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Babyrousa babyrussa

Babyrousa babyrussa, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Mammalia
Subclassis: Theria
Infraclassis: Placentalia
Superordo: Cetartiodactyla
Ordo: Artiodactyla
Subordo: Suina
Familia: Suidae
Genus: Babyrousa
SpeciesBabyrousa babyrussa Linnaeus, 1758

Babyrousa babyrussa, Photo: Michael Lahanas


* Babyrousa babyrussa on Mammal Species of the World.
* Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, 2 Volume Set edited by Don E. Wilson, DeeAnn M. Reeder

Vernacular names
English: Buru Babirusa
한국어: 바비루사


The Buru babirusa (Babyrousa babyrussa), also known as the golden babirusa or hairy babirusa, is a wild pig-like animal native to the island of Buru and the two Sula Islands of Mangole and Taliabu, all belonging to Indonesia. Traditionally, this relatively small species included the other babirusas as subspecies, but it has been recommended treating them as separate species based on differences in their morphology. As also suggested by its alternative common names, the Buru Babirusa has relatively long thick, gold-brown body-hair – a feature not shared by the other extant babirusas.[2]

In absence of detailed data on B. babyrussa, it is generally assumed that its habitat and ecology are similar to that of B. celebensis (north Sulawesi babirusa). Furthermore, as all babirusas were considered conspecific under the scientific name B. babyrussa until 2001, data collected before that is consistently listed under the name B. babyrussa, though the vast majority actually refers to B. celebensis (by far the best known species of babirusa). Babyrusas tend to occupy tropical rainforests, river banks and various natural ponds rich in water plants. They are omnivorous and feed on various leaves, roots, fruits, invertebrates and small vertebrates. Their jaws and teeth are strong enough to crack any kind of nuts. Babirusas lack the rostral bone in their nose, which is a tool used by other wild pigs for digging. Therefore, they prefer feeding on roots in soft muddy or sandy soils. Cannibalism was reported among babirusas, feeding on the young of their own or other mammals.[3] North Sulawesi babirusas form groups with up to a dozen of individuals, especially when raising the young. Older males might live individually.[2]

The north Sulawesi babirusa reach sexual maturity when they are 5–10 months old. Their estrous cycle is 28–42 days, and the gestation period lasts 150–157 days. The females have two rows of tits and thus bring 1–2 piglets weighing 380–1050 grams and measuring 15–20 cm, and milk them until the age of 6–8 months. The lifespan is about 24 years.[3][4]

The restricted habitat of the Buru babirusa, with the total area within 20,000 km², and its gradual loss due to logging persuaded the International Union for Conservation of Nature to declare the species as vulnerable. Hunting by the local population is another cause of concern. Whereas it is unpopular among Muslim communities for religious reasons, it is widely practices by the indigenous people of Buru, which are predominantly Christian, as the meat of Buru babirusa has low fat (only 1.27% compared to 5–15% for domestic pigs) and is regarded as a delicacy. It is also preferred by the locals to the meat of other wild pigs or deer in terms of texture and flavor.[2][3][5] The establishment of two protected areas on Buru, Gunung Kapalat Mada (1,380 km²) and Waeapo (50 km²), partly aim at preserving the habitat of the Buru babirusa.[6] This species also enjoys full protection under Indonesian law since 1931.[2]


1. ^ Groves, C. (2005). Wilson, D. E., & Reeder, D. M, eds. ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
2. ^ a b c d e Leus, K. & Oliver, W. (2008). Babyrousa babyrussa. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 15 November 2008. Listed as Vulnerable B1ab(iii).
3. ^ a b c Bambang Pontjo Priosoeryanto Proceding of the Mini Workshop Southeast Asia Germany Alumni Network (SEAG) "Empowering of Society through the Animal Health and Production Activities with the Appreciation to the Indigenous Knowledge": May 3rd – 5, 2007, Manado – Indonesia, ISBN 3899583892 pp. 83–92
4. ^ Asdell's patterns of mammalian reproduction: a compendium of species-specific data, Cornell University Press, 1993, ISBN 0801417538 pp. 377–380
5. ^ Barbara Dix Grimes. "Mapping Buru ..." (PDF). Australian National University. http://epress.anu.edu.au/austronesians/sharing/pdf/ch06.pdf.
6. ^ "Buru rain forests". World Wildlife Fund. 2001. http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/aa/aa0104_full.html.

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