Bearded Pig Sus barbatus

Bornean Bearded Pig Sus barbatus

Bearded Pig Sus barbatus


Extant (resident): Brunei Darussalam; Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatera); Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, Sabah)

Possibly Extinct: Philippines

Extinct: Singapore

Bearded pigs have hair which grows along their jowls and resembles a beard giving them their namesake. They live in forests, swamplands and mangroves. Tragically they are now extinct in Singapore and Philippines. They are vulnerable in Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia due to palm oil and rubber deforestation and human persecution. Help them every time you shop and #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

A gardener of the forests in #Asia the Bearded Pig is a vital part of many ecosystems. #Extinct in some countries, they are #Vulnerable due to #deforestation for #palmoil and #rubber. Help them and #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

The three primary threats facing Bearded Pigs is the conversion of forests for agriculture, particularly oil palm and rubber, fragmentation of remaining habitat, and unsustainable logging primarily for dipterocarps.

The Bearded Pigs have hair which grows along their lower jaws that resembles a beard – giving the animal their name. It is this distinctive look that sets them apart from other wild boar species.

Both subspecies of Bearded Pigs are found in all habitat types within their range (all elevations of forest, as well as peat swamp and mangrove forests) (Caldecott et al. 1993). Bearded Pig Sus barbaratus is assessed as Vulnerable because of a population decline, believed to be more than 30% over the last three generations (taken as 21 years), inferred from over-exploitation, shrinkage in distribution, and habitat destruction and degradation.

In Borneo, fragmentation prevents Bearded Pigs from exhibiting mass population eruptions and long-distance movements of the kind observed during the 1950s and 1980s, which haven’t been observed since, even during successive masting events (Hancock et al. 2005). 

A recent analysis shows there are also synergistic effects of climate change and agricultural land use, indicating there may be a substantial increase of oil palm expansion into hill forests within the next few decades (Brodie 2016). The imminent threat of fragmentation hinders Bearded Pigs’ ability to track seasonal resources across large areas.

IUCN Red List

Support the conservation of this species

This animal has no protections in place. Read about other forgotten species here. Create art to support this forgotten animal or raise awareness about them by sharing this post and using the #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife hashtags on social media. Also you can boycott palm oil in the supermarket.

Further Information

IUCN Rating vulnerable

Luskin, M., Ke, A., Meijaard, E., Gumal, M. & Kawanishi, K. 2017. Sus barbatus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T41772A123793370. Downloaded on 15 February 2021.

Borneo’s bearded pig, gardener of forests and protector of their inhabitants

Edmond Dounias, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD) Borneo – fourth-largest island in the world, home to more than 20 million people – has always aroused the fascination of explorers. The island is dense with forests, waterways and soaring mountains, and its indigenous population have a deep relationship with the forest. A fragile landscape…

Keep reading

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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