is an encouraging sign. It either means that the population is increasing or that our dear baboy-ramos have found a nice new home for themselves up in the mountains.