Arctonyx collarishog badger

Geographic Range

Hog badgers are distributed primarily in Southeast Asia, starting from Sikkim and northeastern China to Thailand. They are found on the Indian subcontinent and the island of Sumatra. Hog badgers do not appear to be migratory from winter to summer. They are also native to both the Palearctic and Oriental regions. There was no evidence suggesting that they are an introduced species. (Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003)

Habitat

Hog badgers are found in grasslands, hills, mountains, tropical rainforests, tropical evergreen, and semi-evergreen forests. (Edmunds, 2003; Timmins, et al., 2008)

  • Range elevation
    0 to 3,500 m
    0.00 to ft
  • Average elevation
    2,000 m
    ft

Physical Description

Their fur color ranges from a dark grey to brown, while tail color ranges from white to a light yellow. Two dark stripes are found on the face, and the throat is white in color. The most notable feature is the "pig-like snout" that is used for feeding, along with modified teeth specifically used to move soil. Tail lengths range from 12 cm to 17 cm (120 mm to 170 mm). Another notable feature used to distinguish hog badgers from the closely related Eurasian badgers is the color of their claws. Hog badgers have light-colored claws whereas Eurasian badgers have dark claws. To distinguish between hog badgers, Sumatran hog badgers, and northern hog badgers, there is a difference in skull shape and size. No information was found on the basal metabolic rate of hog badgers. However, Eurasian badgers (a closely related group), have a basal metabolic rate of 1,323 kJ per day. Also, there was little information on sexual dimorphism in hog badgers other than males are larger than females. ("The Free Resource", 2012; Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003; Maslanka, et al., 2010)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • male larger
  • Range mass
    7 to 14 kg
    15.42 to 30.84 lb
  • Range length
    55 to 70 cm
    21.65 to 27.56 in

Reproduction

There is little information known on the mating system for hog badgers. However, there is some information about the badgers, otters, weasels family. Males begin their sexual seasons before the females, and therefore, initiate breeding. This is often done by first obtaining territory. (Mead, 1989)

The breeding period occurs from April to September, with the gestation period being 5 to 9.5 months long. Their litter size is 2 to 4 cubs. Although there is no information known about the sexual maturity of the two sexes, the information about the badgers, otters, weasels family offers some insight about what might occur for hog badgers, as well. For the badgers, otters, weasels family, females reach sexual maturity after 2 to 3 months, whereas the males do not reach sexual maturity until they are a year old. Also, there is little to know of the time of independence in hog badgers. However, American badgers (a similar species) have a time of independence of 5 to 6 months. ("American Badger - Nature's Digging Machine", 2011; "Human Ageing Genomic Resources", 2009; Edmunds, 2003; Mead, 1989)

  • Breeding interval
    Hog badgers breed once yearly during warmer months.
  • Breeding season
    Hog badgers mate from April to September.
  • Range number of offspring
    2 to 4
  • Average number of offspring
    3
    AnAge
  • Range gestation period
    5 to 9.5 months
  • Average weaning age
    4 months
  • Range time to independence
    5 to 6 months
  • Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
    2 to 3 months
  • Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
    1 years

Females are the primary caretakers of the young, and wean them for up to 4 months. Currently no information is available regarding specifics of parental care. (Edmunds, 2003)

  • Parental Investment
  • female parental care
  • pre-fertilization
  • pre-hatching/birth
  • pre-weaning/fledging
  • pre-independence

Lifespan/Longevity

There is no information known for the lifespan of hog badgers in the wild. However, in captivity the average lifespan is 14 years old. ("Human Ageing Genomic Resources", 2009; Edmunds, 2003)

Behavior

Hog badgers are a motile solitary species, meaning they are found to travel by themselves. They are also active at night (nocturnal). Hog badgers often burrows into the ground (fossorial) to find food or to create a habitat. (Baker, 2012)

Home Range

Hog badger home ranges describe a smaller section of the geographical range where it can find a sustaining food source and shelter. Although, there is no known information about the exact territory size of hog badgers, Eurasian badger females have a home range of 12.4 sq km. (Maslanka, et al., 2010)

Communication and Perception

There is no information known about the communication patterns for hog badgers. However, it is suggested that tactile communication and communication via scents may be used as seen in other species of belonging to the badgers, otters, weasels family. (Edmunds, 2003)

Food Habits

Hog badgers feed on a variety of things based on what is available ranging from plants to worms to small mammals. It is therefore considered an omnivore. It is able to find food using its adapted pig like snout to sense smells. They dig in the ground using their snout, incisors, and canine teeth of their lower jaws. They will also eat fruit, roots and tubers. Its favorite food appears to be terrestrial earthworms. (Baker, 2012; Edmunds, 2003)

  • Animal Foods
  • mammals
  • insects
  • terrestrial worms
  • Plant Foods
  • roots and tubers
  • fruit

Predation

Hog badgers are well suited predators as they possess big claws, strong jaws, flexible skin and nasty tempers. Their coloration pattern is aposematic, meaning it has distinct coloration or patterns to warn other organisms it is dangerous and should be left alone. Hog badgers are great diggers, and can dig out of sight if it feels threatened. Also, they can produce secretions from their anal glands, but it is unknown whether or not that is a defense mechanism. Their only known predators are tigers and leopords. (Edmunds, 2003)

Ecosystem Roles

There is little to no known information on the impact of hog badgers on their surrounding ecosystem. However, due to their foraging behaviors, they play some role in controlling the populations of invertebrates. Also, they aerate the soil by digging. Another interesting role they play is creating a habitat for other small animals through abandoned hog badger burrows. ("Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human", 2005; "New World Encylcopedia", 2008; Edmunds, 2003)

Species Used as Host
Mutualist Species
Commensal/Parasitic Species
  • SARS-CoV-like virus

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

There is little known evidence to suggest a positive benefit to humans from hog badgers. However, some groups in India eat hog badgers, and they are hunted and farmed for food in China. In Lao, taste preference for hog badgers varies among ethnic groups. Some groups do not care for their meat, whereas groups in parts of the Nam Theun basin seek them for food. (Timmins, et al., 2008)

  • Positive Impacts
  • food

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There is no known adverse effects of hog badgers on humans. However, its relatives, Eurasian badgers, have been known to carry bovine tuberculosis. There is a possibility that hog badgers could also carry diseases common to livestock. Hog badgers and Eurasian badgers have a similar diet and have been known to damage crops. (Edmunds, 2003)

Conservation Status

Hog badgers, in 1996, were listed least concerned. However, their population is decreasing, and they are currently listed as near threatened. In Thailand and India, they are under high protected statuses under law. They are threatened due to the use of hunting dogs in all of Indochina. (Timmins, et al., 2008)

Contributors

Jacob Toben (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Christopher Yahnke (editor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Laura Podzikowski (editor), Special Projects.

Glossary

Palearctic

living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.

World Map

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

agricultural

living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.

aposematic

having coloration that serves a protective function for the animal, usually used to refer to animals with colors that warn predators of their toxicity. For example: animals with bright red or yellow coloration are often toxic or distasteful.

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

carnivore

an animal that mainly eats meat

causes or carries domestic animal disease

either directly causes, or indirectly transmits, a disease to a domestic animal

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

delayed implantation

in mammals, a condition in which a fertilized egg reaches the uterus but delays its implantation in the uterine lining, sometimes for several months.

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

female parental care

parental care is carried out by females

food

A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.

forest

forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.

fossorial

Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.

frugivore

an animal that mainly eats fruit

herbivore

An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

insectivore

An animal that eats mainly insects or spiders.

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

mountains

This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

nocturnal

active during the night

omnivore

an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals

oriental

found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map

rainforest

rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

soil aeration

digs and breaks up soil so air and water can get in

solitary

lives alone

tactile

uses touch to communicate

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5? N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

visual

uses sight to communicate

viviparous

reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.

References

2011. "American Badger - Nature's Digging Machine" (On-line). Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://thewebsiteofeverything.com/animals/mammals/Carnivora/Mustelidae/Taxidea/Taxidea-taxus.html.

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Cross-host evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus in palm civet and human. 102(7):2430-5. Shanghai, China: Proc Natl Acad Sci U.S.A.. 2005. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15695582/.

2009. "Human Ageing Genomic Resources" (On-line). An Age: The Animal Ageing and Longevity Database. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://genomics.senescence.info/species/entry.php?species=Arctonyx_collaris.

2008. "New World Encylcopedia" (On-line). Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Sable.

2012. "The Free Resource" (On-line). Badger: Facts and Resources about Badgers. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.thefreeresource.com/badger-what-is-a-badger-facts-and-resources-about-badgers.

Baker, N. 2012. "Ecology Asia" (On-line). Mammals of Southeast Asia: Hog Badger. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/mammals/hog-badger.htm.

Edmunds, T. 2003. "Encyclopedia of Life" (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.

Maslanka, M., A. Moresco, K. Grant, B. Henry, C. Lombardi, J. Reed-Smith. 2010. "Association of Zoos & Aquariums" (On-line pdf). Mustelid (Mustelidae) Care Manual. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://www.aza.org/uploadedfiles/animal_care_and_management/animal_programs/animal_programs_database/animal_care_manuals/mustelidcaremanual2010a.pdf.

Mead, R. 1989. "Conservation Biology and the Black-Footed Ferret" (On-line pdf). Reproduction in Mustelids. Accessed August 17, 2012 at http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=1joYysFXnrcC&oi=fnd&pg=PA124&dq=behavior+of+arctonyx+collaris+&ots=z6ub8gmt2B&sig=ACZ_oBjdaTRN-a-7Nfh4kZCXktM#v=onepage&q=behavior%20of%20arctonyx%20collaris&f=false.

Timmins, R., B. Long, J. Duckworth, W. Ying-Xiang, T. Zaw. 2008. "Encyclopedia of Life" (On-line). Arctonyx collaris. Accessed August 15, 2012 at http://eol.org/pages/328030/details.