Focus on a discreet species: the bushpig, Potamochoerus larvatus
The bushpig is relatively abundant in favourable habitat (relatively dense vegetation such as patchwork of floodplains, riverine forests, and woodlands) but remain rarely observed directly, while being regularly and frequently captured by camera traps. Although primarily nocturnal, the pictures confirmed that diurnal activity occurs regularly in both dry and rain season, particularly in dense vegetation.
Activity in open areas was only recorded by night. In Mlele the bushpig is preyed upon by lions (Panthera leo), leopards (Panthera pardus) and hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), with observation of fresh carcasses in 2012 and 2013 along Iloba and Mtambo rivers.
It seems equally under pressure coming from anthropogenic causes: legal and illegal hunting do harvest the species, selectively for the first one, in a more opportunistic manner for the later. Despite these cumulated pressures, the bushpig remain widespread and images attesting of successive reproduction captured every year in the early rain season.
The species share its habitat with the harnassed bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus), the warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the buffalo (Syncerus caffer), more rarely with the blue duiker (Philantoba monticola). According to our pictures, predators patrolling these closed habitats are mostly leopard and hyena.
The proposed selection of pictures reveals the diurnal – nocturnal activity of the species. Note that colour pattern vary considerably.
Pictures of leopards are frequently captured by camera which as well captured pictures of bushpig as the example presented hereafter demonstrate...