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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Greater Hog Badger

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3











Family : Mustelidae
Species : Arctonyx collaris

Head-body length : 55-70 cm
Tail length : 12-17 cm
Weight : 7-14 kg

The Greater Hog Badger inhabits Southeast Asia's hill and montane forests (reportedly to 3500 metres) and adjacent lowland forest habitats.

Though similar in size to the more familiar badgers of Europe and North America, its appearance is quite different. Most notably, it possesses an elongated pig-like snout and modified teeth which point forward and are used for turning over the soil.

Its body fur is dark grey to brownish, and its tail pale yellow to white. The throat and face are white, and there are two thick dark stripes on the face.

The species is exclusively nocturnal and feeds mainly on roots, tubers and fallen fruits. This diet is supplemented by forest floor invertebrates and small vertebrates if available. By day it remains concealed in its burrow.

Within the species there is significant variance in skull shape and size, and external appearance, thus three separate species are increasingly recognised, namely Arctonyx collaris (Greater Hog Badger), A. albogularis (Northern Hog Badger), and the smaller A. hoevenii (Sumatran Hog Badger).

Hog Badgers occur in parts of eastern India, Bangladesh (see Muntasir Akash et al, 2022, for details), central and southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Indochina (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia) and Sumatra. They are not recorded in Peninsular Malaysia (or Singapore).

Figs 1 and 2 : Greater Hog Badger Arctonyx collaris from Khao Yai National Park, Thailand. This specimen was encountered at a roadside in thick, hill forest at an elevation of around 600 metres.

Fig 3 : Hill forest at Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

References : M5

Muntasir Akash, Suprio Chakma, Joyanto Biswas, Sultan Ahmed, Haris Debbarma, Tania Zakir, Hasan A. Rahman, Zaber Ansary & Jahidul Kabir (2022). How far westward? Revisiting the distribution of Arctonyx badgers in the westernmost global range. Mammalia.