In an on-going attempt to save the ‘critically endangered’ pygmy hogs, environmentalists released six more pygmy hogs into the Bornadi Wildlife Sanctuary in Udalguri district of Assam.
The release of the pygmy hogs was part of the ongoing Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme. Of the six, three were males and three females.
The programme is a collaborative effort of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Assam Forest Department and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate change with EcoSystems-India and Aaranyak as local partners.
The main aim of this programme incorporates conservation breeding and reintroduction of pygmy hogs after habitat restoration.
With these six new occupants, the population of this wild animal in the wildlife sanctuary had gone up to 22. These include 10 males and 12 females.
Before releasing them into the wild, they were imparted survival tactic strategies at a facilitation centre of Potasali in Nameri Tiger Reserve.
The released hogs are being monitored using field signs and camera traps.
The official said the programme is trying to build a viable population in three places outside Manas Wildlife Sanctuary.
Pygmy hogs are categorized as ‘critically endangered’ species, placing it among the most threatened of all mammals.
It is also listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.