African Warthog Flexible But Threatened
The African Warthog received its name from the wart-like bumps it has on its head. Although they are not very beautiful, they are extremely adaptable and can survive pretty well in the wild. They are part of the Suidae family, which is composed of wild pigs. They are the only pigs that are able to live without water for many months, and can tolerate high body temperatures. Despite this flexibility, warthog populations are declining due to hunting today.
How Nikela Helps
Although Nikela does not have a project that directly protects Warthogs many awareness campaigns address the plight of Africa’s endangered and threatened wildlife species as a whole. Actually Nikela is for preserving all wild things and their wild places.
Facts about Warthogs
The warthog is found in much of Africa, below the Saharan desert. There are abundances of them in East Africa, Southern Africa, and the Savannah. Some of them may even be found in the dry region of the Sehel, which is part of the Sahara.
The warthog is easily distinguishable from other animals with a wide, flat face and two long tusks. Its eyes are situated high on its head, enabling it to watch for predators. Bristles are scattered throughout the warthog’s body, and their skin is usually gray or black. Male warthogs range from about 20-50 pounds heavier than female warthogs.
The warthog is a grazer and grass is a staple in their diet. They also feed on tubers, berries, roots, tender bark, and even insects. Although their diet mostly consists of plants, they are omnivores and occasionally eat small mammals or birds. However, depending on the availability of resources, warthogs’ diets can adapt.
Behavior and Social Groups
Warthogs typically live in small social groups with one or two adult females and their young. These groups are referred to as sounders, while male warthogs often live alone. They spend much of their time grazing for food, using their snout and legs to dig. Warthogs often reside in burrows left over by other animals. They are also known to roll in the mud during hot weather to cool them selves. This mud bath also serves as a camouflage from predators and helps repel insects.
Warthogs rarely fight with predators, despite their haggard appearance, and often hide from danger. However, males sometimes fight among themselves when they are trying to find a mate.
Conservation Status and Threats
Although warthogs are not considered endangered, they are still threatened in many parts of Africa. People may hunt warthogs for their ivory as well as their meat. Farmers also eliminate warthogs because they can destroy crops or carry diseases. There are still an estimated 250,000 living in sub-Saharan Africa, many of which live in protected areas or parks. However, warthog populations are declining as they are continuously being hunted in unprotected areas.
Contributed by Nikela Volunteer Sarah Selke
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