Arapawa Island Pig: Rare Breed of New Zealand Pig

Arapawa Island Pig is a unique breed of domestic pig that has been living on the island since 1839. It’s believed to have descended from the Oxford Sandy and Black stock that was brought to the island by whalers in 1827. This fascinating breed has some interesting features and potential uses, so let’s take a closer look at what makes it so special.

Arapawa Island Pig

Characteristics of Arapawa Island Pig

The Arapawa Island Pig is an endangered breed of swine native to Arapawa Island in New Zealand. A hardy, independent breed, Arapawa Island Pigs are well adapted to the remote, rocky, bush-clad terrain of Arapawa Island. These pigs come in various colours and sizes, ranging from spotted white and black pigs to red-mottled pigs with black and tan patches. Arapawa Island Pigs have also been described as having a “cosmopolitan” look due to their distinctive long, slim legs and leaves-shaped ears. Their diet consists mainly of grasses, nuts, fruits, roots and tubers found on Arapawa Island – making them incredibly well adapted for survival in their unique habitat. As this pig is on the brink of extinction, Arapawas play an important role in conservation efforts as they help maintain genetic variability within domestic breeds.


Arapawa Island Pigs are known for their hardiness, which means they can survive on relatively little feed and still produce good-quality meat. They are known to graze on grasses, herbs and other vegetation, and scavenging for food such as fallen apples or other fruits. They also enjoy a diet of hay, grains, vegetables and kitchen scraps.

Special Feature

One of the most interesting characteristics of these pigs is their distinctive black-and-white colouring. The pattern was developed over generations due to natural selection and is now an iconic feature of these pigs. In addition, these animals have long snouts with hanging jowls that give them a unique profile compared to other breeds.


These animals can be used for both commercial farming purposes and as companion pets. Their hardy nature makes them well suited for outdoor environments and they respond well to training. As pets they can make great companions due to their intelligence and friendly demeanor – though they do require lots of space! On farms, they are great for producing lean meat with good flavour.


What is the rarest breed of pig?

The rarest breed of pig is the Improved Pantaneiro pig, which is native to Brazil’s Pantanal wetlands. The Improved Pantaneiro was developed in the 1940s when cattle ranchers cross-bred local wild pigs with European breeds such as Berkshires, Large Blacks and Spotted Swines. This new hybrid was more productive and disease-resistant than purebred wild pigs. Today, this unique breed can be found only in the Mato Grosso region of south-central Brazil, and it has been listed since 2008 on the Livestock Conservation Institute’s Rare Breeds Survival Trust list, meaning that less than 1,000 breeding animals exist worldwide.

What color are Ara Pawa Island pigs?

Arapawa Island pigs are small- to medium-sized wild pigs native to Arapawa Island, located off the northeast coast of the South Island of New Zealand. These pigs have a black coat with patches of white and gold, often described as “piebald.” The face is usually black with white around the muzzle and eyes. They often have floppy ears, long snouts, round hindquarters and short legs. Their tail is usually long and curly.

Who owns Arapawa Island?

Arapawa Island, located near the North end of New Zealand’s South Island, is a privately owned nature reserve. The island was purchased by Sir Peter Elworthy in 2008 from the Prince of Wales Trust, who had previously owned it since 1993. Since then, Sir Peter has worked hand-in-hand with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to ensure Arapawa Island’s conservation and future success.


The Arapawa Island Pig is an incredibly unique breed that offers farmers or pet owners plenty of advantages when it comes to keeping them around. Their distinct black-and-white coloring along with their ability to thrive in outdoor environments makes them ideal for any situation where you need an animal that is hardy yet intelligent enough to be trained easily. If you think this breed could fit into your lifestyle then why not give it a try? You won’t regret it!

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