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The IUCN/SSC Hippo Specialist SubGroup objectives are to:
1. Monitor the conservation status of hippos and track threats to their persistence.   

2. Identify conservation and research priorities for hippos and their habitat.

3. Generate recommendations, strategies, and policies that foster hippo conservation.

4. Enhance the efforts of individual researchers working on hippo biology, ecology, and conservation by offering support, and providing research access to an international forum.

5. Encourage understanding of the importance of hippo conservation to the international community, including government agencies, land managers, scientists, and the general public.

Hippo Gape

Pygmy Gape

Efforts to meet these objectives are detailed in the IUCN Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan.  The following is a summary...

Common Hippo - Conservation Measures Proposed: An Action Plan

Sociological Aspects

  1. Assess the extent and cost of damage caused by hippos to agriculture
  2. Investigate the extent of injuries and deaths suffered by fishermen and others resulting from attacks by hippos
  3. Assess the effectiveness of various measures used to separate hippos from human activities (e.g. electrified fences)
  4. Investigate the possibility of cropping hippos on a sustainable yield basis
  5. Assess the extent to which hippo teeth are used in trade, particularly as a substitute for elephant ivory

Biological Aspects

  1. Assess the population status of common hippos in countries with little information - particularly Angola, Chad, and Rwanda
  2. Assess the population status in countires with low numbers and is giving cause for concern
  3. Estimate more precisely, the numbers in countries with large concentrations
  4. Conduct further studies of populations in areas southern Africa that are sensitive to hippo conservation
  5. Identify the causes for declines in countries with decreasing numbers
  6. Carry out a taxonomica study to identify the possible existence of regional subspecies of common hippos
  7. Improve hippo counting techniques and monitor future population trends

Pygmy Hippo - Conservation Measures Proposed: An Action Plan


  1. To ensure, as a first priority, the continued survival of pygmy hippos in Liberia without fragmentation of their remaining range
  2. To establish more precisely the distribution and numbers of pygmy hippos throughout their range but particularly in Liberia
  3. To identify secure regions where conservation action can be concentrated
  4. To establish whether or not the isolated population reported in Nigeria still exists - if so, establish a conservation plan

Priority Projects

  1. Establish a method for assessing the sizes of the various populations
  2. Identify and give special protection to areas containing adequate populations of the species and which appear to be free from the threat of deforestation
  3. Monitor the species in protected areas on a permanent basis using techniques developed for census purposes
  4. Identify potential threats to the species in each area and take steps to remove them
  5. Mount expeditions to those regions of Nigeria where the species was last reported in order to look for evidence of its continued existence
  6. Coordinate the international captive breeding effort to maximize the continued genetic diversity of the captive population
  7. Study the behavior of the species under a variety of captive conditions to generate information to improve husbandry techniques