The hog badger (Arctonyx collaris) is a well-known terrestrial mustelid endemic to Southeast and Central Asia.
It is listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable because the total population is said to be declining due to the high level of poaching.
It has 6 recognised subspecies and may also be called the greater hog badger.
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There are only 6 recognised subspecies, and they include:
- Greater hog badger (A. c. collaris) – lives in the Eastern Himalayas
- Northern hog badger (A. c. albogularis) – occurs in southern China northwards to Shensi
- Chinese hog badger (A. c. leucolaemus) – occurs in northern China from southern Kansu to Chihli
- Sumatran hog badger (A. c. hoevenii) – lives in Sumatra
- Indochinese hog badger (A. c. dictator) – lives in Indochina and southern Thailand
- Burmese hog badger (A. c. consul) – occurs from Myanmar to Assam
The IUCN considered the northern hog badger (A. c. albogularis), the greater hog badger (A. c. collaris), and the Sumatran hog badger (A. c. hoevenii) as three different species.
The northern hog badger and Sumatran hog badger are listed as Least concern while the greater hog badger is listed as Vulnerable.
A hog badger has a stocky body, medium-length brown hair, white throat, pink, pig-like snout, and two black stripes on their elongated white face.
The head-and-body length is 22 to 28 in (55 to 70 cm), the tail measures 4.7 to 6.7 in (12 to 17 cm), and the bodyweight is 15 to 31 lb (7 to 14 kg).
With weights regularly reported from 19 – 26 lb (8.4 – 12 kg). It is regarded as one of the world’s largest terrestrial still living mustelids, probably behind the wolverine and rivalling the European badger.
It has a similar appearance to the European badger, but is generally smaller, with larger claws on its forefeet. The hog badger’s tail has long white hair and its forefeet have white claws.
Hog badgers’ fur colour ranges from brown to dark grey, while the tail colour ranges from light yellow to white.
The mating season occurs from April – September, while the gestation period is 5 – 9.5 months long.
Their litter size is 2 – 4 cubs. Female hog badgers reach sexual maturity after 2 – 3 months, whereas males reach their sexual maturity at one year old. Hog badgers become independent at 5 – 6 months.
Habitat and distribution
The hog badger is fairly common in tropical evergreen forests and grasslands of the Terai in north-eastern India, Thailand, and eastern Bangladesh. It also occurs in southern China and Indochina.
Hog badgers occur primarily above 6,600 ft (2,000 m) in the Indonesian island of Sumatra, although there is a record at 2,300 ft (700 m).
The hog badger is said to be active both at night and day. The hog badger is an omnivorous animal; its diet consists of roots, fruits, and small animals. There is no report or information about the lifespan of a hog badger in the wild. However, in captivity hog badgers are known to live up to approximately 14 years.