The red river hog (Potamochoerus porcus, Linnaeus) is a species of Suidae with populations ranging from western to central Africa. Little is known about the population status of red river hog, and few studies have investigated habitat characteristics associated with their occupancy which is critical in determining possible reasons behind suspected population declines. We used camera traps and site occupancy models to examine the effects of habitat covariates on occupancy of red river hog on Tiwai Island and in surrounding forests of Sierra Leone during two field seasons, 2008–2011. We also estimated group size and composition and growth patterns of juveniles. In both sampling periods, understory vegetation strongly influenced red river hog occupancy with greatest association with riparian and swamp vegetation types. Red river hogs seemed to avoid habitats of high human impact such as farmbush and secondary growth forests. Average group size was 2.46 ± 0.28 (SE) hogs per group. Growth patterns of juveniles suggested the majority of piglets were born during the middle of dry season (January–February). Our research suggests landscape use by red river hog is influenced by presence of riparian habitats with dense vegetation.
- population structure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics