A breed of pig with distinctive productive and reproductive characteristics has been identified in the eastern Sub-Himalayan region of West Bengal state, India and adjoining Nepal. The breed is known as Ghoongroo (meaning anklet in the local language). The breed is most prevalent within 88° E to 90° E longitudes and 26.3° N to 27.3° N latitudes. Two distinct climates viz., cold moist and hot humid are observed during the year. Farmers manage the animals both under stall-feeding and stall-feeding-cum-grazing systems. Simple housing principally made up of bamboo and jute stick is used with an emphasis on giving protection from the rain.
The population in the breeding tract varies depending on market demand. Generally, the population varies from 8 000 to 10 0000. Pigs are black in colour with a compact body, long thick coarse hair, a long tail and an upwardly curved snout. The face is broad and flattened with large, heart shaped ear resembling that of an elephant. Average litter size at birth is11.92±0.06 and a litter size of up to eighteen is not uncommon on a low to medium plane of nutrition. Body weights at birth, five months and one year of age are 1.08±0.22, 38.91± 1.49 and 106.3±0.31 kg respectively, irrespective of sex.
This unique germ plasma has the potential to replace exotic breeds from temperate zones currently used in improved pig production programs. However the breed is under constant threat due to indiscriminate crossbreeding with other varieties. Thus the immediate implementation of conservation and improvement programs is essential to salvage the breed.