Group Title: Tapir conservation (Print)
Title: Tapir conservation
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Tapir conservation the newsletter of the IUCNSSC Tapir Specialist Group
Uniform Title: Tapir conservation (Print)
Abbreviated Title: Tapir conserv. (Print)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Publisher: IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Place of Publication: Houston TX
Houston TX
Publication Date: June 2002
Copyright Date: 2009
Frequency: semiannual
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1990.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 12, no. 2 (Dec. 2003); title from cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00095885
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 56897961
lccn - 2004215875
issn - 1813-2286


This item has the following downloads:

00006-2002 ( PDF )

Full Text

Volume 11 / Number 1 June 2002


* From the Chair
page 3
* First International
Tapir Symposium
page 5
* Conservation
Committees Founded
page 8
* Current Project Updates
page 9
* News from the Field
page 16
* News from Captivity
page 21
* Contributed Papers
page 23
* Bibliography
page 31
* Poem
page 33
* Tapir Specialist Group
Members and Structure
page 34

Tapir Conservation

The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Edited by Sian S. Waters and Stefan Seitz

Reasons to smile: The First International Tapir Symposium in Costa Rica was a promising event
for tapir conservation. From left to right, the photo shows Gordon Blankstein (Mountain View Con-
servation & Breeding Center, Canada), Rick Barongi (Houston Zoo, USA), Charles R. Foerster
(Baird's Tapir Project, Costa Rica), Heidi Frohring (Woodland Park Zoo, USA), James E. Norton
(University of Illinois at Chicago, USA), Stefan Seitz (Germany), and (kneeling), Wally Van Sickle
(Idea Wild, USA), and Alexander Blanco (Parque Zool6gico Las Delicias, Venezuela), after the
fund raising auction.
Photo by Sonia Hernandez-Divers

Printing and distribution of the
Tapir Conservation Newsletter
is supported by the Houston Zoo,
1513 N. MacGregor, Houston,
Texas 77030, United States

fs "O

Tapir Conservation 1 / 2002


2 Contents, Masthead
3 Letter from the Chair
4 The Tapir Specialist Group's Evolutionary Consultant
5 The First International Tapir Symposium
8 Conservation Committees Founded
8 Red Danta Colombia (Colombian Tapir Network)
8 The Mexican Committee for Tapir Conservation and
Recovery (MCT)
9 Current Project Updates
9 The Influence of Large Herbivores on Neotropical Forests
10 Proyecto Danta Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
11 Conservation biology of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris)
and their potential as landscape detectives in the Pontal do
Paranapanema Region, Sao Paulo State, Brazil
14 Tapir Surveys in Colombia
16 News from the Field
16 Belize
17 Field notes from Eastern Honduras: Tapirs (Tapirus bairdi4
in the Rio Patuca region
18 Tapirus terrestris (LINNAEUS, 1758) (Mammalia, Perisso-
dactyla) In an Area of Sub-tropical Forest in Southern Brazil:
Diet, Habitat Use and Population Density
18 Brazil
19 Ecuador
19 Mountain Tapir Translocation Project, Northern Ecuador,
October 1999 May 2000
20 Indonesia
21 Thailand
21 News from Captivity
21 Venezuela
21 Enclosure Effects on Tapir Breeding and Welfare
22 Report from the EAZA Tapir & Hippo TAG
22 Research proposal on tapir nutrition
23 Baird's Tapir Studbook Address Change
23 Contributed Papers
23 Malayan Tapirs (Tapirus indicus): Far from Extinction in a
Malaysian Rainforest
27 Recent Observations of Melanistic Tapirs in Peninsular
28 International Tapir Survey in Several European and North
American Zoos
31 Bibliography
33 Poem: Tapir Discovery
34 IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group -
Membership / Directions
40 IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group -
Structure and Positions


Tapir Conservation is the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG).
Tapir Conservation offers the members of the TSG and others concerned with the
family Tapiridae, recent events, relevant publications, and general information about
this threatened mammalian genus. More information about the IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group is available at:

Editorial Board

Tapir Specialist Group

Deputy Chair
Tapir Specialist Group


Layout and Graphics

and Webmaster

Sponsored by


Patricia Medici
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo,
Teodoro Sampaio, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL 19280-000
Phone. +-55 (18) 3282 4690
Fax ++55 (18) 3282 3924

Charles R Foerster
445CR 221, Orange Grove, Texas, USA 78372
Phone & Fax ++1 (719) 228 0628
E-mail: CRFoerster@aol com

Sidn S. Waters
14 Lindsay Gardens
Tredegar, Gwent
Tel +44 (0) 1495 722117
E-mail: sian s wters@hotmail com

Stefan Seitz
Bonndorfer Strasse 19
68239 Mannheim, GERMANY
Phone & Fax ++49 (0)62147 1428

Sheryl Todd
Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
P.O. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon, USA 97103
Phone & Fax- ++(503) 32531 79
E-mail: tapir@tapirback com

The Houston Zoo, Texas, USA

US$ 10.00 per volume, free for members

Potential contributors may submit material to the contributions editor, Sian Waters,
preferably by email. The closing date for submissions to the next issue is 31
August, 2002. The views in Tapir Conservation do not necessarily reflect those of
the IUCN nor of the entire IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group. Items from this news-
letter may be reprinted providing they are credited to this publication. Photo copyright
is retained by the individual photographers.

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From the Chair

Letter from the Chair

After two years as TSG Chair, I would like to start this
letter with a brief retrospective. In the beginning of
2000, Sharon Matola stepped down as chair and pro-
posed my name for the position. I agreed to take over
and I do not have enough words to thank Sharon,
Sheryl Todd and Mariano Dixon for all their great help
and support during the transition. I would not have
made it without them!

Initially, Sheryl and I worked on a list of short, me-
dium and long-term actions for the group and put to-
gether the new membership. The number of members
increased to 71 professionals from 22 different coun-
tries (South, Central and North America, Asia, and
Europe) and with varied backgrounds and expertise. In
an effort to create a stronger organization and distribute
the workload, Sheryl and I appointed a Species Coor-
dinator for each tapir species, and additional officers
based on the group's needs (current positions, names of
the coordinators, and members of the different commit-
tees can be found in the "TSG's STRUCTURE" article
in this issue).

As you all probably know, Sheryl Todd has been the
TSG Deputy-Chair for four years. She is also the Presi-
dent of the Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF), manager of
the Tapir Talk e-mail group and Webmaster of the Tapir
Gallery website ( Re-
cently, Sheryl decided to step down from the TSG
Deputy-Chair position. She will continue being an
active member of the group and will stay on as Web-
master and banker for TSG (via TPF). The TSG and
the TPF will keep working together as closely as ever.
Charles Foerster, a North American biologist, who has
been studying Baird's Tapir in Costa Rica for the past 7
years, has agreed to take over the position and will help
me chair the group during the next years. I would like
to thank Sheryl for all her tireless work over the past
years (and, in advance, for all her work in the future!)
and welcome Charles to the position!

Sifn Waters (conservation & zoo biologist, UK) and
Stefan Seitz (captive research on tapir behavior and
management, Germany) are the new editors for the
Tapir Conservation Newsletter. We still plan to publish
two issues per year and from now on Sifn and Stefan
will be responsible for the newsletter's editing. Thank
you, Sifn and Stefan for all your hard work in putting
this together. I would like to remind you all that news-

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 1

letter contributions can range from
just a paragraph about your work or
observations to short papers. The
purpose of the newsletter is not
only to let the world know what we are doing as a
group, but to monitor status, conservation, and research
relating to tapirs.

During 2001, most of our time and energy was spent
on the organization of the First International Tapir
Symposium, a joint effort between the IUCN/SSC Ta-
pir Specialist Group, the Tapir Preservation Fund
(TPF), and the American Zoo and Aquarium Associa-
tion (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TTAG). The
symposium was held in San Jose, Costa Rica, from 3 to
8 November 2001 and it proved to be a great boost to
tapir conservation efforts. This was the first time that
so many tapir experts and conservationists had gath-
ered to share their knowledge and address future chal-
lenges facing these threatened species. We had 85 par-
ticipants including almost half of the TSG membership.
Over 80% of the symposium's budget was covered by
donations from four major zoos (Houston, Los Ange-
les, Disney and San Diego) and I would like to
THANK them all for their contributions. Very special
thanks go to Rick Barongi, Director of the Houston
Zoo, chairperson of the AZA Tapir TAG and member
of the TSG, for raising most of the funds for the event.
Thank you, Rick!

Several results, plans, tasks, insights and ideas were
generated by the symposium. The TSG will be respon-
sible for seeing that the momentum from the confer-
ence is not lost. During the next few months, we will
start working on the symposium proceedings and that
will be as important as the event itself! We must ensure
that the information resulting from the symposium is
published so that there are immediate and long-term
benefits for tapir conservation worldwide. Abstracts of
the presentations and workshops, as well as pictures
will be available on the Tapir Gallery website soon.
Further details about the symposium, our future actions
and plans for TSG, coordinators of each one of the
committees, etc. can be found in the "FIRST
this issue.

Fundraising is a topic we discussed exhaustively dur-
ing the symposium in Costa Rica and this will be a

1 /No.1 June 2002 @

From the Chair

major priority for 2002. The main idea we have in
mind right now is to raise funds for the TSG via TPF
and to distribute these funds to field researchers and
educators. Ideally, TSG would work as a "funding
agency" for tapir projects. For this purpose, we have
created a committee (Charles Foerster, Heidi Frohring,
William Bob Harris and myself) to work on the organi-
zation of this fund. As a first step, we are putting to-
gether a proposal for the TSG as a whole. It will in-
clude the history of TSG and TPF, our mission state-
ments, objectives and goals, and abstracts about all
tapir projects that are currently being conducted. We
want the donors to know what projects we have "avail-
able"! We strongly believe that this type of proposal
will be very attractive to funding agencies. As soon as
we put the proposal together, we will start approaching
funding agencies. In order to select proposals and dis-
tribute the funds we are creating an evaluation commit-
tee, a group of professionals with different back-
grounds, to review the proposals and select those to be

Finally, I would like to thank all contributors for their
submissions in this issue!

Patricia Medici
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo,
Teodoro Sampaio, Sdo Paulo, BRAZIL 19280-000
Phone: ++ 55 (18) 3282 46)0
Fax: ++ 55 (18) 3282 3924

The Tapir Specialist Group's
Evolutionary Consultant

Greetings! My name is Matthew Colbert, and recently I
was appointed as 'evolutionary consultant' for the Ta-
pir Specialist Group (TSG) of the IUCN. As my first
assignment, I was asked to come up with a list of tasks
that would comprise the evolutionary consultant's re-
sponsibilities. After mulling it over a bit, I decided that
the main responsibility of the evolutionary consultant
is to provide a forum for the exchange of information
related to tapir evolution. This would include topics
such as genetics, population genetics, cytogenetics,
molecular and morphological systematics, morphology,
biometrics, developmental biology, and paleontology.

Related topics would also include questions concerning
tapir population demographics (for example, develop-
ing methods for aging or staging tapirs, and using such
information to evaluate population age structure, etc.),
functional anatomy, and evolutionary ecology. Estab-
lishment of this 'forum' would first involve determin-
ing who is working on various issues, and finding out
what information is already available in the literature.
It is hoped that maintaining this list of resources and
lines of communication will not only help coordinate
research efforts, but also aid in outreach education.

I should note that I am by no means an expert in most
of these fields, being a palaeontologist/zoologist by
training (if you would like to find out more of what I
do, check out the tapir pages at
In the course of my studies, however, I have realized
that 'cross-fertilization' of ideas and knowledge often
results in unusual and profitable solutions to common
problems. Thus, hypothetically, while a museum re-
searcher might be doing a morphometric analysis to
determine the correlated shape changes that occur dur-
ing growth based on samples in museum drawers, a
field biologist could potentially apply such information
to estimate the relative age of tapirs that are trapped or
found as mortalities in the wild. Reciprocally, the
measurements and data that the biologist in the field
could make available to the museum scientist might
provide critical data for refining the morphometric
analysis (tapir data sets are notoriously small!). Col-
laboration between such disparate researchers would
thus be a fruitful way to advance our knowledge of the
tapir on several fronts.

I hope that all of you all will feel free to contribute
your knowledge and questions to this forum on tapir
evolution. I will make an effort in the near future to
contact those of you who I know are working on 'evo-
lutionary' problems. However, it would make my life
a lot easier if those of you who are experts in evolu-
tionary topics could let me know who you are (my e-
mail is, so that both ques-
tions and opportunities can be directed to the most
appropriate person.

Matthew Colbert
Research Associate
Department of Geological Sciences
University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(512) 471 52 57
Fax: ++(512) 471 94 25
E-mail: colbert(

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Symposium

The First International Tapir Symposium

By Patricia Medici and C i, /,' Foerster

TAPJU STI P IU We would like to start by saying
That this is just an informal report
to give you an idea of what hap-
pened in Costa Rica! Complete
reports will be prepared as soon as
Swe finish compiling the final re-
sults, plans, and ideas generated
by the conference. All the infor-
mation, including pictures, will be available on the
Tapir Gallery website soon!

The symposium was a historic event! Never before
have there been so many tapir experts and conserva-
tionists assembled under one roof to share their knowl-
edge and address the challenges ahead for these endan-
gered species. It took us two years and a lot of work
and energy to organize the event but it was worth it!

We had 85 participants, of which 27 were Tapir Spe-
cialist Group members (42% of the group; quite a sig-
nificant number!). Participants included field research-
ers, husbandry and captive management specialists,
non-governmental organization representatives, univer-
sity representatives and other key players in the devel-
opment and implementation of tapir conservation pro-

A significant fact about this conference was the level
of zoo participation. Ten years ago there was little or
no collaboration between zoos and tapir field research-
ers. Today, modem zoos are focusing more on their
primary mission of conservation rather than just
exhibition. A good example of the modem zoos' new
commitment to conservation is the support they gave to
the tapir symposium. Our budget for the symposium
was just over $50,000, and over 80% was covered by
donations from four major zoos (Houston, Los
Angeles, Disney and San Diego). The directors of two
of these contributory zoos, Rick Barongi from the
Houston Zoo and Manuel Mollinedo from the Los
Angeles Zoo, attended the symposium.

One of the significant events at the symposium was the
auction conducted to raise funds to donate to Dr. Da-
niel Janzen's efforts to purchase reserve land in the
Area de Conservaci6n Guanacaste in Costa Rica. One
of the first things that the members of the planning
committee discussed at the beginning of the sympo-

sium organization was that we would like to leave
something behind in Costa Rica. We wanted the sym-
posium to somehow contribute to a conservation pro-
gram in the country and Dr. Janzen gave us the oppor-
tunity. Attendees were asked to bring typical items
from their countries to sell at the auction. Wally Van
Sickle (Idea Wild, United States) kindly organized and
conducted the auction and the symposium raised
$5,000 for Janzen's project. And that's not all. Before
the auction was held, the Wege Foundation had agreed
to match any amount we collected through the auction.
So, in all, we actually raised $10,000 which will buy
15 hectares of threatened rainforest in Costa Rica.

Rick Barongi, Director of the Houston Zoo, Chair of the AZA
Tapir TAG, and member of TSG, opening the First International
Tapir Symposium.
Photo by Patricia Medici

Specific topics of the paper sessions were Ecological
Studies, Population Management, Husbandry and Edu-
cation, Veterinary Issues/Diseases and Tapir Bio-
Politics. In all, 48 papers and 9 posters were presented.
All of these presentations and posters provided the
audience with a very complete overview of current
tapir research (in-situ and ex-situ). The keynote speak-
ers were Richard Bodmer (Kent University, UK),
Daniel Janzen (University of Pennsylvania, United
States) and, William Konstant (Conservation Intera-
tional, United States) and their speeches were truly
inspiring. Special evening presentations were con-

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Tapir Symposium

ducted by Wally Van Sickle and Matthew Colbert
(University of Texas, United States). The titles of all
presentations, as well as the abstracts and contacts of
the presenters will be available online soon.

We also conducted four workshops to discuss more
specific topics related to tapir research and conserva-
tion. Wally Van Sickle conducted an amazing work-
shop on fundraising and exchanged ideas with partici-
pants on how to acquire funds to sustain their projects
for the long term. Patty Peters (Columbus Zoo, United
States) and Diane Ledder (Disney, United States) con-
ducted a Marketing and Media Affairs workshop and
shared with us their experience of how to get the con-
servation message out to the general public. Patricia
Medici conducted two other workshops. The first one,
the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group workshop, was
more of a presentation about our ideas for the future
and the next steps we need to take in order to make the
group more active in terms of tapir conservation. Our
species coordinators, Emilio Constantino from Colom-
bia (Mountain Tapir), Denis Torres from Venezuela
(Lowland Tapir), Eduardo Naranjo from Mexico
(Baird's Tapir) and, Nico van Strien from The Nether-
lands (Malay Tapir) were introduced to the audience
and made brief comments about their views on the
future of the group. For the second workshop, which
focused on the Tapir Action Plan (TAP), Patricia had
the great help of Alfredo Cuar6n from Mexico, who
participated in the process of writing the first edition of
the TAP. During that session, we discussed the need to
review the 1997 version and the creation of a group of
people to work on that.

The last session of the symposium was a plenary ses-
sion which we called "Plans for Action". It was beauti-
fully conducted by Susie Ellis (Conservation Interna-
tional, United States) who used her skills to help us to
establish our priorities and get participants committed
to the tasks and challenges we will have ahead of us.
Each task has a leader who will be responsible for it
and a committee of volunteers that will help the leader
to reach the objectives. Some of the goals for the near
future are related to the structure of the TSG, internal
and external communication and fundraising. In terms
of structure, new guidelines for future membership will
be established (coordinators Patricia Medici and Lewis
Greene). Wilson Novarino and Sonia Hemandez-
Divers have agreed to lead a committee that will work
on annual plans for the group's activities. Matthew
Colbert, Heidi Frohring, and Patricia Medici will direct
a committee to list the tasks for each one of the posi-
tions we have created. Charles Foerster and his com-

mittee will develop a set of guidelines for proposals
seeking TSG endorsement/support. In terms of internal
communication, we will revise the 1997 version of the
Tapir Action Plan (coordinators Alfredo Cuar6n and
Patricia Medici). Rick Barongi has agreed to lead a
group to improve the communication between field
biologists and zoos. Ways to improve communication
between biologists and veterinarians will be explored
by Sonia Hemandez-Divers and her committee. In
terms of external communication, Alberto Mendoza
will coordinate an effort to develop educational and
TSG brochures. Charles Foerster, William Bob Harris,
and Patricia Medici will explore funding opportunities
for TSG and tapir research projects.

Dr. Daniel Janzen receiving a cheque for $10,000 from TSG
Chair, Patricia Medici, for the Area de Conservacion Gua-
nacaste in Costa Rica.
Photo by Sonia Hernandez-Divers

Another noteworthy event at the symposium was a
meeting held by the veterinarians present to discuss the
concerns of veterinarians working with tapirs. Some of
the issues considered were a) lack of communication,
b) lack of access to other veterinarian's data, research
project information, articles published, c) the need to
improve the availability of local vets for field projects
that need veterinary support, and d) the need to discuss
the AZA Tapir TAG and IUCN/SSC TSG Veterinary
Committee goals. As a result of this meeting the group
of veterinarians, under the guidance of Dr. Sonia Her-

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Symposium

nandez-Divers, have created a list of tasks for the near
future. Some of the tasks include making a list of po-
tential functions of veterinarians in research projects,
training biologists and veterinary students, improving
communications between veterinary and biol-
ogy/ecology universities, developing a veterinary
website and a list serve for tapir related questions and
for listing relevant publications.

A group of Colombian researchers and students gath-
ered together at the symposium to form a specialist
group of those who work with tapirs in Colombia. A
direct result of this meeting was the creation of the
"Colombian Tapir Network". This is reported on in
more detail in this newsletter.

During the next few months, we will be asking all pa-
per and poster presenters and keynote speakers to send
us their complete articles so we can start working on
the symposium proceedings. That will be as important
as the event itself! We must ensure that all the informa-
tion and recommendations that resulted from the sym-
posium are published and implemented so that there
are immediate and long-term benefits for tapir conser-
vation worldwide. All participants will receive a copy
of the proceedings. If you did not attend the sympo-
sium but are interested in receiving a copy of the
proceedings, please let us know.

All participants are very excited about the possibility of
having this symposium every two years and we de-
cided to do so. The options for the next one (2003) are
Venezuela, Colombia or Ecuador. Another option
would be to stay in Costa Rica.

First International Tapir Symposium
Planning Committee

* Rick Barongi, Houston Zoo, AZA Tapir TAG,
United States
* Mike Dee, Los Angeles Zoo, AZA Tapir TAG,
United States
* Heidi Frohring, Woodland Park Zoo, United States
* Lewis Greene, Prospect Park Zoo, Wildlife Con-
servation Society, AZA Tapir TAG, United States
* Sonia Hemandez-Divers, University of Georgia,
AZA Tapir TAG, United States
* Donald Janssen, San Diego Zoo, AZA Tapir TAG,
United States
* Sharon Matola, Belize Zoo and Tropical Educa-
tion Center, Belize
* Patricia Medici, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecologicas, Brazil

* Phil Schaeffer, Caligo Ventures, United States
* Brandie Smith, American Zoo and Aquarium
Association, United States
* Sheryl Todd, Tapir Preservation Fund, United


IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Tapir Spe-
cialist Group; American Zoo and Aquarium Associa-
tion (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TTAG);
Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF).

Symposium management and organization

Caligo Ventures (United States); Horizontes (San Jose,
Costa Rica); Corobici Melia Confort Hotel (San Jose,
Costa Rica)

Funding agencies

Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund; Houston Zoo; Los
Angeles Zoo; San Diego Zoo; Wildlife Trust; Tapir
Preservation Fund Club Tapir; Conservation Interna-
tional; Wildlife Conservation Society; Continental

Sponsors of Participants

Zoo Conservation Outreach Group ZCOG (United
States); American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK)
- The Puget Sound Chapter (United States); Interna-
tional Gibbon Foundation (Indonesia); Natureza e
Sociedade/Programa de Treinamento para Profissionais
na Area de Conservaiao USAID/WWF (Brazil);
German Research Community DFG (Germany);
Fundaci6n Tropenbos (Colombia); World Society for
the Protection of Animals (United States); Zoocriadero
Ecopets (Venezuela); El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
(Mexico); Instituto de Ecologia UNAM (Mexico);
Agencia Espafiola de Cooperaci6n Intemacional
(Spain); Wildlife Conservation Society (United States);
Ark Angels (Canada); Conservation International Co-
lombia; Fundaci6n APAS (Colombia); Fundacite (Ve-
nezuela); University of Malaysia (Malaysia).

(Char/r v Foerster
E-mail: crfoerster@aol.corn

Patricia Medici
E-mail: br

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002


Conservation Committees Founded

Red Danta Colombia
(Colombian Tapir Network)

By Diego Lizcano

The Tapir Network of Colombia was the result of a
lunch at the First International Tapir Symposium in
Costa Rica. The Colombian participants were moti-
vated to create the network because Colombia is the
only country that has all the Neotropical tapir species.
Despite this privilege, the local people don't know very
much about tapirs and the situation of the species in the
field is very worrying.

Currently there is a good quantity of information avail-
able on the web about tapirs but little of this informa-
tion is accessible to Spanish speakers. It is for this rea-
son that one of the main objectives of the Colombian
Tapir Network is to share information in Spanish about
tapir ecology and conservation projects carried out in
Colombia. Our goals for the network are to promote
study and conservation projects about tapirs in our
country. We are also interested in sensible discussion
about policies that concern tapirs. We are field re-
searchers, conservationists and students interested in
tapir ecology and conservation. To date we have de-
veloped a web page ( and an e-mail
list of Colombians interested in tapirs.

Each species has its own coordinator. Jaime Andres
Suarez is in charge of mountain tapir (Tapirus pin-
chaque) information, Javier A. Sarria for lowland tapir
(Tapirus terrestris) and Emilio Constantino for Baird's
tapir (Tapirus bairdii). Other group members offer
advice and support to the species coordinators. Franz
Kaston Florez is the veterinary assessor, communicator
and diffuser of scientific information to the group.
Delio Mendoza is responsible for the use of new tech-
nology in the study of tapirs. Hector Ruiz is interested
in subsistence hunting. Diego Lizcano, Alonso Que-
vedo and David Alfonso Bejarano are interested in the
ecology and conservation of mountain tapir and Sergio
Sandoval, a specialist in large Andean mammals, is the
web master. We welcome the addition of new members
to the group. We hope to be strong enough to influence
our government in developing good tapir conservation
policy. In the near future, we expect to publish detailed
information on our web page about tapir studies in
ecology, conservation projects and zoos exhibiting

and zoos exhibiting tapirs. If you are interested in find-
ing out more, or would like to join us, then please visit
our web page.

Diego Lizcano
Researcher, UNIANDES
PhD Canditate, Kent University
A. A. 53804, Bogota 0107, DC, COLOMBIA
Phone: ++(57) 1 281 42 56
E-mail: dlizcano @teudoramail. corn

The Mexican Committee for Tapir
Conservation and Recovery (MCT)

By Eduardo Naranjo

The Mexican Committee for Tapir Conservation and
Recovery (MCT) was formally created on November
30th, 2001. This committee is sponsored by the Na-
tional Institute of Ecology (INE), which is an agency of
the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources
(SEMARNAT). The MCT was initially composed of
15 professionals (mainly biologists and veterinarians)
who have worked with tapirs in Mexico. However, we
expect more people to join the group in the future.
Eduardo Naranjo (President), Epigmenio Cruz (Secre-
tary), and Alfredo Cuar6n (Information Vocal) consti-
tute the first board of directors. None of the members
of the MCT receives any payment for their services,
although there may be a possibility for group members
to obtain partial funding in order to attend group meet-

The following are the proposed, primary goals of
the MCT:

1. To be the "official" consultancy group for national
and international institutions and persons related to
conservation, management and research on tapirs
and their habitat in Mexico.
2. To suggest and promote actions and policies for
the conservation and recovery of Mexican tapir
3. To facilitate communication among people and
institutions interested in tapir conservation and re-
search in Mexico.

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


The initial tasks of the MCT are:

1. Identification of priorities for conservation, man-
agement and research on tapirs and their habitats in
Mexico (review and adaptation of the IUCN Ac-
tion Plan).
2. Discussion and proposal of specific, immediate
actions to be taken in order to address the identi-
fied priorities for tapir conservation.
3. Coordinate with the IUCN Tapir Specialist Group
to obtain funding for tapir research in Mexico.
4. Creation of a database and a web site to include
available information about tapirs in Mexico.
5. Publication of a National Action Plan for tapir
conservation and recovery in Mexico.

At the moment, the most important goal for us is the
publication of the national action plan. We have set
deadlines and personal commitments to achieve this
goal, and we will hold a couple of two-day meetings
this year to discuss our progress with the manuscript.

Eduardo Naranjo
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Carr. Panamericana, Ap. 63
San Cristobal de las Casas,
Chiapas 2920, Mexico
enaranjo @sclc. ecosur. mx

Current Project Updates


The Influence of Large Herbivores
on Neotropical Forests

By Patricia Medici and C ih,,,\ Foerster

Four TSG members are joining forces to investigate the
role tapirs and other large herbivores play in maintain-
ing and shaping the plant communities of Neotropical
forests. Specifically, we will examine how the removal
of the large herbivores will affect the physical structure
and floristic diversity of the understory vegetation in
four different ecosystems of Argentina, Brazil, Colom-
bia and Costa Rica.

Many ecologists have documented the important roles
played by large animals in seed dispersal, seed preda-
tion, herbivory, pollination, and predation, but until
recently few have considered what would happen if the
large animals were removed from the system. In order
to simulate the removal of these herbivores from the
forests, we will construct exclosures that will prevent
them from foraging in selected areas. The results ob-
tained will provide additional insights into the ecologi-
cal functions of these herbivores. Tropical rainforests
are the most complex and important ecosystems on the
earth. How would these forests change if the large her-

bivores were removed? How do large herbivores con-
tribute to the success and functioning of tropical eco-

Past field research on tropical herbivores has focused
primarily on their basic ecology, population dynamics
and the risk of extinction of small populations. Genetic
viability and demographic parameters are the most
common concerns surrounding low population sizes.
However, by emphasizing the importance of plant-
animal interactions, it can also be argued that reduced
numbers or complete absence of large herbivores will
have an impact on the functioning of the ecosystem.

The results obtained will provide additional insights
into the ecological functions of these herbivores, which
will, in turn, enhance existing and future management
plans. By showing the importance of large herbivores
in maintaining the ecological processes of plant com-
munities, wildlife managers will be better able to jus-
tify the implementation of programs designed to pre-
vent the disappearance of large herbivores in the forest.
For example, environmental education programs can
focus on the importance of herbivores in the forest.
Law enforcement agencies can use this information to
justify increased efforts to reduce hunting pressure.
The results can also justify the implementation of spe-
cific habitat management programs such as the creation
of protected areas large enough to maintain viable
populations of large herbivores, the establishment of

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Project Updates

wildlife movement corridors, and reforestation pro-
jects. Population management methods, such as re-
introductions and translocations, may be used to restore
large herbivore populations that have become locally
extinct or that have low population sizes.

Most people agree that rainforests are an important
resource that should be conserved, if only for the bene-
fit to mankind (water source, pharmaceuticals, climate
control, food source, etc). In this day and age, conser-
vation merely for the preservation of a species or eco-
system does not seem to be enough of an incentive.
Unfortunately, until an ecosystem or animal's "value"
to the human race can be proven it is hard to convince
the world that it must be protected and saved. Our goal
for this study is to provide evidence that tapirs, pecca-
ries and deer are vital to the health of tropical rainfor-
ests and that more efforts should be made to ensure
their protection.

The project will be coordinated by Charles Foerster in
Costa Rica (Corcovado National Park), Diego Lizcano
in Colombia (Ucamari Regional Park and Los Nevados
National Park), Patricia Medici in Brazil (Morro do
Diabo State Park) and Silvia Chalukian in Argentina
(El Rey National Park).

We would like to invite anyone interested in establish-
ing a similar study to get in touch with us.

( harl/ e Foerster

Patricia Medici

Proyecto Danta Corcovado
National Park, Costa Rica

By C( i,, /, Foerster

Charles Foerster continues to coordinate the work of
the Baird's Tapir Project / Proyecto Danta in Costa
Rica. The project began studying the population dy-
namics and ecology of tapirs in Corcovado National
Park in 1995. Specifically, radio telemetry and direct
observation are being used to document home range
size, habitat use, reproduction, offspring and adult sex
ratios, offspring survival rates, juvenile dispersal, spa-
tial distribution, population density, and mortality. In
addition, the genetic variability of the study animals is

being studied to determine relatedness between indi-
viduals and the genetic status of the population.

Charles presented results from the first five years of the
study at the tapir symposium in Costa Rica last No-
vember. He reported that the average annual home
range size of tapirs in the study site was 107 hectares,
with extensive overlap between individuals. Wet and
dry season home range sizes were found to be 83 ha
and 92 ha respectively. Secondary forest patches and
areas near permanent water sources were identified as
most frequently used by tapirs. Primary forest was
found to be important for daytime resting sites and fruit

Osa Peninsula

m GLayml Ind iganrau Reoar.
I Na irrluh Fj.gpnt Ism.

Map of the study site. Graphic by Charles Foerster

In terms of reproduction, 12 offspring (5 male, 5 fe-
male, 2 unknown) have been born to five different
females during the study. The average birthing interval
for those females that have had multiple births was
reported to be 21 months. Offspring survival has been
surprisingly high for those young born into the study.
92% have survived the first 4 months, while 86% have
survived the first year. 80% lived to reach 2 years of
age and 60% until 3 years. However, considering the
longevity and slow reproductive rate of the tapir, sev-
eral more years and more radio-tagged females are
needed for an adequate sample size. The project is
currently monitoring three female offspring born last

As the offspring grow and mature, Charles is placing
radio-collars on them and monitoring their movements.
The three offspring mentioned above will be collared
this June. Since the project began, nine juveniles (5
female, 4 male) have been included in the study. Thus

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

far, four females have dispersed an
average of 18 km from their origi-
nal home ranges. Five juveniles (1
female, 4 male) are currently being
tracked and are expected to disperse
within the next year.

In all, 27 tapirs have been part of
the study since 1995. Charles plans
to continue the study for at least
another five years with the objec-
tive of obtaining larger sample sizes
to measure reproduction, survival,
mortality, and juvenile dispersal.
The study area is also part of a new
joint project with three other TSG
members (Patricia Medici, Brazil;
Diego Lizcano, Colombia; Silvia
Chalukian, Argentina) to describe
the influence tapirs and other large
herbivores have on forest structure
and diversity.

Offspring like PRIMA, with MAMA in the foreground, are promising subjects for the long-
term monitoring of Baird's tapirs in the Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Photo by Charles Foerstel

Conservation biology of lowland
tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) and their
potential as landscape detectives
in the Pontal do Paranapanema
Region, Sao Paulo State, Brazil

By Patricia Medici

Conservation Biologist, Patricia Medici at the Instituto
de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas (IPE), directs the project
"Conservation biology of lowland tapirs (Tapirus ter-
restris) and their potential as landscape detectives" in
Brazil's South Atlantic Forest. This ecosystem is one
of Conservation International's hotspots and has been
fragmented by agricultural and industrial expansion.
The area is one of the most threatened ecosystems on
the planet and harbours 7% of the world's species,
most of which are endangered.


For the past five years, Patricia, with veterinarian Paulo
Rogerio Mangini and field assistants, have been captu-

ring, radio-collaring and studying tapirs in Morro do
Diabo State Park and in the surrounding landscape
(Pontal do Paranapanema Region). One of the initial
challenges of the project was to develop safe methods
and protocols to capture and anaesthetise the tapirs in
order to be able to fit the radio-collars and thus begin
data collection. Some researchers had already captured
tapirs in the wild, but in different contexts. The first
five months of fieldwork demanded careful planning
and the testing of different strategies, but proved to be
very important for the success of the project. The te-
sting of different methods was proposed by this study
as part of its initial objectives. As such, the objective
was adequately fulfilled as the results were achieved.
Pitfalls, which were used as the capture method, as
well as the anaesthetic protocol, were exhaustingly
tested and demonstrated their safety and efficiency.

The project has caught and radio-collared 20 tapirs so
far (10 males and 10 females), and has collected much
data on home range size, territorial behaviour, move-
ment patterns, overlap between neighboring individu-
als, dispersal routes, activity patterns and the health of
the population. Blood samples have been collected for
genetic studies.

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

( har/ev Foerster

Project Updates

The main objective today is to investigate the tapirs'
potential as landscape detectives, showing the research
team the most used dispersal routes and paithis\\ ; in
the landscape, and thus the potential areas to be con-
served and restored as wildlife corridors. It is beco-
ming clear that the tapirs leave the park more often
then previously thought. This information is critical to
the development of the regional conservation plan for
the landscape of the Pontal Region. Patricia was able to
identify six of the 20 tapirs as landscape detectives, as
they actually wander outside the large forest source
that is Morro do Diabo State Park (35,000 hectares)
and travel between the park and neighboring frag-
ments. In order to do so, they normally have to cross
some areas where landless people have been settled
around the park (pastureland or crop fields) to reach
the nearest forest fragments. Patricia suggests that the-
se individuals use the smaller fragments as stepping-
stones during their temporary movements outside main
forest sources.

1 po 1 Bwru,
0 wu~a

r 4



I 1

Digitalized map of the Pontal Region. The forest fragments are
mentioned in the text. Graphic by Patricia Medici

Specific objectives of this study include describing and
mapping these dispersal routes through the landscape.
Preliminary information about the tapirs' dispersal
behaviour has shown that this large and, to some ex-
tent, generalist mammal is still surviving in very small
forest patches, mainly because it is able to exploit sur-
rounding resources and move long distances between
forest fragments. It is necessary to restore and conserve
the most used dispersion routes or corridors, keeping
landscape connectivity, maintaining a genetically and
demographically viable population of these ungulates
and, therefore, the metapopulation scenario for this
large keystone species in its threatened ecosystem.

1E June2002 Vol. 11/

Five years of data is already being analysed and is
showing that there is more overlap (between neigh-
bours) than originally thought and this will result in a
more precise estimation of the tapir populations in the
park and in the surrounding forest fragments. In refe-
rence to activity patterns, it has become clear that tapirs
have crepuscular and nocturnal habits, which confirms
the published data on this species.

The epidemiological studies observed positive serum
titres for Equine Encephalomyelites, EEE strain, Blue
tongue, Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheates, and Lep-
tospira interrogans sorovar sensit. Morbidity, mortali-
ty, transmission source, as well as the vectors involved
in the epidemiological chain of these diseases were not
evaluated. However, it is safe to suppose that these
diseases contribute to the mortality of wild tapirs in the
region. The observed results demonstrate that tapirs are
exposed to important infectious agents, and these a-
gents are relevant to animal and public health. The
occurrence of antibodies for these etiological agents
demonstrate that the proximity between domestic and
wild animals may represent an important way of sprea-
ding and perpetuating some of the diseases in the regi-
on, affecting both wild and domestic animals.

In previous years, fieldwork has concentrated on Morro
do Diabo State Park, especially at the west, southeast,
north and northwest borders. These borders are relati-
vely close to forest fragments around the protected area
and tapirs leave the park from those edges to visit the
forests. This is helping Patricia to understand tapirs'
dispersion patterns and she will use this information to
design and effectively build corridors connecting the
forest areas. From 2002 onward, field efforts will con-
centrate on the forest fragments around the park. She
will capture and radio-collar tapirs in the Alcidia, Agua
Sumida, Santa Maria, Santa Zelia, Tucano, Ponte
Branca, and Minerva forest fragments (see photo).
Radio-tracking the tapirs in the fragments she will be
able to check whether there is movement between

Educational Component

Another objective of the project is to teach local people
about the importance of conserving tapirs and their
habitat and to stimulate and help them to establish
agro-forestry plots on their properties. It is necessary to
bear in mind that this project is part of a bigger conser-
vation plan for the entire Pontal do Paranapanema Re-
gion, where governmental agrarian reform is taking
place at the present moment. IPE conducts several

No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

conservation projects in the region and in order to un-
derstand the tapir project's benefits to local people, it is
necessary to describe the situation in the region.

Veterinarian Dr Paulo Rogerio Mangini darting ESPERTA
(she's inside the pit), the adult female we captured in January
2002 Photo by Charles Foerster

A large part of the remaining Atlantic Forest of Brazil
is characterized by forest remnants in agricultural land-
scapes. These fragments are important reservoirs of
biological diversity, but because of the small size of the
majority of them, they do not provide many natural
benefits for the rural people living around them such
as the harvesting of commercially valuable plants and
subsistence hunting. From an ecological standpoint,
these forests are often the only place left to obtain the
biological information and diversity necessary to suc-
cessfully restore their endangered ecosystem. Unfortu-
nately, most of these fragments are surrounded by set-
tlements and are currently being depleted by the local
people through fires, cattle grazing and spreading of
aggressive grasses, causing serious damage and gradu-
ally and continuously eroding the forest edges. This
encroachment affects the forest structure and causes
the loss of many plant and animal species, mainly by
the well-known consequences of the edge effect.

According to this situation, all IPE's projects and their
research coordinators in the region have been working
towards the creation of forested benefit zones around
these fragments with the use of different agro-forestry
options. The choice and the implementation is being
discussed with the local farmers (former landless peo-
ple), based on the evaluation of potential multi-purpose

trees according to two different criteria. The first ex-
plores the compatibility of the trees in combination
with local agricultural practices. The second considers
the usefulness of the trees in providing a protective
zone around forest fragments. Such zones represent
mutual benefits both to the local farmers and to the

With the assistance and enthusiasm of community
members, IPE has successfully established fourteen
community agro-forestry nurseries as sources for most
multiple-use trees and shrubs for the benefit zones. The
projects provide technical assistance and training in the
actual construction and management of the nurseries,
as well as supplying the seeds of most multiple-use
trees. Most of the tree species were selected by the
communities and should help minimize erosion, main-
tain soil fertility and produce fuel, fruits, woods and
forage as well as protecting the forest's integrity by
providing a sustainable resource for the farmers. In the
long run, planting trees for the agro-forestry production
of high quality wood could also increase income possi-

ESPERTA coming out of the pit after recovery
Photo by Charles Foerster

Acknowledgements: We thank the Forestry Institute
of Sao Paulo State; IBAMA; Wildlife Trust (WT)
USA; Center for Environmental Research and Conser-
vation (CERC) USA; Fundo Nacional do Meio Ambi-
ente (FNMA); Smithsonian Institution (Wildlife Con-
servation and Management Training Program); Chi-
cago Zoological Society, Brookfield Zoo; Lincoln Park
Zoo, Scott Neotropic Fund; Tapir Preservation Fund,
Club Tapir; Tapir Preservation Fund, Anonymous Do-

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Project Updates

nor; The Ledder Family Charitable Trust; Paul and
Elaine Beckham; IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group;
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Tapir
Taxon Advisory Group (TTAG); Idea Wild; Nellcor
USA; Woodland Park Zoo, Jungle Party Conservation
Fund; Deanne Holsworth; Kevin Burkhill; American
Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK), The Puget Sound
Chapter; Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman; Mike
Dee; Gilia Angell; American Association of Zoo
Keepers (AAZK), Los Angeles Chapter; Alex and
Susan Sze; Andy Schultz; IUCN Small Grants Pro-
gramme, The Ford Foundation; USAID Programa So-
ciedade e Natureza; Columbus Zoological Park Asso-
ciation; and, Sophie Danforth Conservation Biology
Fund, The Rhode Island Zoological Society & The
Roger Williams Park Zoo. Special thanks go to Dr.
Claudio Valladares-Padua; Luiz Homero Gomes
Pereira; Jose Maria de Aragao; Dr. George Velastin;
Laury Cullen Junior; Cristiana Saddy Martins; Sheryl
Todd; Heidi Frohring; Sharon Matola; Rick Barongi;
Harmony Frazier; Wally Van Sickle; Rudy Rudran and
Mariano Dixon.

Patricia Medici
Research Coordinator, Tapir Project, IPE Instituto
de Pesquisas Ecologicas
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo,
Teodoro Sampaio, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL 19280-000
Phone: ++55 (18) 3282 4690)
Fax: ++55 (18) 3282 3924

Paulo Rogerio Mangini
Veterinarian, Tapir Project, IPE Instituto de
Pesquisas Ecologicas
Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Rua Coronel Dulcidio, 1879, Curitiba, Parana
BRAZIL 80250-100
E-mail: pmangini@uol. com. br

Tapir Surveys in Colombia

By Emilio Constantino with help from Conal Ho


During the summer of 2000, Emilio Constantino travel-
led to various parts of Colombia to find out if tapirs
inhabited specific regions in which they had been re-
ported in the past, and if so, to verify which species

E June2002 Vol. 11

would be found there. Results for these areas of Co-
lombia have been inconclusive so far no tracks or
signs of the tapir have been found. Other resources
have also been tapped including museums, museum
catalogues, and local Colombian scientists. These
channels have revealed pertinent information about
Colombia's tapir populations.

Field Expeditions

Two trips were made to the Farallones in 2000. The
first expedition, which included Emilio Constantino,
Alirio Silva, and Jaime Castro, took place late March.
However, after spending only one night near the
foothills, they were turned back by the army due to
heavy fighting. Fighting has worsened in southern Co-
lombia, particularly in jungles, mountains, national
parks and indigenous reserves, which are all potential
tapir areas. The United State's financial involvement
(US$1.3 million) in the drug war has probably worse-
ned the situation.

Another expedition was carried out between April 10
and April 16, 2000. This time, Jaime Castro was unable
to take part, so was replaced by Emilio Cardona from
the 1999 expedition. The party left Cali in the early
morning and set up camp in the late afternoon. After a
six to eight hour hike, they reached the western slopes
of the Farallones in the upper Cajambre River at an
elevation of 3500 meters above sea level, where tapir
tracks had been reported two years previously. The
search continued for the next few days, but no tracks,
trails, or other sign of tapir could be found.

Other Information about Colombia's
Tapir Population

Emilio's contacts with local scientists and museum
visits and Sheryl Todd's ongoing research, have re-
vealed much information but raised even more ques-
tions. After some discussion between Emilio and the
late Dr. Jorge Hemandez-Camacho*, and between Dr.
Jaime Cavelier of WWF and Dr. Hernandez, it is fairly
certain now that Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is found
only in northern Colombia. Most of the population is
located in Katios National Park and in the Serrania del
Darien by the Panama border.

Furthermore, the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) is
found only in the Eastern Cordillera north to Sumapaz
(south of Bogota). Its distribution limits are: Eastern
Cordillera northern limit: Chingaza National Park;
Central Cordillera northern limit: Los Nevados Na-

No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

tional Park, east of Pereira, but possibly farther north
up to Antioquia department; Western Cordillera: there
are no reports from this region except for that of Craig
Downer, who found one possible track along the upper
Farallones on a wide trail that descended to the Pacific
jungle. This track was found in the 1970s, and no other
sign was seen there until 1998, when Alirio Silva and
Dr. Eduardo Calder6n, the botanist, went there to col-
lect plants, and they, too, reported seeing a probable
tapir track.

It is uncertain how many lowland tapir of the subspe-
cies Tapirus terrestris colombianus remain. It is quite
possible that this trans-Andean subspecies in Colombia
is highly endangered. The director of Fundaci6n Pro-
Sierra, Dr. Fernando Salazar, and Emilio estimate that
there are about twenty T. t. colombianus left in the
Sierra. The rest are probably in the Serrania de San
Lucas, where fighting has occurred. Dr. Hernandez
suggested there might be another subspecies of low-
land tapir apart from T. t. colombianus in the trans-
Andean region. Sheryl so far has found only one skull
to prove the presence of Baird's tapir south of the
isthmus of Panama. In combing through various muse-
um catalogues, no Baird's tapir from Colombia is
listed. Searching for Baird's tapir in Colombian muse-
ums did not discover any trace either.

Emilio relays that natives and local hunters report that
Baird's tapir exists in the Choco (western Colombia).
Other reports have indicated that signs of tracks sug-
gest the presence of the mountain tapir in two sectors
of the western Cordillera: Farallones de Cali and Tata-

Dr. Hernandez reported that Baird's tapir is still sym-
patric with lowland tapir in the Upper Sinu. He also
confirmed that Baird's tapir is present in northwest
Colombia but the southern limits of the species were
also a mystery to him. He noted that there was a
Baird's tapir skull in the von Humboldt Institute in

With regard to other tapir species, Dr. Hernandez sta-
ted that T t. colombianus is cinnamon in colour and
inhabits the Upper Sinu, the Magdalena Medio and the
Catatumbo (Lake Maracaibo basin). He hypothesised
that they inhabited the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
and were similar to the Bolivian forms. He also said
that the mountain tapir's northernmost limit appeared
to be the Los Nevados National Park along the central
Cordillera. However, there may be a possibility that the
species exists further north in the Paramo de Sons6n.

There were no records to confirm that the species lived
in the western Cordillera.

There are still important questions regarding tapir po-
pulation and species distribution in Colombia:
* What are the southern limits for Baird's tapir?
* Where is the historical and actual northern limit for
the mountain tapir in the eastern and central Cor-
* Is the mountain tapir actually present in the wes-
tern Cordillera? If not, what restrained this species
from migrating to this part of the Andean range?

Urgency of Tapir Research in Colombia

There are various reasons to continue investigating the
tapir population in Colombia and to find ways to con-
serve it. Human activities that have endangered the
tapir population include:

Application of the herbicide "Roundup" (glyphosate),
used to control the growth of poppies in the paramos
and mountains above 2700m, is threatening mountain
tapirs. Colombia has seen a similar situation affect
Baird's tapir.

Thirty-five years ago, the region from the coast
southwards to the Atrato River was dense jungle. Sup-
posedly, Baird's tapirs inhabited this jungle. In the
1970s, this jungle was cleared to make way for banana
plantations and cattle farms.

Heavy warfare in southern Colombia is endangering the
mountain tapir, in particular, areas such as Sumapaz
and the national parks ofNarifio/Putumayo. This area is
Colombia's stronghold for the species.

Heavy fighting has been taking place in northern Co-
lombia the same area where Hershkovitz's specimen
of T. t. colombianus was found along with Baird's
tapir. This area is also a likely area for the Baird's
tapir. This is also the region identified as "strategic" for
national energy development. The Ministry of the En-
vironment has authorized the filling of the Urra dam
affecting both the indigenous culture and the local
wildlife population.

Drilling by oil companies on the eastern slopes of the
Eastern Cordillera towards the Llanos Orientales (Eas-
tern Plains) is endangering the lowland tapir. The area
is rich in biodiversity and is the ancestral homeland of
the Uwa people.

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Project Updates

Despite these threats, conservation efforts have seen
results. The spectacled bear has returned to the Paramo
de Las Delicias in the Guambiano Indian Territory. For
about eighty years, the spectacled bear had disappeared
from that region. Now, the Indian authorities are also
making efforts towards bringing back Baird's tapir to
the area. At this point, local Colombian scientists have
identified that the three tapir species in the Andes regi-
on and west of the mountain range should be priorities
for research and conservation efforts.

Latest Developments

In 2001 Emilio reported that the presence of T t. co-
lombianus had been confirmed during recent research
trips to the areas of Magdalena Medio and Sierra Ne-
vada de Santa Marta. The population at Magdalena
Medio was small but not under any hunting pressure.
However, fragmentation of the forest habitat is a prob-
lem and corridors between fragments should be devel-
oped. Sierra Nevada has intact habitat but there is
hunting pressure. Emilio recommends the develop-
ment of an education programme to improve the pros-
pects for the long-term survival of this population.

This year's developments are not very encouraging
regarding tapir survival in some areas. Emilio visited
the Marias Mountains in mid February and found no
traces of tapir. Indeed, local people had not seen sign
of tapir since about 1975. The area is a very dangerous
one and is the focus of heavy conflict. In addition, the
area containing T. t. colombianus population in Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta, reported on above is also in a
state of unrest. Hopefully, this population can survive
this latest challenge to the tapirs of Colombia.

Emilio Constantino
Biodiversity & Conservation Coordinator,
Red de Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil
Avenida 9 Norte #22-07, Barrio Santa Monica,
Phone: ++57 (2) 660 6133 /2 653 4539
Fax: ++57 (2) 660 6133
E-mail: emilio

*Editor's Note
It is with sadness that we report the death of Dr. Jorge
Hernndez-Camacho last year. His obituary will ap-
pear in the next edition of the newsletter.

News from the Field



Sharon Matola of the Belize Zoo has a number of
reports from her field surveys including the sighting of
11 tapirs in four days on the one of the rivers of her
field site. Sharon reports that her field team had one of
their canoes attacked by an adult female tapir. She
actually left a bite mark on the bow of the canoe!
Sharon suggested that the female might have had a
youngster in the bush nearby. In another report,
Sharon describes interrupting a 3 m long crocodile,
which had just drowned a young tapir of less than four
months of age. Sharon moved the crocodile away with
the paddle of her kayak and although the crocodile
moved, he wasn't too keen to leave the site of the kill
and continued to guard the tapir even when it was
dragged onto a rock (see photo). This amazing event
happened in the area, which is due to be flooded by the
Chalillo Dam and highlights the potential loss of biodi-

versity that this dam would cause. This dam is de-
scribed in the following also from Sharon.

The most robust populations of Baird's tapir found in
Belize, are under determined threat by the proposed
development of a dry season storage dam. The flooding
of the area proposed would eradicate 90% of the ripar-
ian vegetation found there, and this is the very type of
habitat, which provides ample food sources for herbi-
vores. Joe Fragoso found, through his fieldwork in
Belize in the 1980s, that this riparian or floodplain
vegetation was the preferred food for tapirs. This has
been confirmed from later fieldwork, where faeces,
collected and analysed, was found to contain remains
of herbaceous, floodplain vegetation only. These find-
ings reinforce the important role that floodplain habitat
plays for the preservation of this endangered species in
the central Maya Mountains. Unfortunately, the area
slated for the proposed dam is not replicated in other
areas of Belize, and appears to be the most singular,
important habitat for wildlife populations in the coun-

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From the Field

Sharon Matola
Director, Belize Zoo and
Tropical Education Center
P.O. BOX 1787, Belize City, BELIZE
Phone: ++ (501) 81 30 04
Fax: ++ (501) 81 30 10
E-mail: belizezoo@

A crocodile guards the body of its drowned
prey, a young tapir of less than four months
of age. This amazing event highlights the
potential loss of biodiversity in Belize in the
area where the construction of the Chalillo
dam is planned
Photo by Sharon Matola

Field notes from Eastern Honduras:
Tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) in the
Rio Patuca region

By Josiah Townsend

During a herpetological expedition in July and August
2000 to the Rio Patuca in eastern Honduras some ob-
servations were made of Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii).
The presence of tapirs in Honduras has been docu-
mented and IUCN representatives in the country esti-
mate that 1000-2000 animals survive in the country
today, with a majority of those inhabiting remote east-
ern Honduras. We surveyed the Rio Patuca as well as
several of its tributaries: the Rios Casamacao, Zutawa-
la, and Wasparesni. One adult tapir was sighted in the
Rio Zutawala, and tracks were seen at locations farther
up the Zutawala and also on the Rio Casamacao.


The areas we visited are part of two designated pro-
tected areas: Reserva Anthropologica (R.A.) Tawahka
and the newly created Parque Nacional (P.N.) Patuca.
These are relatively large areas (ca. 2510 km2 and 3750
km2, respectively) and make up part of the largest con-
tiguous stretches of intact forest in Central America.
The lowland tropical forests of this region are currently
protected by the following system of parks: Rio Pla-
tano Biosphere Reserve, R.A. Tawakha, and P.N.

7--. -I

Patuca in Honduras, and the Bosawas National Park in
Nicaragua. The continued contiguity of this corridor
will be difficult to ensure because of the increasing and
unregulated flow of campesinos into the region. These
settlers establish a homestead along the river and then
proceed to cut down the adjacent forest to clear land
for their livestock and crops. Despite this human in-
flux, which has increased markedly since Hurricane
Mitch (October/November 1998), the region still pro-
vides large tracts of suitable habitat for tapirs and the
other large mammals that have become increasing rare
throughout much of Central America.

Parque Nacional Patuca: Officially established on 20th
October 1999, P.N. Patuca was created to protect a
large swathe of forest that borders Nicaragua and is
adjacent to R.A. Tawahka. Fundagion Patuca, a Ger-
man NGO, was instrumental in the creation of the park
and is currently involved in its management, inventory
of and research on its flora and fauna, and the devel-
opment of sustainable agricultural practices for the
campesinos that already live within the park's newly
established boundaries. The park's terrain is typified
by steep forested hillsides and small streams that drain
into the Rio Patuca and its tributaries.


Evidence of tapir activity was observed at three differ-
ent localities along tributaries of the Rio Patuca. Tracks
of an adult tapir as well as a wallow were observed
along a clay-bottomed stream that fed into the Rio

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

From the Field

Casamacao. The topography of this area is character-
ized by steep hills and muddy streamside areas. Vege-
tation in the vicinity can be described as primary forest
with a closed canopy and a minimum of secondary
growth. The tracks were followed for a distance of
approximately 0.5 km along the stream and then up an
adjacent hill into primary forest.

Tapir tracks were also observed in an area of flood-
plain forest along the Rio Zutawala. The Zutawala
floodplain is ca. 2 km wide, with the majority of this
lying on the northern side of the river. The tracks were
observed within 15m of the north bank of the river, on
a game trail that ran roughly parallel to the river. Two
days later, while travelling back down the Rio Zutawa-
la towards the Patuca, a large adult tapir was spotted
while sleeping in vegetation alongside the river. The
tapir was startled by the sudden appearance of our boat
and attempted to flee by swimming along the river's
edge and climbing the steep bank.

While no campesinos we encountered claim to actively
pursue tapirs as a food source, nearly all of them re-
lated that they do kill or attempt to kill tapirs when the
opportunity presents itself. Tapirs are obviously the
largest game animals available, and taking one not only
provides a source of meat but also is considered a sort
of status symbol.


Parque Nacional Patuca provides a large area that
would provide a suitable location for the ecological
study of tapirs. Given the accelerated rate of deforesta-
tion in the region coupled with the value placed on the
tapir as a food item by campesinos, it would be advis-
able for interested parties to conduct a preliminary
census of tapirs as soon as it is feasible. Secondarily,
an education campaign for the campesinos could be
implemented to raise awareness of the endangered
status of this animal and dissuade hunting of the animal
for food.

Josiah Townsend
Division ofHerpetology
Florida Museum of Natural History & Department of
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation
University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611, UNITED STATES
E-mail: jim i, , / 1ii o i 17m, ,,17 i i 1, i


Tapirus terrestris (LINNAEUS, 1758)
(Mammalia, Perissodactyla) In an
Area of Sub-tropical Forest in
Southern Brazil: Diet, Habitat Use
and Population Density

By Renato de Oliveira Affonso

Renato de Oliveira Affonso, has completed his masters
degree at the University of Rio di Janeiro, Brazil. His
thesis is entitled Tapirus terrestris (LINNAEUS, 1758)
(Mammalia, Perissodactyla) in an Area of Sub-tropical
Forest in Southern Brazil: Diet, Habitat Use and
Population Density. The study presents an analysis of
data concerning the diet, habitat use, seed-dispersal
role, and density of the lowland tapir population of the
Parque Florestal Estadual do Turvo in the sub-tropical
forest of the upper Uruguay river basin, Rio Grande do
Sul State, Brazil. Tapir presence was determined by
following fresh tracks and then counting tracks and
faeces located by walking along 910 km cumulative
transects of trail on roads and near creeks. Syagrus
romanzoffiana (Arecaceae) was the main fruit in the
diet of the lowland tapir, replaced by Holocalix balan-
sae (Caesalpiniaceae) and Campomanesia xanthocarpa
(Myrtaceae) when available. Viable seeds of this palm
were found in dung piles, suggesting the possible role
of tapirs as seed dispersers of this plant. The habitual
deposition of dung piles in non-flooded areas could
favour the germination of seeds. The water in perma-
nent swamps, the availability of fruits and the presence
of hunters seem to be the main reason for the differ-
ences regarding habitat use and density observed be-
tween the studied areas in the Park. The estimated den-
sity of the lowland tapir population is below the values
observed for hunted areas in Amazonia. The seasonal-
ity of food resources may be partially related to the
observed values for sub-tropical habitats.

Renato de Oliveira Affonso
E-mail: renato. tapirus@bol. com. br

Professor J.C. Voltolini of the Mammal Ecology
Study Group at the University of Taubate, is starting a
project with two students to monitor the movement in
space and time of tapir, peccaries and their predators
(pumas). Another project on track measurements is

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From the Field

trying to identify statistically significant differences
among ages, soil type and, if possible, a regression
model to predict tapir biomass. This site is crucial for
these large mammals because there is one 40 km trail
used by both poachers and animals throughout the
year. Therefore, the presence of biologists is important
to record tapir movements but is also important to
monitor the area for the presence of poachers.

J. C. Voltolini
Professor, Universidade de Taubate,
Departamento de Biologia
PracaMarcelino Monteiro 63. Taubate, Sdo Paulo,
BRAZIL 12030-010
Phone: ++55 (12) 225 41 65
Fax: ++55 (12) 232 29 47
E-Mail: jcvoltol@aquarius. com. br


A semi-tame tapir has been the inspiration for the crea-
tion of a nature reserve near the village of Sarayacu in
the Ecuadorian Amazon. The presence of the tapir
meant that hunters in the area stopped hunting tapir for
fear of killing this particular female. Anders Siren
wrote to TPF and as a result the project was funded by
Club Tapir. As a result, the reserve is now a reality
and Anders has now turned the project over to the vil-
lagers although he will continue to oversee it.

Mountain Tapir Translocation
Project, Northern Ecuador,
October 1999 May 2000

By Craig Downer

In November 1999, two expeditions took place into
Sangay National Park. The first expedition was to my
former radio-telemetry study area of the early 1990's,
the Culebrillas sector of Sangay National Park. I dis-
covered that a more intense invasion by domestic live-
stock was occurring in that area, driving the mountain
tapirs further away from their former domain. The
second expedition we made was to the Purshi sector of
Sangay National Park. Here, I believed, we would
have an excellent chance to observe mountain tapirs by
walking along the recently constructed Guamote-
Macas road. During our week's stay, we descended to

mid-elevation forests where we did finally see fresh
tracks of a mountain tapir crossing the road. Most
disturbing was the forest destruction occasioned by the
road's construction.

During the first half of December 1999, three volun-
teers and I made the demanding expedition into the
capture site at the salt lick below La Sofia. With three
local guides, we observed several fresh mountain tapir
trails coming and going from the traditional mineral
seep area, which the tapirs have visited for generations
according to native reports.

A capture strategy was formulated involving the bait-
ing of the tapirs either with additional salt and/or pre-
ferred fruits and vegetables. It was determined that the
broad river plain would be safe for helicopter entry
after the tapirs were captured. We returned to camp
after the strenuous expedition. I was looking forward to
returning to the salt lick for the capture within a short

In Feb 2000, I made a trip to the Canyon Aguas Blan-
cas, the Fundacion Golondrina's Reserve in northern
Carchi, where the tapir pair is destined to make its new
home. During my stay, we worked on the construction
of 2.5-meter high poles, as per the corral specifications
I had worked out with the advice of veterinarian Della
Garell at the Cheyenne Mountains Zoo near Colorado
Springs, USA.

In April 2000, we began final preparations for the
translocation attempt. By mid-April, the Brazilian vet-
erinarian, Dr. Jose Roberto Vaz Ferreira, from Sao
Paulo State arrived. Immediately upon his arrival, we
organized all equipment and supplies and drove north
to Carchi. The helicopter preceded us to Tulcan, flying
the day before from its base near Quito. The pilot and
his helicopter remained on standby during all our cap-
ture attempts of the succeeding week. Since the veteri-
narian would not be available for more than a few days
we decided to leave La Sofia for another opportunity
and try the captures in the Garapatal and Culebrillas
forested canyons just to the north of La Bonita. For
nearly a week, we pursued the mountain tapirs near La
Bonita with two hunter teams and their dogs. Although
tracks of several mountain tapirs were trailed, these
tapirs were very wary and were able to evade the hunter
teams by sticking to higher, more precipitous terrain.
They abandoned the canyons where we were trailing
them for a higher and much more distant and inaccessi-
ble habitat to the west. On the final day, these tapirs
were pursued to this distant region, but the ruggedness

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

From the Field

of the terrain and dense forest exhausted the teams by
midday, and we finally had to relinquish our efforts.

As the veterinarian and I concluded with our entou-
rage, this expedition had not been in vain, for we had
gained a measure of just how difficult it was to capture
the tapirs in the vicinity of La Bonita, even with the
best of available teams. It was agreed that we would
have a much greater chance of success at the originally
intended capture site below La Sofia at the salt lick
where they are accustomed to come. At the veterinar-
ian's suggestion, I have now adopted a plan to bait the
mountain tapirs to accustom them to visiting the cap-
ture site over a longer period of time, two weeks to a
month and possibly more.

Craig C. Downer
Wildlife Ecologist
President, Andean Tapir Fund
P.O. Box 456, Minden,
Nevada 89423, UNITED STATES
E-mail: ccdowner@terra. es



Jeremy Holden working in Kerinci Seblat National
Park in Sumatra has sent information and photos re-
garding the Malay tapir situation there. He writes:
Here are the two images of tapir taken during daylight
hours, plus a depressing picture of a tapir in a snare set
for tiger.

The two daylight photographs represent the only full
daylight images of tapir that we have made during over
150,000 hours of camera trapping in Kerinci. Previ-
ously we had made two images of tapir in daylight, but
both one early morning and one late evening could
be classed as crepuscular and not full daylight. The
above images were made at a salt lick between 0800
and 1200h. I had followed this individual over ap-
proximately six kilometres and it had appeared in an-
other of the camera traps along this route, but at night.

The trap picture was taken in August 1997 and shows a
male tapir, that I had previously photographed on the
camera traps, staked out as bait between two tiger
traps. The tapir was almost certainly caught by acci-
dent in a powerful wire spring snare set for tiger.

Diurnal photographs of two Malay tapirs taken at Kerinci Seblat
National Park in Sumatra. Photos by Jeremy Holden

The smashed up saplings around the trap were testa-
ment to the trapped animal's struggle, and a pool of
blood and a slit throat evidence of how it was dis-
patched. The trappers then used the corpse as bait to
bring in a tiger, placing another snare behind the
corpse. Luckily, I found this trap the morning it had
been set and could disarm it. When I visited the site
two days later with rangers from the national park two
Malay sun bears had been feeding on the tapir carrion.
Both of these would, no doubt, have ended up as
corpses too.

Jeremy Holden
Photographer, Flora and Fauna International
P.O. BOX 42, Kantor Pos, Sungai Penuh Kerinci,
Jambi, Sumatra INDONESIA 371000
Phone & Fax: ++(0) 7482 2267
E-mail: pi 'riii, -'

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From the Field

This tapir was caught in a wire spring snare and then
killed for use as tiger bait Photo by Jeremy Holden

Also in Sumatra Matt Linkie is undertaking field-
work on the effects of deforestation on tapirs caused by
subsistence farming. This work is taking place at the
Kerini Seblat national park and has been supported by
TPF and Club Tapir.

Since 1983 Marcel Silvius has undertaken and (sup-
ported through project development and fundraising)
many surveys in peat and freshwater swamp forests in
Indonesia. These surveys, whilst not focusing on the
Malay tapir, have contributed data on the occurrence of
this species in Sumatra. Marcel believes that with the
rapid demise of Indonesia's freshwater and peat swamp
forests (its main habitats) due to reclamation for agri-
culture, unsustainable forestry practices (including
clear felling) and the burning of millions of hectares
associated with these practices, the species is becoming
very much threatened.


Tony Lynam reported the finding of a new Malay
tapir area along the Thai-Myanmar border. He also
reported that tigers, elephant and gaur were in reason-
able abundance.

News from Captivity


Proyecto Danta This project was reported on in the
last edition of this newsletter and is a conservation
project developed by Fundaci6n AndigenA. The pro-
ject has received support from the Tapir Preservation
Fund in the past and another piece of the jigsaw was
put in place when Denis Torres reported that Chorros
de Mila Zoo in Merida, Venezuela received a female
tapir, Simona, in August 2000. Simona is a mate for
Pijiguao who was already there. Simona was sent from
Bararida Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Barquisimeto
in Lara State, Venezuela. She was born in July 1998
and is named Simona because she shares her birthday
with the national liberator of Venezuela, Simon Boli-
var. The transfer of Simona was not without problems
but took place thanks to cooperation between Fun-
dacion AndigenA, Chorros de Milla Park Zoo (Merida,

Venezuela), Bararida Zoo and Botanical Gardens (Bar-
quisimeto, Venezuela) and the Tapir Preservation
Fund. It is an important development for tapir captive
breeding in the region.

Denis Alexander Torres
President, Fundacion AndigenA
Apartado Postal 210, Merida 5101-A, Edo. Merida,
Phone: ++(58) 74 21 99 93
E-mail: fundacioni ii ;i, ,, / 7 i/ 11h .1 ,, iI

Enclosure Effects on Tapir Breeding and Welfare
A project currently being supported by TPF and Club
Tapir is that of Lisa Nordstrom who is examining the
effects of captive enclosures on the health, longevity
and breeding success of captive animals.

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

From Captivity


Report from the EAZA
Tapir & Hippo TAG

The latest meeting was held in Prague in September,
2001. Activities since the last meeting in 2000 were
summarised as follows:

Malay tapir (Tapirus indicus)

* Studbook data (by Helmut Mfgdefrau): The popu-
lation was reduced by two individuals in 2000.
There is a slight tendency for the population to get
younger, mainly because of imports from the AZA
* We need to consider exchanging older individuals
in the future, not just young ones. One male of
thirty years has been demonstrated to have per-
fectly viable sperm.
* Berlin Zoo has tried artificial insemination.

Research: Since the last meeting, Alastair Macdonald
has received a complete Malay tapir placenta from
Copenhagen Zoo. The placenta will be used for struc-
tural examination in accordance with the research pro-
ject described in the minutes from last year's meeting.

Husbandry: The species coordinator has prepared a
husbandry questionnaire to be sent to all holders in
autumn 2001 in order to get baseline data for Malay
tapir management in Europe at present.

The most serious problems identified so far are incom-
patibility behaviorala) and jaw cancer (medical). Ex-
perience has shown a tendency towards problems in
mating if animals are transferred at a very young age.

Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris)

A European studbook for lowland tapir was again pub-
lished by Aude Desmoulins (Lille Zoo, France). Copies
are available from Aude (Mailing Address: Parc Zoo-
logique de Lille, Avenue Mathias Delobel, 59 800
Lille, FRANCE; E-mail:
Aude informed the meeting about the major find-
ings of the studbook and discussed the problem of TB
in tapirs. TB is obviously widespread among lowland
tapirs in Europe, and it was decided to prepare a survey
that could identify the size and distribution of the prob-
lem as well as the different TB types present in tapirs.
Furthermore, it was recommended not to keep lowland

tapirs in groups (to avoid spreading the disease) and to
keep lowland and Malay tapirs apart. So far, TB is not
a big problem among Malay tapirs although their sensi-
tivity to it is well known. No reliable TB tests are
available for the moment. It was mentioned that Metro
Toronto Zoo is working on a reliable TB test for exotic
animals and Aude will contact them.

The studbook keeper also stressed the problem that
many zoos still do not want to give away their off-
spring. This leaves several zoos with single animals not
in breeding situations. Based on the problems with
management, pair formation etc. an upgrade from ESB
to EEP should be considered and the EAZA committee

Future tapir activities in Europe will include:

* Include tapirs in a future TAG survey in order to
get an overview of the overall situation (the last
survey was conducted in 1995).
* Prepare the Regional Collection Plan for tapirs and
hippos (ready early 2002).
* Prepare a survey focusing on TB in lowland tapirs.
* Prepare a research project on tapir nutrition (con-
ducted by Andy Beer, Researcher at Sparsholt
College, UK). See below.

Bengt Hoist
Vice Director, Copenhagen Zoo
EAZA TAG Chair for Tapir & Hippo
Sdr. Fasanvej 79, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, DENMARK

Research Proposal on
Tapir Nutrition

By Andy Beer

The aim of the project is to collect data and informa-
tion on the nutritional intakes, outputs and status of
dietary components of tapir diets in captivity. There is
currently little comprehensive knowledge, which is
reported or published on the subject. Concerns have
arisen recently about the health status of some animals,
and the intention of the investigations is to help set the
baseline data to determine normal values for carbohy-
drates, protein, fat and minerals. A subsidiary aim is to
establish information on gastrointestinal tract anatomy
and structure from necropsy findings.

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From Captivity

Necropsy protocol for tapir research on nutrition
by Andy Beer

1. Please arrange for the necropsy to be carried out as
soon as possible after death as decay sets in very
quickly after body organs have ceased to function.
2. If possible please obtain photographs of the diges-
tive tract in situ (with skin and ribs removed) and
after removal from the abdominal cavity. Please
ensure that the stomach and the hindgut are clearly
visible in the latter case. Digital photographs for
dispatch by e-mail would be particularly appreci-
3. Please empty the contents of the stomach by pour-
ing the contents into a volumetric vessel and re-
cording the result. Please repeat for the caecum and
the colon.
4. Please wash the tract free of superficial blood, and
preserve it in an intact state in a 10% solution of

formalin (containers and preservative will be pro-
vided by the researcher on request).
5. If there is knowledge of impending death or eutha-
nasia, please notify Andy Beer (contact details be-
low) so that arrangements can be made to assist in
the collection of digestive tract anatomy and his-
tology at the time of death.

Andy Beer
Sparsholt College, UNITED KINGDOM
Phone: (44) 1962 77 64 41

Baird's Tapir Studbook
Change of Email Address for the Studbook Keeper -
Joe Roman's email address has changed. It is now:
jroman5@attglobal. net

Contributed Papers

Malayan Tapirs (Tapirus indicus):
Far from Extinction in a Malaysian

By Kae Kawanishi', Melvin Sunquist', and Sahir Oth-
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation,
University of Florida, USA
2 Department of Wildlife and National Parks Penin-
sular Malaysia

Malaysia, Wildlife, and Protected Areas

Since independence in 1957, large areas of productive
lowland forests in Malaysia have been converted into
oil palm and rubber plantations through government
agricultural development schemes. In addition to this
habitat loss and fragmentation, increased demands for
wild meat and high-priced body parts of some wild
animals brought population declines of many large
mammals, including elephant (Elephas maximus),
sambar deer (Cervus unicolor), seladang or gaur (Bos
frontalis), tapir (Tapirus indicus), Sumatran rhinoceros
(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), and tiger (Panthera ti-

gris). The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
and banteng (Bos javanicus) are now believed to be
extinct in Peninsular Malaysia. All of the above species
are totally protected in Malaysia.
Peninsular Malaysia is still forested at 45%, and
about 5.5% of the total land cover is strictly protected.
The existing protected area system relies heavily on its
only national park, Taman Negara. Established in 1938
and largely due to its inaccessibility, the park has re-
mained intact and undisturbed for the most part. It
encompasses 4,343 km2, accounting for 59% of the
total protected area in Peninsular Malaysia. It is not
only the largest park among 13 national parks in the
nation (12 other parks are in East Malaysia), but also
one of the largest in Southeast Asia.
Taman Negara is part of a large contiguous tract
of forest that stretches to southern Thailand. Encom-
passing a total of 27,469 km2, this large forest tract
includes 7,135 km2 in five protected areas (Dinerstein
et al., 1997), offering the best chance for much of the
endangered wildlife in Malaysia. Under the Constitu-
tion of Malaysia, land is a state matter and the State
Executive Committee of each state, not the Federal
Government, is the highest decision-making body con-
cerning land-use policy. In addition to the geographical
significance, Taman Negara thus represents the only

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Contributed Papers

piece of land in Peninsular Malaysia that comes under
direct jurisdiction of the Federal Government. There-
fore, Taman Negara is a stronghold for many of the
endangered species in Malaysia.

Malay tapirs (Tapirus indicus) captured on film by an infrared
camera-trapping system in Taman Negara National Park, Ma-
Photo credit: University of Florida Malaysia Tiger Project.

The UF-Malaysia Tiger Project and Tapirs

Yet, even in this most critical conservation area, eco-
logical data on many endangered species are lacking.
The UF-Malaysia Tiger Project, a joint project between
University of Florida and Department of Wildlife and
National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (DWNP), has been
studying the ecology of tigers and their prey species in
Taman Negara since 1998. Financial support for the
project has been provided by the Save the Tiger Fund,
a special project of the National Fish and Wildlife

Foundation created in partnership with the ExxonMobil
Corporation, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-
Japan, WWF-UK, the Disney Wildlife Conservation
Fund, University of Florida, WWF-Netherlands, 21st
Century Tiger, and Wildlife Conservation Society.
We collect all possible information (sightings,
signs, photo-captures, and interviews) of all medium to
large mammals, assuming that anything above 2 kg
may be food for tigers. Preliminary results suggest that
tapirs are among the most abundant and widespread
large mammals in the sample areas (Kawanishi et al.,
1999). Of 3,900 wildlife photographs collected so far
from three 200-km2 sites, 12.7% are of tapirs, followed
by 12.6% of barking deer (Muntiacus muntjac) and
10.2% of wild boar (Sus scrofa). These appear to be the
three most common large mammals, next to humans
(18.6%), in the area. The majority of the human photo-
graphs are of aborigines living in the park, the others
are of tourists and villagers. Many photographs of ta-
pirs were taken near or on trails leading to saltlicks,
more so than barking deer or wild boar. Nevertheless,
tapirs were photographed at 48% of all camera-trap
locations (n = 132) spread out over the 600 km2 sample
area, whereas wild boar and barking deer were photo-
graphed at 68% and 85% (thus most widespread) of all
trap locations, respectively.
Caution needs to be taken with interpretation of
the number of photographs. The number reflects not
only the abundance but also the activity level of ani-
mals. Furthermore, it does not consider their social
system. For example, one individual tapir at a salt-lick
site can expose an entire roll of film overnight, thus 36
photographs over 24 hours of trapping at that site (=1
trap night). On the other hand, one photograph of wild
boar may contain 10 individual animals, whereas two
individuals per photo have been the maximum group
size photographed for tapirs. These factors, along with
the heterogeneous capture probabilities, mean that the
absolute abundance and number of photos does not
have a correlation coefficient of 1.0. For tigers, which
have unique stripe patterns, we use mark-recapture
population models to estimate the population based on
individually identified tigers on photographs (see Ka-
ranth and Nichols, 1998). A few tapirs have scars on
the bodies that can be used for this purpose, but not all
animals are marked. We will be looking at all images
more closely when the field sampling ends in August
2001 to see if the technique suggested by Holden
(1999) to identify tapirs by examining damage and
injuries to the ears is applicable. Based on finding so-
me individually identifiable animals, we can at least
determine the minimum number known alive, mini-
mum home-range size, and average daily distance tra-

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

veiled for those animals. In addition, we should also
obtain information on general activity patterns and gain
some insights into the social system and reproductive

Camera-trapping and Track-counting
as Monitoring Tools

Two of the objectives of this project are to establish a
monitoring system and to gather baseline information
for many of the endangered species, which includes
tigers and tapirs, in Taman Negara for future monitor-
ing purposes. A statistically defendable estimation of
an absolute density of these large secretive mammals in
rainforests is often difficult and expensive to obtain.
Relative abundance indices (RAI) based on standard-
ized data collected systematically will suffice for com-
paring the population trend among sites and/or over
time. Although we have to assume equal capture prob-
abilities among individual animals and species, this
method is far better than counting the number of tracks
or even photographs and calling it a 'population esti-
mate'. To derive a RAI based on a number of photo-
graphs, we first define 'detection', a unit of observa-
tion, as more than one photograph of a species per trap
night per camera-trap location. This does not eliminate,
but minimizes the effect of the activity level in the
number of photographs and standardizes the analytical
procedure among studies. Basically an RAI based on
camera-trapping data is a ratio of detection over total
trapping efforts. Furthermore, we have devised a tech-
nique to incorporate results from track-count surveys
into results from camera-trapping to derive a combined
RAI as a more robust and easy-to-apply measure of
abundance (see Kawanishi et al. 1999 for more de-
tails). Using this method, DWNP can monitor the trend
of wildlife abundance throughout Malaysia.
The DWNP wildlife database, the clearing house
for data from all inventories and wildlife studies carried
out by DWNP staff, also suggest that tapirs are rela-
tively abundant in many types of forest throughout
Peninsular Malaysia, even in peat swamps.

Tapirs as Food for Humans

Why are tapirs so abundant? Cultural values of wildlife
vary considerably in this multi-racial country, com-
prised of 50% Malays, 33% Chinese, 9% Indians, and
8% other minorities, including aborigines. Due to their
religious beliefs, the Malays do not eat tapirs. Unlike
the situation in Sumatra (Martyr and Holden, 2000), we
are not aware of a regular market for tapir meat in the
Chinese community in Malaysia especially when wild

boar meat is plentiful. Tapir are a totally protected
species and fines of up to RM 5,000 (USD 1,300)
and/or five years in jail may be levied against an offen-
der while wild boar is a protected game animal, mean-
ing that one can obtain a license to hunt boar through-
out the year. So far, DWNP Law Enforcement Division
has filed only one case of a tapir poacher who pos-
sessed a severed tapir head after the flesh was cooked
and served in his restaurant in 1997. Intriguingly, many
Chinese Malaysians are superstitious about this pecu-
liar animal. In China's national language Mandarin, the
tapir is written and pronounced as 'Mo'. The character
is the same but is pronounced as 'Baku' among Japa-
nese who think tapirs are comical cute animals that eat
people's bad dreams while sleeping. It is a sort of
imaginary character. The Chinese Malaysians, how-
ever, more commonly use another word, 'Si-bu-xiang'
for tapirs. A direct translation of this word is 'Four-no-
images/objects', meaning 'four images of no animal' or
'four images and nothing is like it'.
In mainland China, the Chinese use this word 'Si-
bu-xiang' for the Pere David's deer or Mi-lu (Elaphu-
rus davidianus), a peculiar animal that became extinct
in the wild 1800 years ago and has been reintroduced
recently into its former range (Corbet and Hill, 1992).
The Chinese superstitiously believe that Mi-lu is a mix
of horse for its face, deer for its antlers, cow for its
hooves, and donkey for its tail. Strange, yet clearly a
deer, Mi-lu has been consumed as food and ingredients
for traditional Chinese medicine. The Chinese migrated
to Malay Peninsula in the early 15th century, saw the
tapir, and called it a strange 'Si-bu-xiang' because it
looked like a mix of a horse for its face, rhino for its
hooves, elephant for its nose, and pig for its nostrils
and general body shape. Yet it is nothing like deer,
nothing like pig, no other animals resemble tapirs. In-
deed, it is too strange to be consumed. No parts of ta-
pirs are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Then
why doesn't this superstition hold among Chinese in
Sumatra? Unlike Chinese Malaysians, those who mi-
grated to Thailand or Indonesia were not allowed to
retain their culture until recently. Over time they lost
their language and some cultural values. For example,
Chinese Indonesians today have Indonesian names and
speak Indonesian. Not quite Muslim they can eat pigs
and not quite Chinese they eat tapirs.
We do not know if rural Indians in Malaysia hunt
tapirs. We have never heard of tapir curry. Interviews
with aborigines reveal that tapir meat is not palatable
and that the meat or other body parts have little or no
market value. Lastly, in Malaysia tapirs are not the
major culprits for raiding cash crops, therefore they are
not subject of retaliation by villagers.

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Contributed Papers

Tapirs as Food for Tigers

The aspect of tapir ecology most interesting to us is
their anti-predatory behaviour. We have no records of
tapirs being killed by tigers. If jaguars (Panthera onca)
prey on lowland tapirs (T terrestris) (Taber et al.,
1997), then why not tigers on Malay tapirs? Experi-
enced wildlife rangers in Malaysia say that tigers eat
wild boar the most, then barking deer, supplemented by
sambar deer and occasionally primates, mouse deer and
porcupines. What about tapirs? The range countries
where tiger and tapirs occur sympatrically are Malay-
sia, Sumatra, Thailand, and possibly southern Myan-
mar, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Information on either
species from the latter three countries is scarce. The
only tiger food habits data from this region are from
Thailand (Rabinowitz 1989) and tapir was not docu-
mented as a prey for either tigers or leopards. More
than half of the tiger diet in Thailand consisted of bark-
ing deer (42%) and wild boar (9%). Tigers were sur-
viving on relatively smaller prey such as porcupines
(12%) and hog badgers (9%), but did not feed on tapir,
which would have been a more energetically efficient
prey than any of the above. It is possible that tapir,
having short hair, was not detected in the faeces. In the
IUCN Status Survey and Action Plan for Tapirs, Mohd
Khan (1997), the former Director General of DWNP,
wrote, "Tigers (in Malaysia) have been known to kill
tapirs but such cases are few in number." A researcher
in Thailand observed that some tapir captured on film
had deep scarring on the body and he speculated that it
might be a result of escaping a predator (Lynam,
1999). According to our project veterinarian, Dr. Abra-
ham Mathew from the National Zoo Malaysia, tapirs
use their sharp incisors for intraspecific fights, espe-
cially among males, and they often leave nasty scars
more frequently near the rump.
In a discussion of whether tigers can kill an adult
tapir, a TSG member, Debbie Martyr, says,
"...providing the alternative (deer, pig, monkeys) prey
base is sufficient, I don't see why tiger should actively
seek out a large adult tapir. most cats, they pre-
fer easy prey where possible" (Holden and Martyr,
1998). The largest terrestrial obligatory predator has
evolved to take down the largest prey possible. In India
where tigers have been studied for almost four decades,
tigers are known to selectively kill larger prey: gaur,
sambar and adult male chital. An average adult male
gaur weighs 5 times as much as a male tiger (Karanth
and Sunquist, 1995). In India and Nepal, when tigers
have a choice, they go for larger prey. Coincidentally,
large male tapir are about 5 times the weight of male

tigers in Malaysia. By default, tigers should select ta-
Furthermore, tigers are excellent swimmers. In
India, a tiger will sometimes chase deer into water for
an easy kill. The tapirs' ability to dive into water as
defence behaviour against predation by large cats, pos-
tulated in Tapir Conservation (1997, vol. 7 p 2), is
debatable. The Malay tapir's obscure coloration and
extra thick skin around the neck and nape suggest that
tapirs, too, might have evolved to fend off the preda-
tors by protecting its vital region. In our study sites,
where gaur and sambar are rare, it is mysterious that
tapir, the next largest possible prey for tigers, are as
abundant as wild boar and barking deer in some places.
Little is known about tiger predatory behaviour in tro-
pical evergreen rainforests. The question of tapir as
food for tigers remains an enigma at least until a die-
tary analysis of tiger faeces collected in this study is


We would like to thank Dr. Lim Boo Liat and Song
Homg Neo-Liang for their cultural input to this paper.


Corbet, G. B., and J. H. Hill. 1992. The Mammals of
the Indomalayan Region: A Systematic Review.
Oxford University Press, New York.
Dinerstein, E., E. Wikramanayake, J. Robinson, U.
Karanth, A. Rabinowitz, D. Olson, T. Mathew, P.
Hedao, M. Connor, G. Hemley, and D. Bolze.
1997. A Framework for LIk iii High Priority
Areas and Actions for the Conservation of Tigers
in the Wild. World Wildlife Fund-US, Washing-
ton, D. C.
Holden, J. 1999. Photo-trapping in Sumatra. Tapir
Conservation 9 (1): 10-11.
Holden, J. and D. Martyr. 1998. Southern Sumatra.
Tapir Conservation 8: 17.
Khan, M. K. M. 1997. Status and action plan of the
Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) In: D. M. Brooks,
R. E. Bodmer, and S. Matola (eds.), Tapirs: Sta-
tus, Survey and Conservation Action Plan. Pp.
23-28. IUCN.
Karanth, K. U. and J. D. Nichols. 1998. Estimation of
tiger densities in India using photographic cap-
tures and recaptures. Ecology 79: 2852-2862.
Karanth, K. U. and M. E. Sunquist. 1995. Prey selec-
tion by tiger, leopard and dhole in tropical forests.
J. Animal Ecol. 64: 439-450.

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

Kawanishi, K., A. M., Sahak, and M. Sunquist. 1999.
Preliminary analysis on abundance of large mam-
mals at Sungai Relau, Taman Negara. J. Wildlife
and Parks (Malaysia) 17:62-82.
Lynam, T. 1999. Camera-trapping reveals the status of
Malayan tapirs in southern Thailand rainforest
remnants. Tapir Conservation 9(1): 9-10.
Martyr D. and J. Holden. 2000. Regular market exists
for tapir meat in Sumatra. Tapir Conservation
10(1): 16.
Rabinowitz, A. 1989. The density and behaviour of
large cats in a dry tropical forest mosaic in Huai
Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary, Thailand. Nat.
Hist. Bull. Siam Soc. 37(2): 235-251.
Taber, A. B., A. J. Novaro, N. Neris, and F. H. Col-
man. 1997. The food habitats of sympatric jaguar
and puma in the Paraguayan Chaco. Biotropica
29: 204-213.

Kae Kawanishi
34 Jalan BJ4, Taman Bukit Jaya, Ampang 68000,
Selangor, MALAYSIA
Phone & Fax: ++(603) 4107 9748

Recent Observations of Melanistic
Tapirs in Peninsular Malaysia

By Mr. Mohd. Azlan J

Two melanistic or black tapirs (Ta-
pirus indicus spp brevetianus) were
recorded on two occasions in Jeran-
gau Forest Reserve, Ulu Terengganu.
Both of these records were made by
infrared cameras set up to study tiger
presence and movement. The first
record was made on 9th July, 2000 at
19:44hrs at N 40 54.17; E 1030
08.24. This lowland forest was log-
ged over 30 years ago. Only the back
half of the animal was recorded, but
this was sufficient to show the all
black colouring of the tapir (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1. All black Malay tapir recorded by an
infrared camera in Jerangau Forest Re-
serve, Ulu Terengganu, Malaysia.
Photo by Mhd Azlan J

The second record was made on 20th July, 2001:
1:13hrs at N 4 0 59.80; E 103 0 06.36 (Fig.2). This was
in hill forest which was also logged 30 years ago.

Fig. 2 Picture of another specimen without the typical white
colour pattern (saddle).
Photo by Mhd Azlan J.

The only published record on black tapir was by Kui-
per (1926). He described a black tapir in 1924 found in
Babat, a low-lying plain of Palembang, Sumatra, Indo-
nesia. He noted that the adult male tapir was com-
pletely black. He proposed a separate subspecies for
this animal based on a presumed genetic basis for this

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Contributed Papers

Within Jerangau Forest Reserve, we have found that
the occurrence of black tapirs is very low. From a total
of 3314 photographs taken over a period of 21 months,
280 tapir were recorded, of which only two individuals
were black. This, of course, raises doubt as to whether
or not the black tapir is really a subspecies or, that it is
indeed a variation in coloration of Tapirus indicus.

It would be of interest to initiate basic genetic studies
to understand the genetic differences between Tapirus
indicus and the subspecies described by Kuiper. Jeran-
gau Forest Reserve would provide a useful study-base
for such studies. Further information is desperately
needed to develop effective conservation strategies for
the Malay tapir in general. Basic facts about their biol-
ogy, behaviour, ecology and range are still lacking.


The author would like to thank WWF UK, WWF Ja-
pan, British Hicom and Guinness Anchor (M) for mak-
ing this research possible and Dr. Dionysius Sharma
for his comments.


Kuiper, K., 1926. On a black variety of the Malay tapir
(Tapirus indicus) Proc. Zool. Soc. London, pp. 425-

Mohd Azlan J.
49, Jalan SS23/15, Taman SEA, 47400 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, MALAYSIA
E-mail: Mazlan@wwf org. my

International Tapir Survey in Several
European and North American Zoos

By Stefan Seitz


The public perception of tapirs in captivity has never
been the subject of a specific investigation. The first
extensive visitor study was conducted during a re-
search project for a doctoral degree in zoo biology in
Germany, Switzerland, and the United States between
1997 and 2000. The entire research topic goes beyond
the scope of this newsletter, so I will focus on the re-

sults of a spot check questionnaire among zoo goers
(precisely: tapir watchers). Altogether, their answers
can be of some importance. The nine zoos included in
the study are: Los Angeles and San Diego Zoos in Ca-
lifornia, USA, Zurich Zoo in Switzerland, as well as
Berlin Zoo, Dortmund Zoo, Heidelberg Zoo, Hella-
brunn Animal Park at Munich, Nuremberg Animal
Gardens and Wuppertal Zoo in Germany. Among the-
se, 14 exhibits are distributed between the four tapir
species as follows: Tapirus indicus (6), T terrestris
(4), T. bairdii (3), T. pinchaque (1).


To ensure a high resonance and reliability, participants
have been chosen after equal criteria everywhere: Wat-
ching tapirs and speaking English or German were
required before being questioned. 479 visitors (149 in
the US) in front of the outdoor enclosures filled out a
two-page questionnaire concerning 10 subjects. Ques-
tions referred to peoples' impressions and knowledge,
and offered multiple choice answers and short notes.
The presented percentages in this article either refer to
the number of participants or to the number of ques-
tions answered. Where questions allowed several an-
swers, their sum may exceed 100%. The following
paragraphs represent the results.


1. Attention to the tapirs
The tapir exhibits are commonly reached by visitors
while walking on a circuit through the zoo (64.1%), i.e.
more or less by coincidence. The animals themselves
attract 27.3% of passing visitors by their shape or col-
our. Activities, and vocalization reach only 9.6%. This
is no surprise, as most visitors approach the enclosures
whilst the animals are resting. Planned visits (8.1%)
have several reasons, e.g., the tapir is the visitor's fa-
vourite animal or they want to see the baby, other rea-
sons are because it has a funny name or a rare animal.
Enclosures (7.3%), signboards (6.1%), and houses
(7.9%, where existing) are of minor importance. Other
reasons for a visit include: special interest, picnic,
searching for elephants, or "to watch it eat ants" (alto-
gether 10.2%).

Question number 2 and 3 refer to single enclosures
being judged as either positive, negative, or neutral
after nine criteria (see below). Without giving detailed
descriptions of each facility, just a general overview
seems useful at this point.

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

2. Impressions of outdoor enclosures
People give most critical assessments to enclosure size,
vegetation cover and availability of water. There are,
indeed, great differences between the zoos. The largest
exhibit received approval by 71.0%, the densest vege-
tation by 83.3%, and the biggest pool by 88.9% of the
participants. In one case, dense vegetation in the visitor
area leads to high approval of the exhibit (69.4%),
although there is no natural vegetation in reach of the
animals (except for some browse). The nature of the
substrate cannot be judged very well by laymen. Wire
mesh (37.5%) is less popular than obstacle free view-
ing above low fences or moats (71.2%). The position
of the enclosure within the zoo is generally highly ap-
proved basically because the methodology of the sur-
vey means that everyone questioned were already in
front of the exhibit.

3. Impressions of Signboards
The position of signboards at the enclosure has a direct
influence on their use. Approval ranges between 16.0%
and 83.3%. The best arrangement reaches 77.4% (lar-
ge, coloured table), the oldest sign 4.0% (included just
name of the species, picture, and distribution; now
replaced). The quality of information ranges up to
76.7% of positive judgement. People are predomi-
nantly interested in facts like natural distribution, "life-
style", habitat, diet, name and behaviour of the ani-
mals. Endangered status, facts about reproduction, and
history of individuals should not be forgotten. To hit
the nail squarely on the head, a visitor wrote: "Tidbits I
can easily memorize."

4. Source of Knowledge
Former zoo visits are the most important source of
being familiar with tapirs (57.0%), followed by televi-
sion (45.3%). 33.0% of the zoo goers state tapirs be-
long in their general knowledge. Literature (25.5%) is
of greater importance than biology lessons (15.0%),
while radio is definitely low in imparting tapir notes
(0.6%). 14.0% of the visitors watched tapirs for the
first time when asked. Other sources are: books and
games for children, crosswords, vacations in Belize,
Costa Rica, and Venezuela, articles in National Geo-
graphic, and, last but not least, Stanley Kubrick's sci-
ence-fiction "2001 A Space Odyssey" (together

5. Popularity of Tapirs
No method was suitable to detect any difference in
acceptance between the four species, apart from the
personal survey: Every participant was pleased to give
a grade between 10 (very much) and 1 (not at all) re-

garding their personal pleasure at watching tapirs. Still
keeping a high mean value, lowland tapirs are least
attractive (7.4). Baird's tapirs gather slightly higher
grades (7.7), while mountain tapirs reach 8.5 in aver-
age. In the Malay tapir, results vary greatly between
7.4 and 8.5 depending on the display. This results in
an average of 7.9. A baby of the latter species ("wa-
termelon" stage showing shape of the saddle) attracted
9.3. Some remarks were given, among them: cute,
lovely, different, unusual, interesting "odd" looking,
fun to watch, no entertainment value.

Once detected, tapir babies become attractive to visitors, like
the Malay tapir INDAH at the Dortmund Zoo.
Photo by Stefan Seitz

Tapirs were the favourite animal of 19 participants.
The categorized ranking of 401 namings includes: 1.
carnivores, 2. primates, 3. hoofstock, 4. elephants, 5.
sea mammals, 6. others.

The following five questions tested people's knowledge
about the general biology of tapirs (387 participants).

6. Diet
91.5% class tapirs as vegetarians. 8.0% thought they
ate a mixed diet and 0.5% think tapirs are carnivores.
Altogether, these amounts seem to represent their regu-
lar diet.

7. Habitat
Tropical rainforests are believed to be the most suitable
habitat (62.0%). Temperate forests (18.1%), dry re-
gions (12.4%), and open waters (8.8%) are the alterna-
tives given. In front of two exhibits in US zoos, the
majority of people crossed temperate forests as first

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Contributed Papers

8. Relatives
The ranking of the supposed closest relatives of
tapirs are: anteaters (30.2%), pigs (26.1%), rhinos
(22.0%), horses (17.3%), hippos (15.5.%), and ele-
phants (7.2%). The anteater is also the animal tapirs are
most often mistaken for (see publication mentioned
below). The contradiction between the supposed diet
and closest relatives is revealing. Right answers are
particularly promoted by information on signboards.

9. Functions of the Proboscis
The importance of the short proboscis as an olfactory
organ is most obvious (73.6%). Digging (58.9%),
touching (55.8%), and grabbing (43.7%) seem to be
probable functions for many people, too. Drinking
(23.8%) and trumpeting (7.8%) are definitely incorrect
functions of the trunk. The second rank for digging is
evocative of pigs (digging behavior is rarely seen in
tapirs). One visitor added "to snorkel" because he had
read it on a sign.

10. Function of Black and White Colouration
Three quarters of visitors have correctly thought that
camouflage is the function of the contrasting black and
white colour in Malayan tapirs (76.5%). Deterrence of
enemies is the decision of 13.2%, a better identification
of individuals was chosen by 8.5%. Asking for further
examples, 57 different animals have been named: ze-
bras, various pets (e.g., Hampshire pigs, Dalmatian
dogs), wild boar piglets (compared with tapir babies by
Europeans only), pandas, and skunks are known best.


The survey shows the personal opinions of those zoo
goers interested in tapirs. Results are probably different
from the "average" visitor. The number of people fa-
miliar with tapirs or calling them a favourite might
decrease elsewhere. Asking the same general questions
outside zoological gardens could be an interesting sup-
plement to the study conducted. The answers at differ-
ent zoo settings are quite comparable across continents
and cultures and should therefore be sufficiently repre-
sentative. General differences between American and
European visitors do not exist in this context.

Zoos should not lose their important role of public
education. Better arrangements of enclosures and sign-
boards could help to increase an interest in those ani-
mals that are easily "overlooked". Active tapirs present
themselves successfully (e.g., when running, playing,
swimming). Unfortunately, the most attractive tapirs
are the rarest ones. Concerning people's knowledge, a

majority get the right impressions about diet, habitat
and functions of different morphological structures.
Only the relationship question makes participants help-
less, even biology teachers! People often become sur-
prised (not to say "shocked") when told that tapirs are
the closest relatives to the well-known horses and rhi-
noceros. Fortunately, such aha-experience is easily

Knowledge about Tapir Biology

Right and wrong assessments concerning basic aspects of tapir
biology (n = 387).
Graphic by Stefan Seitz


I would like to thank the visitors (remaining anony-
mous) who participated in the survey, the staff from all
the zoos I worked in (mentioned above), and Sheryl
Todd, president of the Tapir Preservation Fund. The
Association of Friends and Supporters of the Zoologi-
cal Museum at the University of Heidelberg, the Ger-
man Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and the
German Research Community (DFG) are gratefully
mentioned for their financial support.

Further Information

A related article "In the name of the tapir: Confusions
and conclusions" from International Zoo News No. 300
is available on the web (
300/IZN-300.html), as well as a summary of my thesis

Stefan Seitz
PhD. Zoo Biologist
Member of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Bonndorfer Strasse 19, 68239 Mannheim, GERMANY
E-mail: tapirseitz(

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group



In this chapter, we would like to present periodically
the most current publications about tapirs. An encour-
aging amount of articles appeared in books and jour-
nals during the last few years.

Not only scientific investigations and theses, but also
well-founded views in public or zoo magazines will be
mentioned. Please let us know about new records. A
list of articles published in previous volumes of Tapir
Conservation will be prepared.


Kinahan, A. 2000. Preference testing in captive, Brazi-
lian tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) at Dublin Zoo: are
captive animals' needs different from their wild
counterparts? Advances in FiEh i, ,.\ 35 (Supple-
ments to Ethology), 43.

Mangini, P. R.; Gasino-Joineau, M. E.; Carvalho-
Patricio, M. A.; Fortes, M. A. T; Gongalves, M.
L. L.; Martins, T. D. M.; Medici, E. P.; Cullen Jr,
L. 2000. AvaliagAo da ocorrencia de titulos posi-
tivos para doengas infecto-contagiosas em uma
populagio selvagem de Tapirus terrestris, na re-
giAo do Pontal do Paranapanema, SAo Paulo. In:
Abstracts Book of the XXII National Congress of
Zoos /IVInternational Meeting ofZoos. Belo Ho-
rizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Medici, E. P.; Valladares-Padua, C. B. 2001. Um enfo-
que inovador, antas como "detetives da paisa-
gem". In: Abstracts Book of the V International
Conference on Wildlife Management in Amazonia
and Latin America: Ungulate Workshop. Funda-
ci6n Natura and Florida University. Cartagena de
Indias, Colombia.

Scientific Investigations

Downer, C. C. 2000. Observations on the diet and ha-
bitat of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque).
Journal of Zoology 254: 279-291.

Downer, C. C. 2001. Geplantes Projekt fir den Sangay
National Park in Ecuador. ZGAP Mitteilungen
(Zoologische Gesellschaft fir Arten- und Popula-
tionsschutz e.V.) 17 (1): 18-19. [in German]

Fragoso, J. M. V.; Huffman, J. M. 2000. Seed-dispersal
and seedling recruitment patterns by the last Ne-
otropical megafaunal element in Amazonia, the
tapir. Journal of Tropical Ecology 16: 369-385.

Herrera J. C.; Taber, A.; Wallace, R. B.; Painter L.
1999. Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) Behavi-
oral Ecology in a Southern Amazonian Tropical
Forest. Vida Silvestre Neotropical 8 (1-8): 31-37.

Holbrook, L. T. 2002. The unusual development of the
sagittal crest in the Brazilian tapir (Tapirus ter-
restris). Journal of Zoology 256: 215-219.

Lizcano, D. J.; Cavelier, J. 2000. Daily and seasonal
activity of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque)
in the Central Andes of Columbia. Journal of
Zoology 252: 429-435.

Lizcano, D. J.; Cavelier, J. 2000. Densidad Poblacional
y Disponibilidad de Habitat de la Danta de Mon-
taqa (Tapirus pinchaque) en los Andes Centrales
de Colombia. Biotropica 32: 165-173 [in Spanish]

Lizcano, D. J.; Cavelier, J. 2002. Geographic distribu-
tion and population size of the mountain tapir
(Tapirus pinchaque) in Colombia. Journal ofBio-
geography 28: 1-9 [in press]

Murphy M. R.; Masters J. M.; Moore D. M.; Glass H.
D.; Hughes R. E.; Crissey S. D. 1997. Tapir (Ta-
pirus) enteroliths. Zoo Biology 16: 427-433.

Salas, L. A.; Kim, J. B. 2000. Spatial Factors and Sto-
chasticity in the Evaluation of Sustainable Hun-
ting of Tapirs. Journal of Zoology 252: 429-435.

Schtirer, U.; Kauffels, T. 1999. Erste Nachzucht des
Mittelamerikanischen Tapirs, Tapirus bairdii
(Gill, 1865), im Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal.
D. Zool. Garten N.F. 69 (3): 188-191.

Seitz, S. 2000. Feeders and fecal scents for Malayan
tapirs. The Shape ofEnrichment 9 (1): 6-7.

Seitz, S. 2000. In the name of the tapir: confusions and
conclusions. Int. Zoo News 47 (3): 148-160.

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002


Seitz, S. 2000. Individual, intra- and interspecific be-
haviour of Tapirus terrestris (Linnaeus, 1766) on
a South American zoo exhibit in relation to space
and time. Zoocriaderos 3 (2): 13-27.

Witmer, L. M.; Sampson, S. D.; Solounias, N. 1999.
The proboscis of tapirs (Mammalia: Perissodacty-
la): a case study in novel narial anatomy. Journal
ofZoology 249: 249-267.

Book Chapters

Gade, D. W. 1999. Epilepsy, Magic, and the Tapir in
Andean America. In: Gade, D. W. (Ed.): Nature
and Culture in the Andes. The University of Wis-
consin Press, Wisconsin and London. 118-136.

Janssen, D. L.; Rideout, B. A.; Edwards, M. S. 1999.
Tapir Medicine. In: Fowler, M.E.; Miller, R. E.
(Eds.): Zoo & Wild Animal Medicine. Philadel-
phia, W. B. Saunders Company. 562-568.

Medici, E. P. 2001. Order Perissodactyla, Family Tapi-
ridae (Tapirs): Biology. In: Fowler, M. E.; Cubas,
Z. S. (Eds.): Biology, Medicine, and Surgery of
South American Wild Animals. Iowa State Uni-
versity Press, Ames, Iowa. 363-367.

Montenegro, O. L.; Medici, E. P.; Bodmer, R. E. 2000.
Conservaci6n e manejo de tapires latinoamerica-
nos. In: Cabrera, E.; Mercolli, C.; Resquin, R.
(Eds.): Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en Amazonia y
Latinoambrica. Fundaci6n Moises Bertoni and
Florida University, Asunci6n, Paraguay. 295-299.

Nunes, L. A. V.; Mangini, P. R.; Ferreira, J. R. V.
2001. Order Perissodactyla, Family Tapiridae
(Tapirs): Capture and Medicine. In: Fowler, M.
E.; Cubas, Z. S. (Eds.): Biology, Medicine, and
Surgery of South American Wild Animals. Iowa
State University Press, Ames, Iowa. 367-376.

Todd, S.; Matola, S. 2001. Tapir. In: Bell, C. E. (Ed.):
Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos. Vol. 3 (R-Z).
Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, Chicago and Lon-
don. 1204-1209.


Cohn, J. P. 2000. On the tapir's tapering trail. Americas
52 (1): 40-47.

McLaughlin, R. 1999. Odds & ends make a magnifi-
cent beast. Zoonooz 72 (4): 8-13.

Sontag, W. 2002. Lebende Fossilien. Tapire friedli-
che, scheue Vegetarier von archaischer Gestalt.
Wiener Zeitung EXTRA, 5./6. April: 7.

Zscheile, K. 2001. Tapire Gestalten aus grauer Vor-
zeit. Flamingo (Schweriner Zoo-Journal) 3 (2): 6.

Dissertations & Theses

Miiller, A. 2001. Die Auswirkungen von Environmental
Enrichment bei Flachlandtapiren im Zoo Osna-
briick. Hausarbeit im Rahmen der ersten Staats-
priifung fur das Lehramt an Realschulen. Univer-
sitat Osnabriick, Fachbereich Biologie/Chemie.
[in German]

Oliveira Affonso, R. de 2001. Tapirus terrestris
(LINNAEUS, 1758) (Mammalia, Perissodactyla)
in an Area of Sub-tropical Forest in Southern
Brazil: Diet, Habitat Use and Population Density.
Master's thesis, University of Rio di Janeiro,

Seitz, S. 2001. Vergleichende Untersuchungen zu Ver-
halten und Schauwert von Tapiren (Familie Tapi-
ridae) in Zoologischen Garten. Doctoral thesis,
University of Heidelberg, Germany. Cuvillier,
Gottingen. 380 pp. [in German]

Taylor, E. 2000. The captive behaviour of Malayan
tapirs in an enriched and non enriching enclosu-
re. Dissertation, Sparsholt College, Hampshire,
United Kingdom.

Fiction & Nonfiction

Royte, E. 2001. The tapir's morning bath Mysteries
of the tropical rain forest and the scientists who
are trying to solve them. Houghton Mifflin Com-
pany, Boston, New York. 328 pp.

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


Tapir Discovery

By Stefan Seitz and Kate Wilson (1999)

not a common name,
though they deserve much wider fame -
so brace yourself for facts and features
on these snouting, squeaking creatures.

We used to think that tapirs walked
alone, disliked each other, balked
at friendship, stayed apart;
but now we find that at the heart,
the tapir is a social beast
and goes by twos or threes, at least.


Kin they are to horse and rhino,
but have no mane or horn that I know
(except the lowland tapirs sport
a ridge of neck-hair, very short.)
Some can weigh eight hundred pounds.
All speak in clicks and whistling sounds.

The body's stocky, with short tail,
which helps the tapir clear a trail
through dense, damp forests, tropically,
of old and new world, topically.
And of their presence, these are proofs:
imprintings of all fourteen hoofs.

The short and splodgy trunk works well
for grabbing, touching, sniffing, smell.
This snout helps tapirs in the wood
to find and eat their favourite food:
enjoying all the night and day
soft leaves, sweet fruits, and grass, and hay.

In the water, tapirs thrive;
they swim quite well. They even dive!

In thirteen months, a mom gives birth:
one offspring starts its life on earth.
The young have spots and stripes (how cute);
but as they grow, their colours mute
except the Asian's he turns black
with one white saddle on his back.

With good teeth and nose and ears,
A tapir lives some thirty years,
except ... well...
they're endangered. Man
will skin and eat them where he can,
but even worse, deforestation
means all tapirs in creation


< ,



And so I write this paper:
Save the rainforests, save the tapir.

You didn't know? It doesn't matter.
Now you know the tapirs better!

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Tapir Specialist Group

IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group Membership / Directions

1. Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy (Taiwan)
PhD. Associate Professor, Sun Yat-sen University
P.O. BOX 59-157, Kaohsiung, TAIWAN 80424
Phone: ++(886) 7525 2000 Ext. 3623
Fax: -(886) 7525 3623
E-mail: agoram@mail.

2. Aldan, Epigmenio Cruz (Mexico)
MSc. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y Ecologia
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, P.O. BOX 6, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, Mexico 29000
Phone: ++(961) 44 765 / 44 459 / 44 701
Fax: -(961) 44 700

3. Andrade, Dario Marcelino Guiris (Mexico)
MSc. M.V.Z. Jefe de Operaciones, UN.A.CH./Policlinica y
Diagn6stico Veterinario
Blvd. Angel Albino Corzo # 635, Zona Militar, Tuxtla
Gutierrez, Chiapas, MEXICO 29079
Phone & Fax: ++(01) 9614 42 14

4. Arenas, Sergio Sandoval (Colombia)
Research Assistant, La Planada Nature Reserve
Apartado Postal 15-62, Pasto Narino, Colombia or AA 9925,
Bogota, Colombia
Phone & Fax: ++(57) 1 289 1570

5. Ayala, Guido (Bolivia)
MSc. Ec6logo de Vida Silvestre, Wildlife Conservation
Society Bolivia
Office Address: Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif. San
Miguel Bloque 1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA
Mailing Address: Casilla No. 3-35181 San Miguel, La Paz,
Phone: -(591) 2 2772455 / 22117969 / 22126905
Fax: -(591) 2 2772455
E-mail: or or

6. Barongi, Rick (United States)
Director, Houston Zoological Gardens
1513 N. MacGregor, Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(713) 284 13 70
Fax: -(713) 284 13 77

7. Blanco, Pilar Alexander (Venezuela)
D.V.M. Medico Veterinario, INPARQUES, Parque Zool6gico
Las Delicias
Investigador Asociado, Earthmatters. Org.
Av. Las Delicias Norte, Parque Zool6gico Las Delicias,
Departamento de Veterinaria
Maracay, 2101-A, Aragua, VENEZUELA
Phone & Fax: -+58 (243) 241 39 33

8. Bodmer, Richard (United Kingdom)
PhD. Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, Eliot College,
University of Kent
Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NS, UNITED KINGDOM
Phone: ++44 (1227) 823 233
Fax: ++44 (1227) 827 289

9. Carrizales, H6ctor Andr6s Rojas (Mexico)
Biologist, Procuradoria Federal de Protecci6n al Ambiente
Asesores en el Manejo de Recursos Naturales, S.A. de C.V.
Carretera Ajusco, 200, 60 piso, Col. Jardines em La
Montana, Mexico DF, Mexico
Calle Nicolas Bravo 22-B, Barrio La Conchita, Chalco,
Estado de Mexico, Mexico 56600
Phone: ++00 (52) 5587 1293
Fax: --00 (52) 5587 1293
E-mail: or

10. Castellanos, Armando xavier (Ecuador)
Licenciado, Researcher, Fundaci6n Espiritu del Bosque
Barcelona 311 y Tolosa, Pichincha, Quito, Ecuador
Phone: ++(593) 2 239 703
Fax: -(593) 2 504 452
E-mail: or

11. Chalukian, Silvia (Argentina)
MSc. Coordinadora Areas Protegidas, Secretaria Medio
Ambiente y Des. Sust.
Balcarce 388, Salta, Salta, Argentina 4400
Phone & Fax: -+54 (387) 421 49 44

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

12. Chong, Mike H.N. (Malaysia)
Co-ordinator, Freelance Naturalist, Bird Guide
Asian Raptor Research & Conservation Network-Information
Centre / Nature tours
233-C, Jalan Bandar 13, Melawati Metro, Kuala Lumpur,
Phone & Fax: -6 (03) 4105 6492

13. Colbert, Matthew (United States)
Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences,
University of Texas
Austin, Texas, UNITED STATES 78712
Phone: ++(512) 471 02 60
Fax: -(512) 471 94 25
OBS: Evolution Consultant

14. Constantino, Emilio (Colombia)
Biodiversity and Conservation Coordinator
Red de Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil
Avenida 9 norte No. 22-07, Barrio Santa Monica, Cali,
Phone: ++(57) 2 660 61 33 / 2 653 45 39
Fax: -(57) 2 660 61 33
OBS: Species Coordinator: Mountain Tapirs

15. Cuar6n, Alfredo D. (Mexico)
Departamento de Ecologia de los Recursos Naturales
Institute de Ecologia, UNAM
Apartado Postal 27-3 (Xangari), Morelia, Michoacan 58089,
Phone: ++52 (4) 322 27 86 / (5) 623 27 86 / (4) 322 27 77
Ext. UNAM 32786
Fax: -+52 (4) 322 27 19 / (5) 623 27 19

16. Dee, Michael (United States)
General Curator, Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(323) 644 42 54
Fax: -(323) 662 97 86
E-mail: or

17. Downer, Craig C. (United States)
President, Andean Tapir Fund
P.O. BOX 456, Minden, Nevada, UNITED STATES 89423-
Phone: ++(775) 267 34 84
Fax: -(775) 747 16 42

18. Flesher, Kevin (United States)
PhD. Graduate Student, Rutgers University
55 Dudley Road, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey,
Phone: ++(732) 932 91 53 Ext. 351

19. Fl6rez, Franz Kaston (Colombia)
President, Fundacion Apas, Universidad del Tolima
Oficina 19-04, Ibague, Tolima, Colombia
Phone: ++(033) 331 98 69
Fax: -(571) 617 00 68

20. Foerster, Charles R (United States / Costa Rica)
Project Leader, Baird's Tapir Project, Corcovado National
Park, Costa Rica
445 CR 221, Orange Grove, Texas, UNITED STATES 78372
Phone & Fax: -(719) 228 06 28
OBS: Deputy Chair; Coordinator, Proposal Endorsement;
Fundraising Coordinator

21. Fragoso, Jose manuel vieira (United States)
College of Environmental Science and Forestry SUNY
6 Illick Hall, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse, New York, UNITED
STATES 13210-2778
Phone: ++1 (315) 470 67 92
Fax: ++1 (315) 470 69 34

22. Franklin, Neil (Indonesia)
Technical Advisor, Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program
Prima Lingkar Asri B2/12, Jatibening, Bekasi, INDONESIA
Phone & Fax: ++62 (21) 865 01 14

23. Frohring, Heidi (United States)
Zookeeper, Woodland Park Zoological Gardens
2649 N.W. 60th St Seattle, Washington, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(206) 782 59 64
E-mail: or
OBS: Coordinator, Zoos

24. Galetti, Mauro (Brazil)
PhD. Assistant Professor, Departamento de Ecologia,
UNESP Rio Claro
Avenida 24-A, 1515, CP 199, Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Phone: ++55 (19) 526 41 45 / Fax: ++55 (19) 534 00 09

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Tapir Specialist Group

25. Galindo maldonado, Francisco (Mexico)
PhD. Department Manager, Depto. de Etologia, Fauna
Silvestre y Animales de Lab.
Fac. Medicine Veterinaria y Zootecnia, Universidad Nacional
Autonoma de Mexico
Ciudad Universitaria, Cd. Mexico DF, MEXICO 04510
Phone: ++52 (5) 622 59 41 / 622 59 42 / 622 58 59
Fax: --52 (5) 616 23 42

26. Garrell, Della (United States)
D.V.M. Director of Conservation and Animal Health, Chey-
enne Mountain Zoo
4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado,
Phone: ++(719) 633 99 25 Ext. 120
Fax: -(719) 633 22 54

27. Greene, Lewis (United States)
Director, Prospect Park Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society
AZA Tapir TAG coordinator for Baird's tapirs
450 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, UNITED
STATES 11225-3707
Phone: ++(718) 399 73 10
Fax: -(718) 399 73 37

28. Harris, William Bob (United States)
Animal Care Specialist, Peace River Refuge
4300 SW County Road 769, Arcadia, Florida, UNITED
STATES 34266-5956
3695 Winkler Avenue Ext. # 725, Fort Myers, Florida,
Phone: -(863) 993 45 29

29. Hernandez-Divers, Sonia M. (United States)
Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine, University
of Georgia
Veterinary Advisor, American Zoo and Aquarium Association
(AZA) Tapir TAG
197 East Creek Bend, Athens, Georgia, UNITED STATES
Phone: -+1 (706) 548 34 14
OBS: Coordinator, Veterinary Support

30. Holden, Jeremy (Indonesia)
Photographer, Flora and Fauna International
P.O. BOX 42, Kantor Pos, Sungai Penuh Kerinci, Jambi,
Sumatra Indonesia 371000

Phone & Fax: -(0) 7482 2267

31. Hoist, Bengt (Denmark)
MSc. Vice Director, Copenhagen Zoo; European Tapir TAG
Sdr. Fasanvej 79, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, DENMARK
Phone: ++(45) 72 200 200 / 72 200 220
Fax: -(45) 72 200 219

32. Jacomo, Anah Teresa de Almeida (Brazil)
PhD. Candidate, Brasilia University (UnB); Associacgo PRO
Av. Perimetral Norte, 10999, BI. 05, Apto. 103, Res. Mirante
do Sol
Goiania, Goias, BRAZIL 74665-510
Phone: -+55 (62) 205 67 81 / (62) 9953 7566

33. Janssen, Donald L. (United States)
PhD. Director, Veterinary Services, San Diego Wild Animal
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, San Diego, California,
UNITED STATES 92027-7017
Phone: -(760) 291 54 01
Fax: ++(760) 747 31 68

34. Kaewsirisuk, Suwat (Thailand)
Chief, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Royal Forest Depart-
ment of Thailand
P.O. BOX 3, Waeng District, Narathiwat, Thailand 96160
Fax: ++(073) 336 294

35. Kanchanasaka, Budsabong (Thailand)
Government Official, National Parks and Wildlife Research
Royal Forestry Department of Thailand
Paholgothin Road, Chatujak, Bangkhen, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: ++(662) 940 71 59
Fax: ++(662) 579 98 74

36. Kawanishi, Kae (Malaysia)
PhD. Candidate, Research Biologist, UF-Malaysia Tiger
34 Jalan BJ4, Taman Bukit Jaya, Ampang, Selangor,
Phone & Fax: -(603) 4107 9748

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

37. Kranz, Karl r. (United States)
Director of Biological Programs, Jacksonville Zoological
8605 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Florida, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(904) 757 44 63 Ext. 212
Fax: -(904) 714 44 41

38. Lizcano, Diego (Colombia)
Researcher, UNIANDES
A. A. 53804, Bogota 0107, DC, Colombia
Phone: -(57) 1 281 42 56

39. Lynam, Antony (Thailand)
PhD. Associate Conservation Ecologist, Wildlife Conserva-
tion Society
P.O. BOX 170, Laksi, Bangkok, THAILAND 10210
Phone & Fax: -+66 (2) 574 06 83

40. Mangini, Paulo Rogerio (Brazil)
MSc. M.V.Z. Associate Researcher, IPE Instituto de
Pesquisas Ecol6gicas
Professor, Pontificia Universidade Cat6lica do Parana
Scientific Coordinator, Vida Livre Medicina de Animais
Rua Coronel Dulcidio, 1879, Curitiba, Parana, BRAZIL
Phone: -+55 (41) 243 49 77 / 629 11 27
E-mail: or

41. Martyr, Deborah (Indonesia)
Team Leader, Flora and Fauna International
P.O. BOX 42, Kantor Pos, Sungai Penuh Kerinci, Jambi
13007, Sumatra, Indonesia
Phone: ++00 (0) 7482 2267 / 7462 1846
Fax: -+00 (0) 7482 2267

42. Massague, Celia Batlle (Mexico)
MSc. Candidate
C/Ramon Berenguer IV, 28, CP. 43850, CAMBRILS, Tar-
ragona, Spain
E-mail: or bmassa-

43. Matola, Sharon (United States / Belize)
Director, Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
P.O. BOX 1787, Belize City, Belize
Phone: --(501) 81 30 04 / Fax: --(501) 81 30 10

44. Medici, Patricia (Brazil)
MSc. Researcher, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas
(Institute for Ecological Research)
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio,
Sao Paulo, BRAZIL 19280-000
Phone: ++55 (18) 3282 4690
E-mail: or
OBS: Chair

45. Meijaard, Erik (The Netherlands Australia)
Post-Graduate Researcher, Department of Archaeology and
Australian National University
1/14 Portus Place, Bruce, 2617 ACT, Canberra, AUSTRALIA
Phone: -61 (2) 6125 3557
Fax: -61 (2) 6251 0193

46. Mejia, JaimeAndr6s Suarez (Colombia)
Administrador Ambiental (Environmental Manager)
Researcher, Enviromental Sciences, Universidad
Tecnol6gica de Pereira
Carrera 4 bis #24-33, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia
Phone & Fax: -(57) 6321 2443

47. Mejia, Roberto Galvez (Mexico)
Licenciado en Biologia, Tecnico "A", Instituto de Historia
Natural y Ecologia
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, Colonia El Zapotal, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, Mexico 29000
Phone: ++9 (61) 44765 / 44701
Fax: ++9 (61) 44700

48. Mollinedo, Manuel A. (United States)
Director, Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, California, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++(323) 644 42 61
Fax: --(323) 644 42 06

49. Montenegro, Olga Lucia (Peru / Colombia)
PhD. Candidate, University of Florida
"Docente Adscrita", Instituto de Ciencias Naturales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Av. 1 de Mayo, # 39 A 49 Sur, Bogota, Colombia
Phone: ++(571) 203 55 82

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Tapir Specialist Group

50. Naranjo, Eduardo J. (Mexico)
PhD. Researcher, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Carr. Panamericana, Ap. 63, San Cristobal de Las Casas,
Chiapas, Mexico 29290
Phone: ++(52) 9678 1884
Fax: -(52) 9678 2322
OBS: Species Coordinator, Central American Tapir

51. Naveda, Adrian Jose (Venezuela)
T.S.U. en Recursos Naturales Renovables
Associated Researcher, EarthMatters. Org.
Apartado Postal 4845, Maracay, Edo. Aragua, Venezuela
Phone & Fax: ++(352) 378 53 18

52. Novarino, Wilson (Indonesia)
Lecturer, Dept. Biology FMIPA, Andalas University
Jurusan Biologi FMIPA, Fakultas Matematika dan Ilmu
Pengetahuan Alam,
Kampus Limau Manis, Padang, Sumatera Barat, West
Sumatra, Indonesia 25163
Phone & Fax: ++(62) 0751 71343

53. Nuiez, Ruben (Ecuador)
President, Fundacion Banos 2000, Fundacion Tapir y
Biodiversidad Ecuador
Universidad Escuela Politecnica Ecologica Amazonica -
Barrio Ecologico 5 de Junio, Calle Rocafuerte 806 y Juan
Leon Mera, P.O. BOX 1803
Bahos, Tungurahua, Ecuador
Phone: ++59 (303) 740 447
E-mail: or

54. Ortega, Morty (United States)
Dr. Assistant Professor, Dept. Natural Resources Manage-
ment and Eng.
University of Connecticut
Unit 4087, Storrs, Connecticut, UNITED STATES 06269-
Phone: ++(860) 486 01 61 / 486 28 40
Fax: -(860) 486 54 08

55. Othman, Sahir (Malaysia)
Director of Research and Conservation
Jabatan Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara
Km. 10, Jalan Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 56100
Phone: ++(603) 9075 2872

Fax: ++(603) 9075 2873

56. Paris-Garcia, Alberto (Mexico)
M.V.Z. Gerente del Departamento de Veterinaria, Africam
11 Oriente 2407, Col. Azcarate, Puebla, MEXICO 72007
Phone: -(22) 36 09 33 / Fax: -(22) 36 30 49

57. Prayurasiddhi, Theerapat (Thailand)
PhD. Technical Forest Official, Royal Forest Department of
61 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchack, Bangkok, THAILAND
Phone: ++66 (2) 561 42 92 Ext. 797
Fax: ++66 (2) 579 70 48

58. Salas, Leonardo (Venezuela/ United States)
PhD. Candidate, Holdsworth Natural Resources Center,
University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts, UNITED STATES 01003-4210
Phone: ++(413) 545 12 37
Fax: ++(413) 545 43 58

59. Sanchez, Sergio Guerrero (Mexico)
Asistente de Investigador, Instituto de Historia Natural y
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, Colonia El Zapotal
P.O. BOX 6, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico 29000
Phone: ++9 (61) 44765 / 44459 / 44701
Fax: -9 (61) 44700

60. Sarria, Javier (Colombia/ Brazil)
M.V.Z. Researcher, PhD. Candidate, Universidade do
Estado de Sao Paulo (UNESP)
Rua Mimi Alemagna, 192, Centro, Jaboticabal, BRAZIL
Rua Alameda Augusto Cesar No. 71, Jaboticabal, Sao
Paulo, BRAZIL 14870-280
Phone: -+55 (16) 3203 6950 / (16) 3209 2678

61. Seitz, Stefan (Germany)
PhD. Tapir Behaviour and Management in Captivity
Bonndorfer Strasse 19, 68239 Mannheim, Germany
Phone & Fax: -+49 (621) 471 428
OBS: Newsletter Editor, Layout and Graphics

June 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

62. Shoemaker, Alan (United States)
330 Shareditch Road
Columbia, South Carolina, UNITED STATES 29210
Phone: -+1 (803) 772-6701
OBS: Red List Authority

63. Spitzer, Carlos Erik Muench (Mexico)
Biologist, Departamento de Ecologia y Sistematica Terrestre
El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)
Carretera Panamericana y Periferico Sur, s/n, C.P. 29290,
San Crist6bal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Calle 18 de Julio, 29, Colonia Gilberto Palacios de la Rosa,
Chapingo, Texcoco, MEXICO 56230
Phone: -(967) 87 896 or (595) 46 976

64. Tilson, Ronald (United States)
PhD. Director of Conservation, Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, Minnesota, UNITED STATES
Phone: -+1 (952) 431 92 67
Fax: -+1 (952) 431 94 52

65. Todd, Sheryl (United States)
President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
40 West Bond Street #101, Astoria, Oregon, UNITED
STATES 97103
P.O. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon, UNITED STATES 97103
Phone: -(503) 325 31 79

66. Torres, Denis Alexander (Venezuela)
President, Fundacion Andigena
Apartado Postal 210, Merida 5101-A, Edo. Merida,
Phone: -(58) 74 21 99 93
OBS: Species Coordinator, Lowland Tapirs

67. Torres, Ivan Lira (Mexico)
MSc. M.V.Z. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, P.O. BOX 6, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, Mexico 29000
Phone: ++(961) 44 765 / 44 459 / 44 701
Fax: -(961) 44 700

68. van Strien, Nico (The Netherlands I Indonesia)
PhD. SE Asia Coordinator, International Rhino Foundation
Tower 3, Unit 23B, Kondominium Taman Anggrek, Lt 6,
JI. Let. Jen. S. Parman Kav 21. Slipi, Jakarta, INDONESIA
Phone: ++62 (21) 560 94 01
Fax: ++62 (21) 560 94 02
Julianaweg 2, 3941DM, Doom, the Netherlands
Phone: ++31 (343) 420 445
Fax: -+31 (343) 420 447
OBS: Species Coordinator, Malay Tapir

69. Wallace, Robert B. (Bolivia)
PhD. Associate Conservation Zoologist, Wildlife Conserva-
tion Society, Madidi
Office Address: Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif. San
Miguel Bloque 1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA
Mailing Address: Casilla No. 3-35181 San Miguel, La Paz,
Phone: ++(591) 2 2772455 / 22117969 / 22126905
Fax: -(591) 2 2772455

70. Waters, Sian (United Kingdom)
M.Phil. Conservation and Zoo Biologist
14 Lindsay Gardens
Tredegar, Gwent
Phone: ++44 (0) 1495 722117
E-mail: sian s
OBS: Newsletter Editor, Contributions

71. Watkins, Graham (Guyana)
PhD. Senior Wildlife Biologist, Interim Project Implementation
Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest Conservation
and Development
67 Bel Air, P.O. BOX 10630, Georgetown, Guyana
Phone: ++(592) 225 15 04
Fax: -(592) 225 91 99
E-mail: or

Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Vol. 11 / No. 1 June 2002

Tapir Specialist Group

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group Structure and Positions

Some of the Group's Specialists (from left to right): Matthew
Colbert, Denis Alexander Torres, Emilio Constantino, Heidi
Frohring, Nico van Strien, Patricia Medici Sonia Hernandez-
Divers, Eduardo Naranjo.
Photo by Steven Hernandez-Divers

Patricia Medici, Brazil (

Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica

Newsletter Editors:
Sian Waters, UK (sian s
Stefan Seitz, Germany (

Baird's Tapir Coordinator:
Eduardo Naranjo, Mexico

Mountain Tapir Coordinator:
Emilio Constantino, Colombia

Lowland Tapir Coordinator:
Denis Alexander Torres, Venezuela

Malay Tapir Coordinator:
Nico van Strien, The Netherlands (

Sheryl Todd, United States (

Banker (via TPF):
Sheryl Todd, United States (

List Serve Moderator:
Mike Chong, Malaysia (

Fundraising Coordinator:
Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica

Fundraising Committee:
Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica
Patricia Medici, Brazil (
William Bob Harris, United States
Heidi Frohring, United States

Tapir Action Plan Review Coordinators:
Patricia Medici, Brazil (
Alfredo Cuaron, Mexico (

Zoo Coordinator:
Heidi Frohring, United States

Veterinary Support Coordinator:
Sonia Hernandez-Divers, United States

Red List Authority:
Alan Shoemaker, United States

Red List Committee:
Eduardo Naranjo, Mexico
Emilio Constantino, Colombia
Denis Alexander Torres, Venezuela
Nico van Strien, The Netherlands

Evolution Consultant:
Matthew Colbert, United States

June 2002 Vol. 11 /No. 1 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs