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Synopsis: Around Eight captive-bred pygmy hogs were released in the Manas National Park of Assam.
About Pygmy Hog:
- Pygmy Hog is the smallest member of the pig family. It is native to alluvial grasslands in the foothills of the Himalayas at elevations of up to 300 m.
- Habitat: The only known population of Pygmy Hog lives in Assam, India, and possibly southern Bhutan.
- Features: The pygmy hog is one of the very few mammals that build its own home, or nest, complete with a ‘roof.’
- Indicator Species: Pygmy Hog is an indicator species. Its presence reflects the health of its primary habitat, the tall, wet grasslands of the region.
- IUCN status: Endangered
- Indian Wildlife Protection Act,1972: Schedule 1
Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme(PHCP)
- The Programme is a collaboration among Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust of UK, Assam Forest Department, Wild Pig Specialist Group of International Union for Conservation of Nature and Union Environment Ministry.
- Under the programme, six pygmy hogs — two males and four females — were captured from the Bansbari range of the Manas National Park in 1996 for starting the breeding programme.
- The reintroduction programme began in 2008 with the Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary (35 hogs), Orang National Park (59) and Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary (22).
- As part of the programme, around 142 pygmy hogs were reintroduced into the wild. This is much more than their current original global wild population. By 2025, the PHCP plans to release 60 pygmy hogs in Manas National Park.
About Manas National Park:
- Manas National Park is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Project tiger reserve and a biosphere reserve.
- It shares a common border with the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan.
- The Park is home to many endangered species like Assam roofed turtle, golden Langur, hispid hare, and pygmy hog. It is also famous for its wild water buffaloes.
- Lastly, The Park is located on the Manas river which is a major tributary of Brahmaputra.
Source: The Hindu