Auckland Island Pigs
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About Auckland Island PigsAbout Auckland Island Pigs

The Auckland Island Pigrnis a feral breed of domestic pig found on AucklandrnIsland in New Zealand.

The pig is believed to have inhabited the island since 1807, whenrnEuropeans made several various releases of domestic pigs to provide a source ofrnfood for stranded sailors or visiting whalers. By the end of the 19thrncentury, the island held a thriving population of mixed origin pigs. In thernlate 20th century the largely undisturbed pig population produced arnsingle distinctive breed know today as the Auckland Island Pig.

The Auckland Island pigs appearance consists of coats ofrnthick hair which are black, or white or brown with black markings and havernlong, narrow heads and snouts, straight tails, and are relatively small inrnstature. The average weight of the Auckland Island adult boar is 41.7 kg, andrnan adult sow 37.3 kg.

rnrnAs of the late 20th century the substantial pigrnpopulation occupied the whole of the island, with equal numbers of males andrnfemales. The pigs' diet is simple consuming a wide variety ofrndifferent plants and earth worms. Pigs along the coastal areas also eat bark,rninvertebrates, the remains of dead birds and sea lions.

The Auckland Island Pig has had a considerable environmental impact onrnthe island due to overpopulation; they have caused destruction of much of thernislands’ flora, and have had a considerable negative impact on wildlifernthroughout the island. They have dug up birds burrows, and stolen bird eggs (petrels,rnalbatrosses, mollymawks, penguins, and shags).

In 1999 a decision was made by local government to try to restore thernnatural ecosystems and an attempt to preserve the Auckland Island breed wasrnconducted. An expedition caught and removed seventeen pigs from the island,rnincluding several pregnant sows, transferring them to Invercargill, New Zealand. These pigs have since bred successfully in captivity andrnthe breed is no longer at risk.


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