Once thought to be extinct, the world's smallest pig is also one of the most threatened mammals on Earth.

Found only in the tall grasslands of Assam in India, the pygmy hog was rediscovered in 1971 when a group was found sheltering from a grassland fire in a neighbouring tea plantation.

Since then, we’ve been working in Assam to save pygmy hogs from extinction through captive breeding and release programmes and grassland restoration and management.

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Animal facts

Key facts about the pygmy hog

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I'm found in India

Pygmy hogs live in the tall grasslands of the southern Himalayan foothills.

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I'm the world's smallest pig

Measuring just 65cm long and 25cm tall, the pygmy hog is the smallest of the wild pig species.

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I build nests out of grass

Female hogs build strong, waterproof nests out of grass and, once old enough, the hoglets help out with the repair works!


species rediscovered


estimated wild population


released into the wild

Durrell has been working with pygmy hogs since the 1970s

Our conservation work

What we're doing to protect pygmy hogs


Protecting Assam’s wildlife

The pygmy hog is an indicator species – animals that indicate the health of an ecosystem. They are sensitive to environmental changes, so when the grasslands start to disappear, their numbers decrease before the other larger, less sensitive species like elephants, rhinos and tigers.
What we're doing to help
We are protecting the pygmy hog, and other indicator species like the Bengal florican, through population monitoring and management, captive breeding and release, and habitat management to ensure the survival of all grassland species.

Boosting pygmy hog populations

Once thought to be extinct, the world’s smallest pig is also one of the most threatened mammals. Historically, there were populations across many of Assam’s grasslands, but habitat loss led to only one wild population remaining in Manas National Park.
What we're doing to help
We began working with pygmy hogs in the 1970s, and in 1995 formed the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme. We have two pygmy hog captive breeding centres in Assam, from which we have now released over 140 captive bred hogs into four protected grasslands of Assam.

Protecting the Sub Himalayan grasslands

Invasive weeds, non-native plants and spreading tree populations can all affect the health of the grasslands. If trees begin to grow into the grasslands, the grasses are unable to grow as tall, and weeds and non-native plants can lead to the grass dying.
What we're doing to help
We regularly monitor the land and cut back invasive plants to control the growth of all problematic species.

Bringing back the world's smallest pig

Durrell’s Underhogs tells the story of the world's smallest pig and the dedicated team working to bring the species back from the brink. Trace the origins of Gerald Durrell in India and meet the people who are building on his legacy.


Working together to save the pygmy hog

The Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme is a collaborative effort between Durrell, IUCN/SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group, Assam Forest Department, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India, EcoSystems-India, and Aaranyak.

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