The Arapawa Pig is a very significant breed since it is the rarest breed of pig in the whole world. These pigs from New Zealand had been critically endangered before efforts were taken to increase their count. Over the years, several attempts had also been taken to catch some of these pigs until the late 1990s there were only a few adults on the mainland. They are no more considered to be a breed for only meat production.
|Also Known As||Arapawa Island Pig|
|Characteristics||Medium to large in size, relatively short nose and tail, quite hairy and has mane covering the wide shoulders; skin is thick and hard with sandy to tan patches on a black base (some might also be completely black); face is long with a long snout and small, pricked ears; boars have a heavy shield; do not have wattles|
|Personality Traits||Intelligent, alert, non-aggressive|
|Weight (size)||Boar: 120–180 kg
Sow: 80–100 kg
|Lifespan||6-10 years (average)|
|Litter Size||6-10 piglets per litter|
|Country of Origin||New Zealand|
|Distribution||Arapaoa Island (NZ)|
|Conservation status||Critically endangered breed|
History and Origin
Feral pigs have been recorded on Arapawa Island since 1839. The arapawa pigs basically hail from the Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand, though their real origin is not known. Some suggest that, in the years 1773 and 1777, Captain James Cook released some pigs in the island that served as the basis to the modern day arapawas. Yet another explanation sounds more likely that says, it was in the first half of the 19th century that the whalers introduced these swine into the island.
Many initiatives have been taken to save these critically endangered pigs, until in 1998, four baby pigs could be isolated that could successfully contribute to the breeding program.
- The Arapawa pig was featured in a $1.35 stamp in 2007 in an attempt by the New Zealand government to commemorate the Chinese ‘Year of the Pig’.
- Arapawa Island Pigs can drink 14 gallons of water daily.