A rare Philippine warty pig has been spotted for the first time at Mount Apo in Davao.
The sighting of the endemic Sus philippensis or Philippine warty pig, locally known as “baboy-ramo” or “baboy-ihalas” was recorded by personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) during a monitoring activity at the Mt. Apo Natural Park (MANP) last Lenten season.
In an interview with SunStar Davao, Dr. Franklyn Buenaflor, who is the assistant technical services division chief of Penro-Davao del Sur, said that it was the first time a male warty pig was sighted in the peak area of Mount Apo.
“Even up to now wala tayong document na actual sighting ng Philippine Warty Pig except now,” Dr. Franklyn Buenaflor told SunStar Davao.
“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 so very possible na nag-increase ang kanyang population or safe haven sa kanya yung peak area,” Buenaflor added.
While the endemic wild pigs are protected by the Philippine law, their species is categorized as vulnerable due to their decreasing population which is exacerbated by hunting and deforestation. If the said threat worsens, “they may soon be listed as endangered,” DENR-Davao noted in a Facebook post.
DENR personnel recorded the direct sighting and encounter of the endemic wild pig during their annual Lenten climb monitoring of Mount Apo from April 11 to 17, 2022.
In the Facebook post, DENR-Davao said that the presence of the near-endangered animal indicates “the progressive natural recovery of the peak area.”
Teams from the government agency and its partners manned designated entry points, trails, and campsites within MANP to ensure the enforcement of its trekking policies during the event.
The coronavirus pandemic that kept people at home and away from animal habitats had good results such as the sighting of a new family of critically-endangered Philippine eagles in Lupon, Davao Oriental, and more dolphins and whales on Sarangani Bay.
12 Philippine wildlife species were saved from extinction as over 200 sites across the country were designated protected areas in 2020.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to local officers and groups for leading conservation efforts to help protect the endemic Sus philippensis or Philippine warty pig, locally known as “baboy-ramo or baboy-ihalas.”
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