There are two species of warthog in Africa, the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the desert warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus). The common warthog is widespread in sub-saharan Africa, including the Horn of Africa (i.e., Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea). The desert warthog, one of Africa’s least known large mammals, is restricted to the Horn of Africa. Its distribution is, however, poorly understood. Until recently, observers in the Horn of Africa have not differentiated between the two species of warthog. As such, the limits of the distributions of these two species over the Horn of Africa remains poorly known, as does their conservation status.
Adult male desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus in Tsavo West National Park, southeast Kenya. Note the flipped-back ear tips, hooked warts, broad, egg-shaped head, relatively broad snout-disc, and swollen suborbital area (area under the eyes). Photograph by Y. A. de Jong & T. M. Butynski.
Adult male common warthog Phacochoerus africanus on the Laikipia Plateau, central Kenya. Note the cone shaped warts, pointed ear tips, relatively narrow snout-disc, and the diabolo-shaped head. Photograph by T. M. Butynski & Y. A. de Jong.
To better understand the distribution of Africa’s warthogs, we would like to know if you have seen desert warthogs or common warthogs in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania. A photograph and details of your encounter (including date, coordinates, altitude…or detailed locality description) would be highly appreciated.
Please email your photographs and the details of your encounter, or post them in the ‘comments’ below. Thank you very much!
Yvonne de Jong, Thomas Butynski & Jean-Pierre d’Huart
For more information about the two species of warthog, including their diagnostic characters, see the following publications and websites
De Jong, Y.A. & Butynski, T.M. (2012-2015) Quest for Kenya´s Desert Warthog
De Jong, Y.A. & Butynski, T.M. (2014) Distribution, Abundance, Ecology, and Conservation Status of the Desert Warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) in Northern Kenya.
Culverwell, J., Feely, J., Bell-Cross, S., De Jong, Y.A. & Butynski, T. M. (2008). A new pig for Tsavo.
De Jong, Y.A. Culverwell, J. & Butynski T.M. (2009). Desert warthog Phacochoerus aethiopicus found in Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park, southern Kenya
d’Huart, J.P. & Grubb, P. (2005). A photographic guide to the differences between the Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the Desert Warthog (Ph. aethiopicus).
Distribution and Conservation Status of the Mount Kilimanjaro Guereza Colobus guereza caudatus Thomas, 1885
By T.M. Butynski & Y.A. de Jong, Primate Conservation 29
Abstract: The Mount Kilimanjaro guereza Colobus guereza caudatus is considered to be endemic to northeast Tanzania. This paper presents the first records for C. g. caudatus in Kenya, describes the distribution of this subspecies, and assesses its conservation status.
Latest publication by T.M. Butynski & Y.A. de Jong
Abstract: Maintenance of the diversity of primates depends not only on the conservation of protected areas, but also on the conservation of areas that lack formal protection and are occupied by people, crops, and/or livestock.
Livestock rangelands, when well-managed, can support viable populations of primates. This article describes (1) the primate community in the rangeland agroecosystem of Laikipia County, central Kenya, (2) how primates use this agroecosystem, (3) the importance of this agroecosystem to the primates of Laikipia, and (4) the threats to these primates. Patas monkeys Erythrocebus patas, olive baboons Papio anubis, vervet monkeys Chlorocebus pygerythrus, and northern lesser galagos Galago senegalensis in the Laikipia rangeland agroecosystem benefit from man-made perennial water sources, habitat protection, reduced large predator densities, and an array of research and conservation activities. The level of conflict between humans and non-human primates in this rangeland agroecosystem islow relative to that in neighboring cropland agroecosystems. The main threats are habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss, and the decline of perennial water sources. Hunting is not a serious threat to primates in Laikipia. Erythrocebus patas is the mostthreatened primate in Laikipia and the one least tolerant of humans and habitat degradation and loss. Habitat conservation in Laikipia should focus on water-associated vegetation types and the adjacent whistling thorn Acacia drepanolobium woodlands, particularly along the Ewaso N’yiro River and its major tributaries.
Read the full publication here…..
‘Mammals of Africa (MoA), by Jonathan Kingdon, David Happold, Thomas Butynski (Director of the Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme), Michael Hoffmann, Meredith Happold, Jan Kalina, is a series of six volumes which describes, in detail, every currently recognized species of African land mammal.