Group Title: Tapir conservation (Print)
Title: Tapir conservation
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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: December 2005
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: VID00018
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


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ISSN 1813-2286
Volume 14/2 U No. 18
December 2005


Tapir Conservation

Edited by Leonardo Salas and Stefan Seitz

0 From the
I Project
0 News from
the Field
0 Ask the

1 4


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




Tapi Consevatio

Volume 14/2 U No. 18 E December 2005

From the Chair
Letter from the Chair Patricia Medici
Heidi Jean Frohring, 1967-2005

TSG Committee Reports
Action Planning for Tapir Conservation
Marketing Committee and Website
Zoo Committee

Project Updates
Lowland Tapir Footprint Identification Technique
Lineamientos sobre la Conservaci6n de Tapirus terrestris
- Primer Encuentro de Instituciones Argentinas
Ex Situ Progress Resulting from the Baird's Tapir PHVA

News from the Field
Estimating the Genetic Diversity of Mountain Tapir
Populations in Colombia: A Joint Effort
First Ever Notes on Tapir Reproduction in the Wild

Contributed Papers
Diet of Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) Introduced in a Salt Marsh
Area of the Baixada do Massiambu, State Park of the Serra
do Tabuleiro Santa Catarina, South of Brazil
Habitat Use and Density of the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus
indicus) in the Taratak Forest Reserve, Sumatra, Indonesia

Ask the Experts
A Risk in Low Numbers: What Diseases to Look for?
You can help! Compiling a Global Literature Database
of Tapir Species

IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group
Membership Directory

IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group

Notes for Contributors

The views expressed in Tapir Conservation are those of the
authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the IUCN/SSC
Tapir Specialist Group or Houston Zoological Gardens. This
publication may be photocopied for private use only and the
copyright remains that of the Tapir Specialist Group. Copyright
for all photographs herein remains with the individual photo-

Additional photo credits: Gilia Angell (p. 3, p. 10: all except of
low right, p. I : all in right column). Cover photographs with
friendly permission of Wilson Novarino, Indonesia, and Sky One
Television, UK 2005.



Editorial Board



& Distribution


Tapir Cons.


William Konstant

Leonardo Salas

Diego J. Lizcano

Alan H. Shoemaker

PilarAlexander Blanco Marquez

Matthew Colbert

Anders Gongalves da Silva

Angela Glatston

Patricia Medici

Sheryl Todd

Leonardo Salas

Stefan Seitz

Kelly J. Russo

Rick Barongi

This issue is kindly sponsored by Houston Zoo
Inc., Cons. Program Asst., Kelly Russo, 1513 North
Mac Gregor, Houston,Texas 77030, USA.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Fro th hi

Letter from the Chair

Patricia Medici

This time around I would like to start this letter by
stating how thrilled and awed I am by the level
of involvement and commitment of Tapir Specialist
Group members. It is fantastic to see how well our
TSG structure has been functioning, how wonderful-
ly our committees have been progressing with their
goals and actions, and how hard our members have
been working. It is truly amazing to observe the com-
mitment and dedication of so many people spread all
over the planet. It is mind-boggling to
think that it is all voluntary work and
that most of these people actually use
money from their own pockets to be
able to conduct their activities within
the group. I strongly believe that the
TSG network has reached a level
of communication, cooperation and
effectiveness never before seen in the
history of the group, which certainly
has very positive effects on the quality
of our work.
As you will probably remember,
during the Second International
Tapir Symposium held in Panama in
January 2004, we developed the TSG
Plans for Action 2004-2005. This
document consisted of a list of short- .A -
term priority goals and actions that we, Participants c
as a group, should achieve if we were and HabitatV
to be more effective advocates for tapir
conservation. The document included
an ambitious list of 27 priority goals and 55 specific
actions that we committed to put into practice before
the Third Symposium in Argentina in January 2006.
As one of the many activities we have been conducting
in order to get prepared for the Third Symposium, we
are reviewing the TSG Plans for Action in order to be
able to make a presentation in Argentina and inform
everyone about the actions that have been completed.
So far, my reckoning is that over the past 19 months we
have achieved 70% of the actions listed on the Panama
document, which is really impressive and proves my
point that our membership is working harder and har-
der every day.
On the action planning front, we have just come
back from Belize, Central America, where we held the

"Baird's Tapir Conservation Workshop: Population and
Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)" from August 15
to 19, 2005, the third workshop of a series of four,
and another very successful meeting for the TSG. We
had 60 participants from Belize, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama, as
well as a number of TSG officers and international
participants. Considering that there are four tapir
species, and that three of them (Malay, mountain and
Baird's tapirs) have been the focus of previous PHVA
workshops we have now finalized 75% of the second
version of the Tapir Action Plan. We are now left with
one last species to work with the lowland tapir and
this fourth PHVA Workshop will be held by late 2006

f the Baird's Tapir Conservation Workshop: Population
ability Assessment (PHVA), held in Belize, August 2005.

or early 2007 in Brazil. For further details about the
PHVA workshops please see the article included in this
Speaking of action planning, I would like to let you
know that the Colombian Ministry of Environment has
printed and distributed the "Programa Nacional para
la Conservaci6n del G6nero Tapirus en Colombia"
(National Program for the Conservation of the Genus
Tapirus in Colombia). The Colombian Action Plan was
developed through an inter-institutional partnership
between the Colombian Ministry of Environment and
the Natural Science Institute of the National University
of Colombia, as part of a National Strategic Plan for
Endangered Species Conservation in the country. The
preliminary version of the document was written by

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Cover of the
briefing book
published for
the Baird'sTapir
Workshop in


.' i.-

TSG member Olga Montenegro and discussed during
a national workshop held at the Otin-Quimbaya Flora
and Fauna National Sanctuary in August 2002. Fifty
professionals attended the workshop, including re-
presentatives of the Ministry of Environment, regional
environmental agencies, national parks, zoos, research
institutions, universities and TSG members. The
publication of this document is a major achievement
given the fact that the Ministry of Environment official-
ly recognizes tapirs as priority species for conservati-
on under the Colombian policies. Each action listed
in the document can be easily turned into a project,
therefore the document can be seen as a strategic plan
with measurable achievements that can be followed
through time, with specific goals and expected results.
Moreover, the document also represents the first
updated National Action Plan for a tapir range coun-
try, which is one of the goals outlined in the Panama

A major task we have been taking care of right now
I s the organization of the Third International Tapir
Symposium, which will be held in Buenos Aires,
Argentina, from January 26 to 31, 2006. The First
International Tapir Symposium, held in San Jos6, Costa
Rica, in November 2001, and the Second International
Tapir Symposium, held in Panama City, Republic of
Panama, in January 2004, attracted hundreds of tapir
experts and conservationists from over 30 different
countries, and proved to be critical occasions for tapir
conservation worldwide. The Third International Tapir
Symposium, which is being organized by the TSG, the
Fundaci6n Temaik6n in Argentina, and the Houston
Zoo Inc., will once again bring together a multi-faceted
group of tapir experts, including field biologists, envi-
ronmental educators, captivity specialists, academics,
researchers, veterinarians, governmental authorities,



Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

politicians and other interested parties. The first
part of the symposium will consist of presentations
by tapir researchers, keynote speakers and other
professionals addressing tapir biology, research, con-
servation, and management. Session topics will cover
a wide range of issues relevant to tapir conservation,
such as field research, population management, hus-
bandry, fundraising, marketing, governmental regula-
tions, eco-tourism, education, veterinary issues etc.
The second part of the symposium will be devoted
to reports from all TSG committee coordinators, and
workshops addressing some of the most serious issu-
es facing tapir conservation today, such as action plan-
ning, tapir husbandry and captive management, tapir
biogeography and paleontology, tapir/human conflicts,
and tapir management reintroductionss and translo-
cations). Additionally, we will review the goals and
actions listed in the TSG Plans for Action 2004-2005
developed in Panama, and work on a brand new plan
of action for the group. All sessions will be conducted
in English and simultaneously translated into Spanish.
This third symposium promises to be even larger and
more successful than the first two meetings and at least
150 participants from over 25 countries are expected
to attend the third one. The institutional supporters
of the symposium are the American Zoo and Aquarium
Association (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)
and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
(EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), and the
funding will come from conservation organizations,
mostly zoological institutions, in the United States and

something else worth mentioning is the produc-
tion of a tapir documentary by Sky One satellite
Television in the United Kingdom. TSG member
Charles Foerster, who has been conducting field

Cover of the
Program for the
Conservation of
the Genus Tapirus
in Colombia,
published by the
Ministry of


research on Baird's tapirs in Corcovado National Park,
Costa Rica, for the past eleven years, was visited by
Tiger Aspect documentary filmmakers for the making
of "Final Chance to Save..." which broadcasted on Sky
One TV in early September. Sky One introduces the
start of a new documentary series that highlights the
potential extinction of some of the world's most famous
species. Working with Tiger Aspect Productions, the
series follows a team of experts assisted by a well-
known personality. Each documentary highlights the
plight of the world's most endangered animals, inclu-
ding the orangutans of Borneo, Kenya's black rhino,
Costa Rica's tapirs and the Caribbean's sea turtles. In
the case of the tapir documentary, the celebrity involved
was the British comedian, Vic Reeves. "Final Chance
To Save" also explains what individuals can do to assist
with the conservation of the focal species, and both
Sky One and the producers of the tapir show were very
generous in agreeing to mention TSG and our work
and what people can do to help. Additionally, Sky One
has linked their website to the TSG website and we
have been receiving dozens of e-mail messages from
people in the UK who saw the documentary and want
to make donations to the TSG Conservation Fund. The
kind of publicity that the show brought to the general
public is difficult to achieve on our own, considering
that we do not have funds for media relationships in
our budget.
All in all, our fantastic team of tapir experts,
researchers and partners has been moving steadily
towards achieving our goals and following our plans.
Meanwhile, research on many fronts has also provi-
ded new clues vital for our conservation work. Carlos
Pedraza reports about the population genetics work his
team of TSG members is conducting (a combination of
GIS and genetics) to survey Mountain tapir populati-
ons in Colombia. Their methodology will represent an
important step forward for tapir conservation because
it will hopefully allow researchers to census and sur-
vey animals with direct non-invasive evidence and also
measure potential detrimental effects of fragmentation.
Similarly, the WildTrack project is gathering data for
the development of preliminary tools for surveying
tapir populations with footprints, which is also of
paramount importance, because this method could be
readily used by any field researcher at a very low cost.
Wilson Novarino reports findings with his camera trap
study on Malay tapirs and how they use their habitat,
while a new publication with the first report of tapir
copulation, gestation length and interbirth interval was
put out by Juan de Dios Valdez Leal. You will read
about all these above research results and progress
achievements in this issue of the Newsletter.
I am sure you will find our collective work and syn-
ergism as impressive, humbling and awe-inspiring as I
do. Let's keep up this momentum.

Hope to see you all in Buenos Aires in January.

My very best wishes from Brazil,

Patricia Medici
M.Sc. Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management
PhD Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and
Ecology (DICE), University of Kent at Canterbury
Lowland Tapir Project, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist
Group (CBSG) Brasil Regional Network
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio,
CEP: 19280-000, Sdo Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4690
Cell Phone: +55-18-8119-3839
E-mail: or

Heidi Jean Frohring,


By Patricia Medici & Sheryl Todd

t is with great sadness that we write to inform our
Tapir Conservation Newsletter readers that our dear
friend Heidi Frohring, tapir keeper at the Woodland
Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington, United States, passed
away on May 1st, 2005.

Heidi Frohring and one of her charges, a Malay tapir
baby at the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle.

You might have met Heidi around the tapir enclo-
sure at the zoo. If you did, you would not forget her.
Tall, red-haired, vivacious, and always happy to talk to

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Heidi Frohring
visiting Patricia
Medici in Brazil,

visitors about the Malay tapirs she cared for so much,
and about her belief that tapirs in zoos are ambassa-
dors for the endangered animals in the wild. Heidi was
an amazing keeper with respect to her attitude towards
both the animals and the visitors, and she was a per-
son with irrepressible energy and personality.
In 1998, when Pati (Patricia Medici) had just star-
ted her lowland tapir work in Brazil, Heidi got the
Woodland Park Zoo involved supporting the project
and IPE and WPZ started a partnership that lasts
until today. She was also a generous contributor to
tapir field research, and made several donations to
Pati's project. In 2001 Heidi spent three weeks visiting
Morro Do Diabo State Park in Brazil and helping Pati's
team with a tapir capture round. Also in 2001, Heidi
became a member of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG) and always worked hard to promote tapir
conservation worldwide, both in captivity and in the
Heidi's passing has left a huge sadness in many
lives. But she was a fun-loving person, and we try to
remember her that way.
Her family has suggested creating a memorial in
her honor through contributions made to the Tapir
Preservation Fund. Hence, the Heidi Frohring Memorial
Fund will be kept as a perpetual memorial by the Tapir
Preservation Fund. Donations will be used for the
tapir projects we believe Heidi would have wanted to
fund most. As of August 2, 2005, US$ 2,595 has been
donated. Our many thanks to the contributors to this
The first disbursement of Heidi's fund was to
help support Elena Rivadeneyra's Baird's tapir pro-
ject in Mexico, titled: "Habitos Alimentarios del Tapir
(Tapirus bairdii) en la Reserva de la Bi6sfera Montes
Azules, Chiapas, M6xico" (Feeding Habits of the Tapir
(Tapirus bairdii) in the Montes Azules Biosphere
Reserve, Chiapas, Mexico). Support covers US$ 200
per month and runs from June 2005 to December
2005 or January 2006. Ongoing donations are very
welcome, because our goal is to keep a support base in
Heidi's fund for additional and future projects.

Patricia Medici
M.Sc. Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management
PhD Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and
Ecology (DICE), University of Kent at Canterbury
Lowland Tapir Project, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist
Group (CBSG) Brasil Regional Network
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio,
CEP: 19280-000, Sdo Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4690
Cell Phone: +55-18-8119-3839
E-mail: or

Sheryl Todd
President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
PO. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon 97103, United States
Phone: +1-503-325-3179

Action Planning

for Tapir Conservation

By Patricia Medici & Sidn Waters

Section plans are designed to promote species
conservation strategies backed by sound scientific
information, which is synthesized and translated into
prioritized conservation recommendations suggesting
realistic solutions through specific actions. These
documents are designed for any person or decision-
making body to promote or catalyze conservation action
financially, technically, or logistically, influencing key
players in the conservation sphere at local, national,
regional, and global levels. They provide a common
framework and focus for a range of players from
decision-makers at the governmental level, to those
who will implement the conservation recommendations
on the ground. Scientists, resource managers, agency
officials, funding organizations, universities, zoological
institutions, and political leaders utilize them when
deciding how to allocate available resources. Action
plans give all available information needed to explain
why species conservation actions must be undertaken,
including the conservation status of the species and
major problems associated with its viability and long-

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


term survival; they also provide specific management
recommendations to conduct to maintain or improve
species' population levels and mitigate threats. Action
plans are also "snapshots in time", providing a baseline
set of data and information against which to measure
change and monitor progress, indicating where changes
of emphasis or direction may be needed to conserve the
species. Further, they identify gaps in species research
and policy and give direction for future endeavors on
what data and knowledge are needed most. Lastly,
Action Plans are "living documents", to be reviewed and
updated periodically as our knowledge on the species
and conservation problems improve over time.


U o

Cover of the
Malay Tapir
PHVA Final
Report, published
and distributed in
2003. This report
is available online
on theTSG
website and can
be downloaded in
PDF format.

Jessica Amanzo, field researcher from Peru, presenting
results of the Population Biology working group.

Dom Ovidio Paya,
Governor of the
Cabildo Indigena de
Gaitania in Tolima,
presenting results
of the Community
Participation working

For the past three years, our TSG Action Planning
Committee has been working tirelessly, making every
effort to conclude the work of revising and updating the
first version of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Status Survey and

Conservation Action Plan edited by Daniel Brooks,
Richard E. Bodmer and Sharon Matola in 1997. To
that end, we would like to inform you all that we have
all just come back from Belize, Central America, where

Cover of the
Mountain Tapir
PHVA Final
Report, published
and distributed
in 2005. This
report is availab-
le online on the
TSG website and
can be downloa-
ded in PDF for-

Regional and International Cooperation working group.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

Malay Tapir
(Tapirus Indicus)
C;onmnervln Workshop

- I,

L~.M. 1~.S. C.PYIIt 0~



Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)


Location: LanchangTraining Center, Krau Wildlife Reserve,

Date: 12-16 August, 2003

Number of Participants: 35 (Malaysia 21; Indonesia 4;
Thailand 3;TSG Officers, CBSG Facilitators and International
Participants 7)

CBSG Facilitator(s): Amy Camacho (CBSG Mexico)

CBSG Modeler(s): Philip Miller (CBSG HQ)

Organization/Institutional Support: IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG); European Association of Zoos
and Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG);
IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG);
Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks
(DWNP); and American Zoo and Aquarium Association
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG).

Financial Support: Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark; Malaysian
Department ofWildlife and National Parks (DWNP);Wildlife
Conservation Society Thailand; and Idea Wild, United

we held the "Baird's Tapir Conservation Workshop:
Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)"
from August 15 to 19, 2005, the third workshop of a
series of four, and another very successful event for
the Tapir Specialist Group. We had approximately
70 participants from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Panama, as well as
a number of TSG officers and committee coordinators
and members, and international participants. We are
all extremely satisfied with the results of the workshop
and we now have clear and concrete actions to be put
into practice in the short, medium and long-term in
order to conserve this endangered species.
As you will probably remember, a few years ago
we selected the PHVA methodology as the most appro-
priate and efficient way to develop updated versions of
the Action Plans for each one of the four tapir species.

Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)


Location: Ottn-Quimbaya Fauna and Flora Sanctuary,
Pereira, Colombia

Date: 12-15 October, 2004

Number of Participants: 66 (Colombia 49; Ecuador 8;
Peru I; TSG Officers, CBSG Facilitators and International
Participants 8)

CBSG Facilitator(s): Amy Camacho and Luis Carrillo
(CBSG Mexico)

CBSG Modeler(s): Philip Miller (CBSG HQ)

Organization/Institutional Support: IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG); Colombian Tapir Network, Colombia;
IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG);
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Tapir Taxon
Advisory Group (TAG); European Association of Zoos and
Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG); and
Houston Zoo Inc., United States.

Financial Support: American Zoo and Aquarium
Association (AZA) TapirTaxon Advisory Group (TAG), United
States;WorldWildlife Fund (WWF)- Colombia; Conservation
International Colombia; Unidad Administrativa Especial
del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia
(UAESPNN); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of
International Conservation, United States; Houston Zoo Inc.,
United States; Copenhagen Zoo, Denmark; Los Angeles Zoo,
United States; and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, United States.

Many different tools and processes can be used to eva-
luate the status of wildlife populations and to develop
Action Plans. The PHVA workshop process is one of
these tools and is designed to bring together the full
range of groups with a strong interest in the conserva-
tion of the species in its habitat. This allows a shared
understanding amongst all the stakeholders about the
threats facing the species and of the diversity of per-
spectives surrounding its management. The primary
focus of a PHVA workshop is a risk assessment of the
in situ and ex situ populations and the development

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Population and HabitatViability Assessment (PHVA)


Location: The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
(TEC), Belize, Central America

Date: I5-19 August, 2005

Number of Participants: 60 (Belize 4; Colombia 3;
Costa Rica 9; Guatemala I I; Honduras 6; Mexico I I;
Panama 4;TSG Officers, CBSG Facilitators and International
Participants 12)

CBSG Facilitator(s): Amy Camacho and Luis Carrillo
(CBSG Mexico)

CBSG Modeler(s): Philip Miller (CBSG HQ) and Anders
Goncalves da Silva (CBSG Brasil)

Organization/Institutional Support: IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG); Houston Zoo Inc., United States;
The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (TEC), Belize;
IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG);
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Tapir Taxon
Advisory Group (TAG); and European Association of Zoos
and Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG).

Financial Support: Conservation International's Critical
Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), United States; TSG
Conservation Fund (TSGCF); Houston Zoo Inc., United
States; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of International
Conservation, United States; Chicago Board of Trade
Endangered Species Fund, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago Zoological
Society, United States; Milwaukee County Zoological
Gardens, United States; XCARET Zoo, Mexico; World
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), Switzerland;
Nashville Zoo, United States; Sedgwick County Zoo, United
States;Virginia Zoo, United States; Bergen County Zoological
Park, United States; Los Angeles Zoo, United States; San
Diego Zoo, United States; Franklin Park Zoo, United States;
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo, United States; Jacksonville Zoo
and Gardens, United States; Louisiana Purchase Zoo, United
States; Wuppertal Zoo, Germany; BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo,
United States; Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo Conservation
Fund, United States; Brevard Zoo, United States; Lee
Richardson Zoo, United States; and Private Donations.

Population and Habitat Viability Assessment (PHVA)



Location: Brazil (venue to be confirmed)

Date: Late 2006 / Early 2007
(exact dates to be confirmed)

Expected Number of Participants:
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French
Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, TSG
Facilitators and International Participants)

60 (Argentina,
Guyana, Guiana,
Officers, CBSG

CBSG Facilitator(s): Patricia Medici (CBSG Brasil)

CBSG Modeler(s): Anders Goncalves da Silva (CBSG
Brasil), Arnaud Desbiez (CBSG Brasil), and Alexandre
Nascimento (CBSG Brasil)

Organization/Institutional Support: IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG); Houston Zoo Inc., United States;
IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
Brazil Regional Network; IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research); American
Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory
Group (TAG); and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria
(EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG).

of recommendations for species conservation. In the
PHVA workshop, structured analysis of problems is
used to develop creative and inclusive solutions, goals
and actions.
Considering that there are four tapir species, and
that three of them have been the focus of previous
PHVA workshops Malay Tapir PHVA Workshop held
in Malaysia in 2003, Mountain Tapir PHVA Workshop
held in Colombia in 2004, and Baird's Tapir PHVA
Workshop held in Belize in 2005 we can now say
that we have finalized 75% of the second version of
the Tapir Action Plan, listing and prioritizing strategies
and actions for the conservation of the three species
and their remaining habitats. The English version of
the Malay Tapir Action Plan, as well as Spanish and
English versions of the Mountain Tapir Action Plan
are available online on the TSG website and can be
downloaded in PDF format. Spanish and English

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Population Biology working group. Participants from Costa Rica.

Community Participation Working Group. Participants from Guatemala.

Plenary Session. Participants from Honduras.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


TSG officers and representatives of the AZATapirTAG. Participants from Belize.

Participants from Mexico. Participants from Colombia.

Dr. Philip Miller, Senior Program Officer of the IUCN/
SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
presenting results of the Vortex modeling.

Participants from Panama.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


versions of the Baird's Tapir Action Plan will be
available on the website in early 2006. We are now left
with one last species to work with the Lowland Tapir -
and this fourth PHVA Workshop should be held by late
2006 or early 2007 in Brazil. For further details about
the previous PHVA workshops and preliminary details
about the upcoming Lowland Tapir PHVA, please see
the information included below.
In addition, our TSG Country Coordinators keep
working hard on the development of their National
Action Plans for Tapir Conservation, and we should
have at least 30% of these plans ready to be presented
at the Third International Tapir Symposium to be held
in January 2006, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Besides
producing the Species Action Plans through conduc-
ting PHVA Workshops, we strongly believe that the
National Action Plans will have a very important role
detailing the local/regional realities, conservation sta-
tus and threats, developing specific goals and actions
for each one of the tapir range countries in South and
Central America and Southeast Asia. We do expect to
have all Species Action Plans and National Action Plans
finalized and online on the TSG website by the end of
A great deal of progress has been made with a lot of
hard work going into fundraising and organizing these
PHVA workshops around the world. However, the
development and publication of these action planning
documents cannot be the end of the task. The hardest
part of this process is to carry out and accomplish all
the goals and actions included in these plans. In order
to do this, we believe that assistance and support must
be provided to all those TSG members whose names
appear beside actions in the Action Plans. To this
end we have briefly discussed the development of an
Action Plan Taskforce to be constantly reviewing the
action plans and providing help and support for pro-
posal development, writing and fundraising, political
lobbying, technical assistance for genetic and epidemi-
ological issues, husbandry issues, human/tapir conflict
issues, management issues etc. The Malay Tapir Action
Plan was developed over two years ago and is already
at the halfway stage so we now need to assess how
much progress has been made and how much more
still needs to be achieved. Many other species action
plans have been developed with lots of enthusiasm,
hard work and money spent; yet, many sit on shelves
never to be looked at again. We want to, and will, find a
way to prevent that from happening to the tapir action
plans, so please feel free to share your ideas with us on
how we can make sure that all our goals in these plans
are achieved.

Patricia Medici
M.Sc. Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management
PhD Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and

Ecology (DICE), University of Kent at Canterbury
Lowland Tapir Project, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist
Group (CBSG) Brasil Regional Network
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio,
CEP: 19280-000, Sdo Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4690
Cell Phone: +55-18-8119-3839
E-mail: or

Sidn S. Waters
BA, M.Phil. Conservation Zoologist
Deputy Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Coordinator, Zoo Committee, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG)
14 Lindsay Gardens, Tredegar, Gwent NP22 4RP United
Phone: +44-1495-722117
E-mail: sian s

Marketing Committee

and Website

By Gilia Angell

During the second half of 2005, TSG saw a rise in
public interest in tapirs. Sky One Television of
Great Britain aired its "Last Chance to Save... Tapirs"
documentary, hosted by comedian Vic Reeves on 11
September. This generated many visits and emails to
the TSG site and donations to the TSG Conservation
Fund (TSGCF) of over US$ 1,000. Tapir feature articles
written by TSG members ran in AZAs Communique
magazine (August 2005: William Konstant, TSG Deputy
Chair) and Germany's Mannheimer Morgen news-
paper (24 August, 2005: Stefan Seitz, TSG Member
and Newsletter Editor). In addition, tapirs made some
other curious appearances in the media: "Tapir" was
item 18 across "a snouted animal" in the 2 October
New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle! Julie
Scardina of SeaWorld/Busch Gardens (United States)
brought a tapir on the national Tonight Show with Jay
Leno earlier this year as well. We are working to get a
clip for our archive.
A "tiny artwork" print (5"x5") "Tapir Tapir" art-
work by Evah Fan, was featured on Tiny Showcase, an
online gallery which each week features a new piece
of tiny artwork. Tiny Showcase displays new work
weekly by nationally acclaimed and talented illustra-
tors and artists from all over the U.S. Partial proceeds
of the sales of "Tapir Tapir" were donated to TSG

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Comedian Vic Reeves from Great Britain visiting
Baird's tapirs at Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica.
Credit: Sky One Television UK 2005.

Conservation Fund! The elevation of the tapir as an art
object in a fine arts forum and subsequent exposure
for TSGCF are much appreciated.
TSG also gained a very media savvy member in
August following the Baird's Tapir PHVA Workshop
in Belize: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Jeffrey Flocken.
Flocken, a 15-year professional endangered species
conservationist who has worked on giraffes, koalas
and wild cats, among other species, has always had
a soft spot for tapirs. With tapirs in mind, he has
traveled to the tropics searching for them ten times,
but has yet to see a tapir in the wild. In the very short
time he has been a TSG member, Jeff has made two
big pitches for tapirs:

1. Flocken engaged author Jeffery Masson (When
Elephants Weep) to include tapirs in Masson's
upcoming book Jeffery Masson's 100 Favorite
Animals. Gilia Angell compiled a list of tapir publi-
cations to pique the author's interest in tapirs.
Please feel free to contact Gilia if you have any arti-
cles or manuscripts available in English to share
with Mr. Masson.

2. Nominated tapirs, Patricia Medici's work with
tapirs and the upcoming Third International Tapir
Symposium together as a story topic for a new
media series called "Pura Vida" that will be airing
on Hispanic Radio Network (HRN). The show will
consist of 26 radio episodes on biodiversity pro-
grams, as well as two newspaper columns and a
Hispanic focus group that will reach a huge natio-
nal (U.S.) and international audience: HRN has 194
radio affiliates with an AQH audience of 705,000
listeners and a weekly CUME of 5.3 million, and
HRN's 93 affiliate newspapers have a total circula-
tion of 3.7 million.

Upcoming Marketing initiatives:
* Design official TSG letterhead for administrative
* Study and possibly model a tapir conservation
campaign after the current and comprehensive
EAZAs International Rhino Foundation/Save the
Rhino campaign;
* Pitch tapir-themed articles written by committee
members to alumnae magazines and other niche
publications, in addition to targeted mainstream
publications (to be determined) we can help with
ideas, support, etc., to those Committee members
willing to assist with articles;
* Collect and archive more examples of tapirs
in the media. Please share! Send your examp-
les to post in the media archive: Gilia Angell
( & Kelly Russo
* Solicit the domain owner of "" to donate
the rights to this domain name when his ownership
expires in March, 2006.

Our website content continues to grow with the
addition of the following:
* Online Tapir Symposium registration;
* Photos of TSG members and participants in the
Baird's Tapir PHVA in Belize, August 2005;
* News and News Archive area where all tapir arti-
cles, events, and online publications can be found;
* TSG press kit blurbs easy to understand and
memorable statements about the Tapir Specialist
Group contained in a Word document appropriate
for distribution to the media or for use in educa-
tional materials (in English);
* Educational Brochures designed by Kelly Russo,
now translated into Bahasa, Spanish, and
* ALL TSG documents are available for download on
our Downloads page please check it occasionally
for updates or if you are looking for a document.

-'--. '.-' -T.i "TapirTapir"
S- 'titles this tiny
:. -, -_- artwork by
*.. '. Evah Fan.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Upcoming web projects include:
* Committee pages containing content written by
each committee chair outlining each committee's
goals and documents for distribution;
* Online tapir photo gallery, with indicated pic-
tures available for publication use fees charged
for photo usage will go to the TSG Conservation
Fund. Typical photo usage fees for photos used
are US$ 30-50 per photo. Please consider sharing
your photos for publication all photographers are
credited and details cited. Please send Gilia Angell
your highest resolution photos of your animals
(150-300 Dots per inch [DPI]), with details about
the shot. Shot ideas: Camera trap photos, wild
tapirs in the field, wild baby tapirs, captive tapirs
shown in a "natural" type enclosure all tapir spe-
cies needed;
* Investigate free options for getting our site higher
on search engines.

Anyone wishing to help with any of the specific goals
and actions above please e-mail Gilia Angell at gilia_

Gilia Angell
Web/Graphic Designer, Amazon.comr
Marketing Committee Coordinator, IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG)
Webmaster, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG),
270 Dorffel Drive East, Seattle, Washington 98112,
United States
Phone: +1-206-266-2613; +1-206-568-1655
Fax: +1-206-266-1822
E-mail: gilia

Zoo Committee

By Sidn S. Waters

A activities for the last few months include the accep-
tance for publication of a short article on current
TSG conservation projects supported by zoos and zoo
related activities, in the newsletter of the European
Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). This article
will be published in October.
Bengt Hoist, the Chair of the EAZA Tapir & Hippo
TAG kindly invited Patricia Medici (TSG Chair) and
myself (TSG Deputy Chair) to attend the EAZA Tapir &
Hippo TAG held during the EAZA Annual Conference
in Bath in the United Kingdom in September. Pati

gave a general presentation about TSG's activities fol-
lowed by my brief introduction of what the TSG Zoo
Committee has been doing and how European zoos
can help TSG and tapir conservation in general. This
led to a number of European zoos expressing interest
in the work of the TSG and particularly in the TSG-
endorsed projects list that is in the process of being
updated (see this issue).
The final addition to the Tapir Husbandry &
Management Package available in various languages off
the TSG website is now complete. A volunteer, Maria
Elisa Hobbelink, has compiled the list of simple envi-
ronmental enrichment ideas for tapirs and has also
translated it into Spanish. This is now available on the
website. Wilson Novarino and Leo Salas have transla-
ted this document into the Indonesian language and
this will be posted on the website soon. Maria Elisa is
also translating the husbandry standards into Spanish
to accompany the shorter guidelines already available
in that language very many thanks to Maria Elisa for
her help with these tasks.
We are still looking for a volunteer to translate hus-
bandry guidelines and the enrichment list into Thai.
Anyone who would like to volunteer for this job should
contact Alan Shoemaker
I would like to thank Alan Shoemaker for his inva-
luable help in persuading volunteers to help with the
translation of the husbandry standards and guidelines.
Please do distribute this information in the relevant
languages to any tapir keepers or curators with whom
you have contact as that's who they are for!!
I look forward to seeing many of you in Argentina.

Sidn S. Waters
BA, M.Phil. Conservation Zoologist
Deputy Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Coordinator, Zoo Committee, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG)
14 Lindsay Gardens, Tredegar, Gwent NP22 4RP
United Kingdom
Phone: +44-1495-722117
E-mail: sian s

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Prjc Upae

Lowland Tapir Footprint

Identification Technique

By Patricia Medici

s you will probably remember, the last issue of the
apir Conservation Newsletter (Vol. 14/1, No. 17,
June 2005) included an article about the development
of a Footprint Identification Technique (FIT) for the
four tapir species. The FIT is a non-invasive and cost-
effective methodology, and may produce data accurate
enough for identifying individual tapirs and, conse-
quently, censusing and monitoring wild populations.
For this purpose, the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
(TSG) has been working hand in hand with WildTrack
(, an independent research organi-
zation based in Portugal. In this issue, I would like to
give you an update about the development of the FIT
for lowland tapirs.
Silvia Chalukian has already started collecting
footprint images for the development of the algorithm
for lowland tapirs in Argentina. However we decided to
try and obtain a larger sample size and speed up the
process a bit. In order to do that, we contacted seve-
ral zoos and breeding facilities holding lowland tapirs
in their collections and invited them to be part of this
effort. A number of zoos responded to our initial invi-
tation, including four (4) zoos and breeding facilities in
the states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Goias and Santa
Catarina in Brazil, two (2) zoos in Colombia (Cali Zoo
and Fundaci6n Zool6gica Santacruz), five (5) zoos in
Europe (Parc Zoologique Branf6r6, Parc Zoologique
d'Amn6ville, Safari de Peaugres and Lisieux CERZA
in France, and Chester Zoo in the United Kingdom),
and three (3) zoos in the United States (Houston Zoo,
Dallas Zoo, and John Ball Zoo).
We asked each one of these zoos to take digital
pictures of the footprints of their captive lowland
tapirs following the WildTrack protocol. Most of the
institutions involved are already sending their images
to us, and we will soon have a large sample size with a
minimum of 50 different individuals to begin analyses.
Once the algorithm is developed, it will be validated in
the field and widely distributed. This technique may
prove to be an extremely useful tool for the work of
many lowland tapir researchers worldwide.
If you know of any zoos that would be interested in
participating in this effort, please let me know as soon
as possible. The collaboration we seek is quite simple:

Lowland tapir footprint measured with the Footprint
Identification Technique (FIT) developed byWildTrack

just digital photographs of footprints following an easy
protocol. We will send the instruction files to any inte-
rested organizations.

Patricia Medici
M.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management
PhD Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and
Ecology (DICE), University of Kent at Canterbury
Lowland Tapir Project, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist
Group (CBSG) Brasil Regional Network
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sdo Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio,
CEP: 19280-000, Sdo Paulo, BRAZIL
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4690
Cell Phone: +55-18-8119-3839
E-mail: or

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005



Lineamientos sobre

la Conservaci6n de

Tapirus terrestris -

Primer Encuentro de

Instituciones Argentinas

Por Viviana Quse

Durante los dias 30 y 31 de mayo de 2005
se realize el Taller "Lineamientos sobre la
Conservaci6n de Tapirus terrestris. Primer
Encuentro de Instituciones Argentinas", organizado
por TEMAIKEN y el Grupo Especialista de Tapires
(UICN/TSG). El mismo se llev6 a cabo en las instalaci-
ones de TEMAIKEN y convoc6 a 21 participants pro-
venientes de zool6gicos e instituciones de diferentes
provincias tales como Tucuman, Salta, C6rdoba, Santa
Fe y Buenos Aires, todos ellos con el tapir amaz6nico
en su colecci6n zool6gica.
En Argentina se consider a T. terrestris en peligro
de extinci6n, raz6n por la cual el objetivo principal del
encuentro fu6 de unificar criterios de trabajo sobre la
especie de acuerdo a las recomendaciones del TSG
para contribuir a la conservaci6n del tapir amaz6nico
en nuestro pais.
Durante el primer dia de reuniones, experts
presentaron sumarios sobre el conocimiento actual
de aspects de la biologia y conservaci6n del tapir
amaz6nico, tanto en cautiverio como en estado salva-
je. La informaci6n presentada incluy6: el rol de los
zool6gicos en la conservaci6n de T. terrestris (Viviana

Quse), informaci6n preliminary sobre el proyecto de
investigaci6n y conservaci6n del tapir en el Noroeste
de Argentina (provincia de Salta) (Silvia Chalukian),
el conocimineto actual sobre la conduct y ecologia,
manejo y uso, y status T. terrestris (Andrew Taber),
manejo de tapires en la Reserva Experimental Horco
Molle (Juan Pablo Julia), nutrici6n de tapires en cauti-
verio (Maria Julieta Olocco Diz), condicionamiento de
tapires en cautiverio (Sergio Feo) y aspects a conside-
rar para el desarrollo de un studbook para T. terrestris
en cautiverio en Argentina (Ana Duggan).
Durante el segundo dia se llevaron a cabo las dis-
cusiones y definiciones de las tareas a desarrollar entire
todos los participants durante los pr6ximos meses
siguiendo las recomendaciones del TSG. En base a las
mismas, se decidi6:
* Llevar adelante la identificaci6n de todos los ejem-
plares en zool6gicos en Argentina;
* Realizar studios gen6ticos ex situ (en zool6gicos)
como in situ (en estado salvaje);
* Compilar el Studbook de la especie en Argentina;
* Asesorar el estado de nutrici6n y dieta de ejemp-
lares en cautiverio a trav6s del Departamento de
Nutrici6n de TEMAIKEN;
* Contribuir al Plan Nacional de conservaci6n de la
* Dar soporte t6cnico desde el Zool6gico de Buenos
Aires y TEMAIKEN a aquellas instituciones que
requieran asesoramiento veterinario o sobre el
manejo de ejemplares.
Asimismo se estableci6 la fecha para un segundo
encuentro durante el mes de octubre de 2005, a reali-
zarse posiblemente en la Provincia de Tucuman.

Viviana B. Quse
D.VM. Senior Veterinarian, Fundaci6n Temaiken
Lowland Tapir Coordinator, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG)
Ruta 25 y km 0.700, Escobar, 1625, Buenos Aires,
Phone & Fax: +54-3488-436805

de parti-
del taller,
en las insta-
laciones de
el pasado
mes de

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Ex Situ Progress Resulting

from the Baird's Tapir

PHVA Workshop

By Alan Shoemaker & Lewis Greene

The recent Baird's Tapir PHVA workshop in Belize
was, to members of the Central American zoo
community, more than just another tropical meeting.
For representatives of zoological parks, this PHVA
provided a unique opportunity for zoo staff from a
wide variety of zoos in range countries as well as re-
presentatives from the AZA, to meet and develop ways
to jointly improve their regional collections' manage-
ment. In several cases it was also the first time that
leaders in captive tapir conservation actually met each
other face-to-face, an act that in itself is of great impor-
tance to future planning. Of the fourteen zoos holding
tapirs in Central America, representatives of eight of
them (Summit Zoo and El Nispero Zoo, Panama; La
Marina Zoo, Costa Rica; Zool6gico Nacional La Aurora,
Guatemala; Belize Zoo, Belize; and Le6n Zoo, Tuxtla
Zoo, and XCARET, Mexico) were in attendance, as
was a representative from AZCARM, the International
Studbook Keeper for Baird's tapirs, the Chair of the
AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), and the
Permit Advisor of the AZA Tapir TAG.
Starting points that were useful in educating tapir
holders, as well as field biologists from all range coun-
tries, included the wide range of management practices
present in Central America versus the United States.
AZA zoos are all located within a single country, so
international movement is not involved when transfer-
ring this highly regulated species from zoo to zoo. The
same is not the case for zoos in the other seven coun-
tries holding captive tapirs and, in some instances,
zoos holding captive tapirs go barely beyond acting
as a warehouse for confiscated animals. In those
situations, breeding and international management
is little more than a dream and indeed, the laws of
several of these countries, particularly Nicaragua and
Honduras, do not even allow international transfer
of Baird's tapirs. In other countries, Panama, Costa
Rica, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico, breeding is rou-
tine, particularly in Panama and Costa Rica, or can be
anticipated sometime in the near future: Belize, Mexico
and Guatemala. In those cases, successful breeding
centers realized that transfer between zoological insti-
tutions is vital to genetic and demographic manage-
ment, if for no other reason than the fact that tapirs are
large and require increased numbers of staff and size-
able enclosures as their numbers increase. Although
no representatives were present from the Villa Griselda

collection in Panama, this facility itself possesses 14
Baird's tapirs, most of which were born in captivity;
Villa Griselda clearly may profit from an internatio-
nal exchange program. It was also enlightening for
the AZA representatives to understand that not only
are there more tapirs (49) maintained in 13 Central
American zoos than by all 16 AZA zoos combined, but
also that 27 of those 49 tapirs were themselves captive
born. All 28 captive tapirs in the 16 AZA zoos are also
born in captivity. Thus, the time is ripe for setting an
international exchange mechanism for management of
captive animals.
Communication is always a key element to success
in this kind of endeavour and many of the range coun-
try zoos wanted access to specialists that could answer
questions about problems they encounter. To date,
however, there is no electronic list (i.e., a listservv")
that could reach all holders, so one of the most signi-
ficant results of this conference was the establishment
of a listserv that could reach all Central American tapir
holders, as well as well key tapir managers within AZA.
Test mailings have indicated that the listserv is wor-
king and in the future any holder with a problem can
ask the listserv for assistance. In that way, questions
made to the listserv moderator, Alan Shoemaker, will
be forwarded to key people that are likely to be of
Within the AZA, the Tapir TAG has developed a
Regional Collection Plan (RCP) to better coordinate
the management of all four species of tapirs within
the United States and Canada; this plan was summa-
rized to the entire PHVA participants. In addition, the
mandatory participation by all AZA members within
the management plan, called a Species Survival Plan
or SSP was also summarized and came as a surpri-
se to some participants. Although relatively simple
to orchestrate within a singe country, international
counterparts to such a plan are more challenging.
Regardless, similar plans involving zoos in the U.S. and
Canada have been successful after consideration was
given to the minimization of cross-border transfers of
regulated wildlife. Certainly, the multi-country EEP of
Europe deals with international issues involving RCPs
on a daily basis and has managed to overcome this
problem. The U.S.-Canada and EU examples may pro-
vide answers to some of the issues of the SSP among
tapir range countries.
In Central America, there have been several
instances of international cooperation. Three of the
four zoos in Mexico that hold tapirs (Le6n, XCARET
and Guadalajara) received them from AZA members,
and representatives of at least one more Mexican zoo
that attended the meeting in Belize have indicated
interest in adding this native species to their collection
from either a domestically held collection or from out-
side the country. La Aurora Zoo in Guatemala present-

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


ly holds three tapirs, two of which were obtained within
that country and a third donated by an AZA member.
Although this species has not reproduced in zoos of
either Mexico or Guatemala, the ages and sex ratios of
captive tapirs in Tuxtla and La Aurora zoos are perfect
for reproduction and should be expected to successful-
ly breed within the near future.
In Panama and Costa Rica, four of the five tapir hol-
ders routinely breed tapirs and are eager to exchange
specimens in order to reduce the already increased
levels of inbreeding. Exchange has already occur-
red in one instance, when a young tapir born at the
Summit Zoo was transferred to the collection in Villa
Griselda, and the La Marina Zoo has initiated efforts to
send one of its surplus males to the U.S. This type of
exchange is routine between AZA zoos. The increased
interest in this level of cooperation was unquestionab-
ly the biggest success that came out of the PHVA for
captive managers. Through the leadership of Carlos
Caballero, director of the El Nispero Zoo, a collection-
planning meeting for zoos of Central America that hold
captive tapirs has been proposed, to be hosted in April
2006 by the El Nispero Zoo. Although only represen-
tatives from the 13 tapir holding zoos within this regi-
on or regional zoos interested in holding them will be
invited, their future collection planning will be crucial
to the continued success of captive breeding programs
within the region. In advance of this meeting, a bilin-
gual questionnaire was developed at the PHVA that
all range country holders will be asked to complete.
Information sought in the questionnaire not only will
include information about their present inventory, but
also their future holding capacity and their willingness
to participate in a regional collection plan. The results
of this information will be invaluable at the upcoming
meeting at El Nispero.
In a separate meeting, the International Studbook
Keeper, the Baird's Tapir SSP Chair and the Permit
Advisor for the Tapir TAG met and completed the RCP
for AZA holders, this being the only occasion during
the year when all three individuals were likely to be
together. As a result, holders of all seven females in
potentially breeding situations were asked to breed,
while three new pairs were identified and will be asked
to breed as soon as the females are of adequate age.
Support for an importation from La Marina Zoo to an
AZA zoo was also provided. When all these actions
are realized, hopefully there will be enough additional
young tapirs to provide new specimens for AZA zoos as
well as to Central American zoos wanting to add this
species to their collections, obtain females or increase
the genetic diversity of their existing collections.
Although captive holders were not prominent in
previous PHVAs, this meeting brought many players
of the captive breeding community together and the
results look promising. Upcoming meetings within

the region will hopefully increase interest. We look
forward to the coming year.

Alan Shoemaker
Permit Advisor, AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)
Red List Authority, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
330 Shareditch Road, Columbia, SC 29210, United States

Lewis Greene
Director, Virginia Zoo
Chair, AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)
Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23504, United States

News from the Field

Estimating the Genetic

Diversity of Mountain Tapir

Populations in Colombia:

A Joint Effort

By Carlos A. Pedraza & Diego J. Lizcano

n the previous issue of Tapir Conservation Newsletter
(June 2005), the article of Ask The Experts mentions
that "...several small populations of tapir are becoming
isolated from their core populations" as a result of the
fragmentation. If we introduce the fact that there is a
reduction in numbers of individuals by over-hunting,
we have a perfect scenario for loss of genetic diversity.
By genetic diversity of a population we mean the evo-
lutionary potential of populations. If a population has
a low genetic diversity this means that this population
has a lower chance to survive a detrimental stochastic
event than a population with higher genetic diversity.
For a changing environment such as the Andes region,
considered a region with high rates of land transfor-
mation where the natural ecosystems can disappear in
relatively short periods of time, we must understand
all the dynamics occurring in the ecosystem, as well as
the ecology, demography, natural history and the gene-
tic aspects of remaining Mountain tapir populations to
be able to overcome their extinction.
Mountain tapir populations in the Colombian

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Andes region are under hunting pressure and habitat
degradation, resulting in the dwindling in numbers of
individuals and areas. In these populations, fragmenta-
tion can be the first step for the loss of genetic diversity
of Mountain tapir populations, as explained by experts
in the Ask The Experts article. Certainly, there is much
to say about the effects of fragmentation on the loss
of genetic diversity, and that we need better tools ana-
lyze this information. But we should not sit and wait
until technology catches on, or populations go extinct
- whatever happens first. We have the responsibility to
develop better tools, to start hypothesizing, to start col-
lecting information in the field and working in the labo-
ratory in a joint effort to get a better understanding of
fragmented and isolated mountain tapir populations.
At the beginning of 2004, Diego Lizcano and I held
several talks about the difficulty of gathering informa-
tion from Mountain tapir populations, and also about
the need to develop a project to produce genetic infor-
mation. We realized the need to develop methodologies
that meet two conditions. First of all, methodologies
should permit us to census and monitor populations
with reliable results; second they must overcome the
difficulty of finding the animals in the field. So, we deci-
ded to develop a project to estimate the genetic diver-
sity of three mountain tapir populations in Colombia
(Figure 1) living in forest fragments of different size
and with different fragmentation degree (Figure 3).
In the field it is very difficult to find a Mountain
tapir without the help of trained dogs, but we can iden-
tify trails, sleeping and scratching places where tracks,
feces and hair samples from the individuals can be
collected. In these days we can use different tools to
produce information from different evidence of the
presence of Mountain tapirs.
Molecular Biology provides the capacity to extract
DNA from feces, hair, carcasses, skin, and blood. Each
individual is characterized by its unique genetic struc-
ture so that, if we have access to DNA of individuals
and sample a significant number of individuals of a
population (minimum 30 samples per population for
statistical significance); we can thereby obtain repre-
sentative information about a specific population.
In this project we are obtaining information from
Mountain tapirs using noninvasive techniques, by col-
lecting hair samples where there is no adverse effects
product of the handling of animals (Figure 2). The
main objective of this project is to develop protocols
and techniques for the analysis of hair samples using
molecular biology tools, as well as to estimate the gene-
tic diversity of three apparently isolated populations in
Colombia (Figure 1).
There is no doubt that we must put attention to the
genetics of the Mountain tapir populations if we want to
ensure their survival for a long period of time. To fully
understand all ecological processes occurring within

Figure I. Sampling places: Los Nevados National
Park, Nevado del Huila National Park and La Cocha
Lake. Blue areas represent Mountain tapir distribution
(adapted from Lizcano et al. 2002).

populations and between populations in Colombia, we
decide to develop a genetics based project as the first
step to answer basic questions about the genetics of
Mountain tapir populations: Is there a grade of diffe-
rentiation in genetic diversity between populations? Is
there any gene flow between these populations? Do we
have useful tools for the analysis of this kind of infor-
mation? Does a real effect exist in the genetic diversity
as consequence of fragmentation?
We have selected three wild populations to carry
out Mountain tapir sample collections (Figure 1): Los
Nevados National Park, Nevado del Huila National Park
and La Cocha Lake in the Central Andes of Colombia.
Between these populations there is a geographic iso-
lation produced by the road, between Bogota and
Armenia, and landscape transformations. The project
also includes Mountain tapir samples from three indi-
viduals living in the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo; these
individuals will contribute to the development of gene-
tic markers (micro satellites) that will help researchers
to make better estimations of population numbers and
genetic change.
As expected results of this project, we want to con-

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Figure 2. Noninvasive hair sampling collection in
Los Nevados National Park.

tribute to different researchers interested in the use
of molecular biology, providing them with protocols
and lab methodologies that will help answer different
aspects of the natural history, ecology and genetics of
Mountain tapir populations. The indirect and noninva-
sive techniques for the collection of hair samples used
in the project, coupled with molecular biology, can be
an alternative method to census and monitor Mountain
tapir populations, thus providing key information for
the implementation of conservation and management
To date, we have completed four field trips to Los
Nevados and Nevado del Huila
National Natural Parks, where 38
and 21 hair samples were obtai-
ned, respectively. All procedures
used are those described by Anders
Goncalves da Silva in the TSG .
document: Sampling Techniques
for Genetic Analysis, where the
hair samples are preserved dry,
in sealed unwaxed envelopes with
silica gel. Additionally, GPS points
have been recorded for every hair
sample. All the samples are kept
at room temperature in the labo-
ratory. Those among the readers
interested in collecting hair samp-
les must be very carefully to collect
just those hairs with follicle (DNAs
main source), avoiding those that
present white coloration or that Figure 3. 3-D vie
easily break (this suggests that populations in C
may be the DNA present, if any, is populations. The
already degraded). Analysis (ENFA)

Based on our experience and the recommendations
of other researchers, we found that Mountain tapir pro-
teins present in hairs are very difficult to break down.
"Mountain tapir hair samples, compared to those of
other mammals, present difficulties in DNA extrac-
tion. Is not an easy job", commented Dr. Manuel Ruiz
Garcia, Director of the Population Genetics Laboratory
of the Javeriana University in Bogota. We found that
the proteins surrounding the follicle are very resistant
to the enzymatic digestion for DNA extraction; we have
to break these proteins so we can have access to DNA.
For this reason, we had to modify the original protocol.
The first step in the laboratory was to standardize the
protocols; right now we are performing the first essays
of DNA extraction using a variation of the organic
method with proteinase K digestion. Despite concerns
and difficulties expressed by Dr. Ruiz, organic diges-
tion showed 100% success for the first 25 extraction
essays and looks that work is progressing very well.
The development of this project could not be pos-
sible without the participation of researchers and mem-
bers of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG),
specially Diego Lizcano, who taught me how to follow
Mountain tapirs and since then is an active contributor
of the project; Juan Armando Sanchez, Director of the
BioMMar Laboratory affiliated to Los Andes University
where all the lab procedures are carried out; Patricia
Medici, Della Garelle and Alan Shoemaker who always
help me, specially with the importation of samples
of individuals from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Anders
Goncalves da Silva, Carlos Mora, Martha Cardenas and
Manuel Ruiz are collaborating with all their knowledge
in Molecular Biology and all the methods in the lab.

!w of the habitat suitability areas for Mountain tapir
olombia, showing the isolation between the three study
areas where calculated using the Ecological Niche Factor
(Hirzel, 2001). Adapted from Pedraza 2005.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Thanks to the staff at Los Nevados and Nevado del
Huila National Parks for all the facilities during the time
in the field, also to Andres Guarnizo and Diego Lizcano
for their experience and company in the field. Institute
de Investigaci6n de Recursos Biol6gicos Alexander von
Humboldt, Conservaci6n Internacional Colombia, Idea
Wild and BioMMar provided funding.

Carlos Alberto Pedraza
Laboratorio de Ecologia de Vertebrados, Universidad de
los Andes (UNIANDES)
Institute de Investigacion de Recursos Biol6gicos Alexander
von Humboldt
Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Calle 138 Bis # 25-27, Bogota, Cundinamarca, COLOMBIA
Phone: +57-1-626-1098; +57-1-339-4949 Ext.3770

Diego J. Lizcano
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Durrell Institute of Conservation
and Ecology (DICE)
Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury
Country Coordinator, Colombia, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG)
Carrera 2, No. 16-72, Torre 3, Apto. 404, Bogota,
Phone: +57-1-281-4256 / E-mail:

First Ever Notes on Tapir

Reproduction in the Wild

By Leonardo Salas

n late October 2004, Juan de Dios Valdez Leal, wor-
king under the supervision of Charles Foerster in
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica went to locate
the young offspring of one of Charlie's collared females.
Juan De Dios found the female with her offspring, but
also something else as important as his observations
of mother-infant relationship and infant survival: the
first documented copulation of tapirs in the wild. He
documented this most unusual observation with pho-
tographs and a detailed description of the duration of
behaviors and vocalizations.
In all mammals, most investment in the production
of offspring is the responsibility of the female. Because
of this, and unlike males, females can only produce a
limited number of offspring. It follows that they stand
to profit most by ensuring that their genes have the
best chances of survival and to be passed to another
generation (in contrast, males need not be so choosy,
because they can ensure their genes are passed on by
copulating with as many females as possible). It is pre-

cisely because of this, as noted by Robert Trivers and
other behaviorists nearly 30 years ago, that females
are expected to be choosy and pick their male consorts
with care to ensure that the male's genetic contribution
would result in offspring well equipped for the task of
carrying and passing on those genes. This is one of the
principles of sexual selection and is well supported by
scientific evidence.
Tapirs are no exception to this principle, or at least
we do not have a priori reasons to expect otherwise.
Thus, Juan De Dios' observations are all the more
intriguing. He noted, for instance, that the female did
not seem receptive to the male. The male attempted to
mount seven times before eventually succeeding; yet,
the female did not run away or confront the male with
aggression. Moreover, there was no apparent selection
behavior by the female, other than to resist the male
for a while. Juan De Dios' observations seem to indi-
cate that there is no mate choice behavior in females.
Perhaps the female knew where the most suitable male
could probably be found and opted to spend time
within his home range? Perhaps the selection of males
happened before Juan De Dios got the "VIP seat"?
That matter aside, the observations are in agree-
ment with either monogamy or a loose social system
with a form of facultative polygyny similar to an exten-
ded harem, in which male tapirs would overlap (but
not fully encompass) home ranges with those of seve-
ral females. In an extended harem, a male patrols his
home-range seeking signs of a female in heat. Upon
finding the female, he forces copulation and secures
parenthood. Other males may also overlap home ran-
ges with the same female, so it is a matter of chance
- being in the right place at the right time to pick up the
cues leading to the receptive female that is, if there
is no female choice involved. Monogamy would imply
a full overlap of male and female home ranges. I belie-
ve Charlie will solve this matter of the social system
These observations are also important because we
finally have a detailed report of the length of inter-birth
interval in the wild for Baird's tapirs. It is certainly
shorter than I expected. How long? Go to:,
download the article and do the numbers yourself.

N.B. Although the article was published this year, for
some reason it is listed as being in the 2001 volume
of Vida Silvestre Neotropical. Don't be confused by
the journal's volume date!

Leonardo Salas
Ph.D. Animal Population Biologist, Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS)
Editor, Tapir Conservation Newsletter, IUCN/SSC Tapir

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Diet ofTapirs (Tapirus terrestris) Introduced in a

Salt Marsh Area of the Baixada do Massiambu,

State Park of the Serra do Tabuleiro -

Santa Catarina, South of Brazil

Luiz G. R. Oliveira SANTOS1, L. C. Pinheiro MACHADO FILHO1, Marcos A. TORTATO1,
Daniel de B. FALKEMBERG2 and Maria J. HOTZEL1

Laboratory of Applied Ethology (LETA). DZR/CCA Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.
Rod. Admar Gonzaga. 1346 Itacorubi. Floriandpolis, SC, BRAZIL. 88.034-001. E-mail:

2 Laboratory of Vegetal Systematic Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina Centro de Ciencias Biol6gicas -
Departamento de Botanica


A survey on the food items from salt marsh vegetation in the diet of the tapir was conducted in the Baixada
do Massiambu, on the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park. From March to October 2004, eight animals, males
and females of different ages kept in semi-captivity in a 160 ha area, were studied by means of direct
observations and fecal analyses. Each consumed plant species was collected and identified, the consumed
plant part marked, and each feeding event for each species counted. Eighty-two consumption events, from
32 species and 22 families of plants, were recorded. The consumed plant parts were leaves, small stems,
flowers, bracts and ripe and unripe fruits. The most sought after plant parts were leaves and stems, follo-
wed by flowers and fruits. The most consumed plants were basically those of the herbaceous and shrubbery
orders. Predominantly, seeds of Butia (Butia capitata) and Jeriva (Arecastrum romanzoffianum) were found
in the faeces. Tapirs feed on a great diversity of plant parts and species, thus evidencing, from the point of
view of their diet, great plasticity in adaptation to the salt marsh area.


T apirs in the wild, as with the great majority of mam-
mals, face declines in population numbers. These
reductions are partly due to hunting (Bodmer, 1991)
and partly to continuous loss of habitat (Richard and
Julia, 2000). Large mammals play an important role
in molding the plant community, and herbivores are
key elements for the dispersion of seeds, thus affecting
various species of the understory, both in terms of their
distribution and density (Dirzo and Miranda, 1991;
Janzen, 1971; Fragoso, 2003). Dirzo and Miranda
(1991) also affirm that more critical processes, such
as the contemporary loss of animal species, may be a
result of the alteration of herbivore patterns; again, due
to the absence of the large herbivores.

The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was amply
distributed throughout Brazil (Brooks et al., 1997)
and today stands among other species in danger of
extinction. It has been deemed as vulnerable (IUCN,
2004). Notably, populations in the Atlantic forest are
the most reduced and threatened due to habitat loss
and fragmentation. Populations of the extreme South
of Brazil are rarely, if ever, studied, especially regar-
ding basic information such as management, distribu-
tion and density (Brooks et al., 1997; Bevilaqua and
Hermes Silva, 2002). The Atlantic forest has received
historical pressures for nearly 500 years after coloni-
zation (Padua, 2004). As a result, less than 8% of the
forest cover remains in diverse fragments and in forest
islands (Carvalho et al., 2004). The constant loss of
habitats, alongside the consequent genetic effects of

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


fragmentation, renders an even more critical scene
than that hypothesized by Dirzo and Miranda (1991).
Under the present circumstances, studies for the
reintroduction, genetic conservation and enhancement
of the living conditions of captive animals are of para-
mount importance. In 1978, two tapirs brought from
the northern Brazilian state of Rond6nia (Brazilian
Amazon) were introduced as part of the "Project for
the Restoration of the Lost Fauna of the Baixada do
Massiambu", in an area of the Serra do Tabuleiro State
Park (Parque Estadual da Serra do Tabuleiro PEST),
Southern Brazil. This project originated due to the
necessity to restore the ecological balance of the coastal
area of the park, which still held reasonably well pre-
served areas where botanical aspects were yet intact,
but certain fauna had perished, especially mammals
and certain great birds (Reitz, et al., 1982).
These mammal and bird species were extirpated
from the area as a result of human occupation in
search of better living conditions in the proximities of
the coast (real estate ventures), of tourism at the bea-
ches and other sea attractions, and of the land use for
agro-pastoral activities (Quadros and Caceres, 2001)
and other historical colonial pressures (Padua, 2004).
The list of lost species was created with the backing of
research from zoological literature and of interviews
with technicians and ex-occupants of the area.
Although the project was abandoned due to the lack
of human and financial resources, some animals were
maintained in an enclosed area at the visitors' center
(Bevilacqua and Tortato, 2003). Thus displayed, these
animals act as flagship species assisting the park's
ecological education program. For 26 years, the tapirs
have been held in this system of semi-captivity, where
they subsist and reproduce. Consequently, this study
was conducted in order to document the dietary adjus-
tment of the tapirs to this environment, since it is cha-
racteristic of all areas of salt marshes of the Brazilian
coast (Brooks et al., 1997), This unique habitat, today,
as a result of human occupation, is rarely found.

Study Area

The PEST is one of the most significant units of
Brazilian conservation protecting Atlantic forests, and
it is the largest unit of integral protection of the state of
Santa Catarina, made up of 90.000 ha (figure 1). Among
the ecosystems of the park are: dense rainforests (with
umbrophile plants), mixed rainforests, mangroves,
high elevation grasslands, salt marshes, cloud forests,
as well as insular ecosystems (Klein, 1981).
The park is situated in an important transition area
between Atlantic vegetation, subject to strong tropical
climatic influences (North of Brazil), and habitats sub-
ject to more temperate influences (Southern Brazil).

Figure I. State Park of the Serra ofTabuleiro and area
of study (Black Square).

Hence, it houses diverse plant and animal species, with
areas of endemism, and for some taxa representing the
southernmost geographical distribution limits.
The salt marsh area, located in the grasslands of
Massiambu (central-western areas of the Park) (figure
1) is made up of 700 ha at 30-40 m elevation. The
grasslands are totally covered with natural vegetation,
which, according to Klein (1981), is predominant-
ly constituted of herbaceous and shrubby species,
with some sparse arboreal-shrubby agglomerations.
Another characteristic of these low quaternary coastal
areas is the edaphic condition of the sandy soil, which
is distributed in the form of sand bars interspersed by
permanent and temporary lakes. The climate is clas-
sified as subtropical humid, mesothermic (averages of
220C), without strong drought seasons.
Within this habitat, a fenced area of semi-captivity
was created encompassing 160 ha, retaining the
representative prairie characteristics as described


Tapirs have subsisted in semi-captivity for many years
and, apparently, have not faced major problems, for,
according to handlers and park staff, there is no
unfavorable history about them (deaths and disease).
From an initial couple, today eight individuals persist

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

* Lcnvd~c+

1*Ire e



Results and Discussion

Figure 2. Direct daytime observations conducted when
animals were spotted and followed. Note the aspect of
the salt marshes (typical Brazilian coastal vegetation).

(various others have been moved to regional zoos),
hence demonstrating that these animals have been
reproducing an excellent welfare indicator of wildlife
in captivity.
Twice or three times per week, during the morning,
the tapirs are fed pumpkin, cassava, cabbage, lettuce,
banana, papaya and equine ration (Bevilacqua and
Tortato, 2003). This alimentary supplement does
not attend to the nutritional requirements of a large
herbivore such as the tapir (Deutsch and Puglia,
1988). Furthermore, not all animals come to feed these
supplements (personal observations).
To attend to their nutritional needs, the tapirs
feed on various items from the vegetation of the salt
marshes. To document the diet consumed by the
animals within this area, direct daytime observations
were made (figure 2) of eight tapirs, males and females
alike of different ages. The survey was carried out
during the year of 2004, from March to December,
making up a total of 30 field days. The observations
were done, when necessary, with the help of binoculars
and with the largest possible observational distance
to lessen any influence on the animals' behaviors.
The tapirs were followed as long as observation was
possible. Each consumed plant species was collected,
identified and had its consumed plant part marked,
and the number of feeding events for each plant was
thus counted. Macroscopic observations of the feces
were also conducted in the field.

Eighty-two consumption events of 33 different species
in 22 families were registered. The consumed structu-
res were small stems, leaves, flowers, bracts, ripe and
unripe fruits (table 1). We observed that tapir consume
a large range of plant species as well as diverse plant
parts. Similar diets were accounted by Tobler (2002)
and Acosta et al. (1996) with Baird's tapir (Tapirus
bairdii) and Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque),
respectively, in which various genera and families were
similarly found.
The first record of the consumption of pteridophy-
tes by tapirs is noted. It was expected that tapirs feed
on ferns, as this normally drought-resistant vegetation
is widely available at the study site. Tapirs are selective
animals (Salas and Fuller, 1996; Terwilliger, 1978) and
search for various plant sources according to availabili-
ty and nutritional need. Bodmer (1990) argues that the
strategies of herbivory vary from the low rate of forage
on highly nutritional foods (proteins and starch), to
intensive forage of low nutritional quality (cellulose).
Large non-ruminant ungulates, such as tapir, have the
advantage of large fermentation chambers: they can
rely on foods of low quality and do not need to expend
time finding highly nutritional resources.
Analyses of preference for plant species showed
that these approximated a normal distribution, notab-
ly with Piper (11 events), Ludwigia multinervia (9),
Miconia ligustroides (7) and Tibouchina urvilleana
(7), totalizing 54% of the consumption events. With
exception to Ludwigia, the other three genera have
been reported in the diet of tapirs: Piper (Richard and
Julia, 2000) in lowland tapirs, Miconia (Tobler, 2002)
and Tibouchina (Naranjo e Cruz, 1998) both in Baird's
tapir. These genera do not present great nutritional
appeal but are more amply distributed in the area and
thus seem to be commonly consumed by ungulates
(Van Soest, 1982) when facing the absence of fruits of
more nutritional value.
When evaluating the preference of plant families,
a distribution close to uniformity among consumption
events was observed. However, we note that
Melastomataceae (16%) and Piperaceae (11%) outstood
all, followed by Onagraceae (9%) and Clusiaceae (8%),
making up 44% of the total of consumption events per
family. Lizcano and Cavelier (2004) noted that the
Melastomataceae family had the greatest number of
consumed species in their studies with Mountain tapirs
in Colombia. They also made note of the importance
of Miconia (4 sp.) and Tibouchina (1 sp.) genera, the
most abundant in our study as well.
These most frequent dietary families and species
are predominant in the first stages of succession and
thus indicate that tapirs can withstand well in modified
areas. In figure 3, results show a greater number of

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Table I. Consumed plant species, their families, consumed structures and number of consumption events.

Sps %Famlly l% cna lona iw l per COMMdfl rui, MMs nf W ton 0 4 e Wmn Mt Hlbi

AJAonw. Aijernv Euphrbins e 4?) Leavs 5 8 Sub
* iOfpnmn s truaw j i icura (41 Lwawms swn 3 4 HMWcwM
ac a a jl:jae 141 Fruft, brad iara k 3 3 4 B i ST
brae. unsta hbu
C4 IRep | l ) FusC 3 4 Birit w"
Ca Pwvtr CA m | es (,& Lw A& st rnm 6I s IST
Co~ caros Iiw U~ namm I J L-usv, Srns wmd Pco~ 3 4 1rb G w
COO* M*irgaW e.esfe W Lm 4 own* 2 .AS

Frep fWWst sp I A W M Lt3.1 L.i4*w & a:ir 1 1 HI- 9
Ewwm-ip Io2r LMKMI Loomjafm 1 I faitfma

E~bsan 1.2 Ame a Liv4 (rWts 1 HIO-Iat0a
ar eausdv I Aqu A .ac t4) Lot a sl tm 1 haMbcu4
air wmuL2ua IAqutoa Lane sA rm 3 HrmObc
Ltawqwcrnou Vwbume AP Luvs. Lirwrwndw A e ewu
L.Ag' 4 wu'rm OugrI w'm (91 Lat. ~4 rd iwr 9 HF ? Shr
Armay IqwPuMrd iM Lasmlce fSi) Las & sturns I 7 I-b t SWf
yFcMa rrtra MI hta rl Lum stAru 2 t3 HMan M
GJouanu'r t o rarwti lP Lwes A %ft. v 5 Mtxc
faxirs&f -p~m jt lb LW'nlhgtrri 1 i taU~eu
Oe q' I OcQtres (1 Luvsn S ,wrns 1 I Hfetwzown
PJanWuHo wiMnaWrtAm ArKcaI Lesft 1 I h"r
pp IF !PpwrMcM11] Lrw and ftas 4 11 HMI-brDa
Pfthrkn atit&nanr |MsidC6 FRuM 2 3 Swub

*Pim g1r 1) IjrM LM 4 1 I Herbal*C
ca p |thIce (1) Lm a Mamn 1 1 htKACDca
Smnrz ctrowar | SMia'Ie t I11 Lanes strn 1 I I bWatum0
TCucfth ur atm Ijum0bWmnnU Lmvn. nwr4d Sawl 0 7 nfccW
TasAdue EiMmaanfs Hran4h- WS p4M 3 4 Clsain Ident
Vrbmonsa actpiafl IM A Ma Lavs A 4trm I I Heirbaoam
VfTrnwvimp AssfacucW Lm ws sin.u 1 1 Hwbecwm
War tlffwommt Vtrtbnfc Loes S *tm t 1 1 Smub
Na-idrftid Hd Le asta 4 5 anHMelss

* First record of a pteridophyte in the diet of tapirs. Herb Herbaceous, Shr Shrub and ST Small Tree.

consumption events of plant species of the herbaceous
habit (62%), vs. shrubs (26%), small trees (10%) and
climbing plants (2%).
Foerster and Vaughan (2002) and Torres et al.
(2004) found a noteworthy use of areas housing
secondary vegetation, even when areas of primary
forests were available. This preference is explained by
the greater disposition of vegetation in the understory,
thus facilitating consumption by tapirs (Foerster and
Vaughan, 2002). Secondary areas hold a greater dispo-
sal of biomass at ground level and accessible to tapirs;

whereas primary forests concentrate greater biomass
(leaves, flowers and fruits) in the upper strata, inac-
cessible to the animals. Results from other studies
corroborate a greater frequency of consumption of
plants of the herbaceous, shrubby, or of small tree
habits (Torres, 2004; Richard and Julia, 2000; Tobler,
In feces, leaves and stems where mostly found, and
seeds were only found in some. When the latter were
found, they made up the main constituent of the fecal
bolus. The seeds were of the Butia (Butia capitata)

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005





Figure 3. Habit of the plants among the consumed species
species occurred in two habits.

; 25

z 5


Figure 4. Most consumed plant parts.

and Jeriva (Arecastrum romanzoffianum) palm trees,
both in the Arecaceae family. The faeces with seeds
were found in periods of palm fruitage. When the
fruits were ripe, they were intensely consumed, having
registered predation over flowers, bracts and unripe
fruits as well. This indicates an intense use of better
nutritional quality resources when available. Galetti et
al. (2001) found a low diversity of seeds in the feces of
lowland tapirs, notably finding those of the Jeriva tree
(A. romanzofflanum), achieving an average of 72,54
+ 181 seeds in 22 faeces during the dry season and
310 + 692,84 during the rainy season, in a sampling
of 10 faeces, where only 12% of the total possessed
more than 100 seeds. Seasonal changes in the feces
and an intense use of fruits when available were
noted, reinforcing the selective behavior of the animals
(Fragoso et al., 2003; Janzen, 1982; Bodmer, 1991;
Galleti et al., 2001; Rodrigues et al., 1993). Foerster
and Vaughan (2002) attribute seasonal differences
to the size of the used habitat and to the pattern

of animal distribution in face of the
fruitage of certain plants. Another line
of evidence is the overlap of areas used
among animals which initially occupied
different locations.
The presence of many seeds in
feces seemingly contradicts the results
found by Bodmer (1990), Torres et al.
(2004) and Naranjo and Cruz (1998)
that report in their fecal analyses more
proportions of leaves and fibers than
seeds. However, in figure 4, we show that
the higher occurrence of consumption
events of plant parts were for leaves
(47%), followed by stems (39%), flowers
(9%) and fruits (5%), thus concurring
with the above authors.
Differences in number of seeds
found in feces may be accounted for by
their captive status, where the animals
were fenced within a limited space with
a much smaller area per animal (20
ha/individual) than found by Foerster
and Vaughan (2002) in a natural
environment (60-240 ha). Hence the
animals were always close to the
seasonal sources of fruits for forage.


The introduced tapirs at PEST exhibited
high plasticity when adapting to conditi-
ons of captivity, using a diverse range of
plant species and parts, including local
fruits when available. This alimentary
plasticity, the pattern of consumption of areas with
herbaceous and shrubby vegetation (characteristic of
degraded areas) along with selective feeding behavior
and tolerance to the congested presence of several ani-
mals in small areas, raise questions for new judicious
discussions and studies on the reintroduction of tapirs
to the wild.


We acknowledge FUNCITEC-SC for the financial
support of the present study and the Environmental
Foundation (Fundacio do Meio Ambiente FATMA) for
transportation. We also acknowledge the Laboratory of
Applied Ethology of UFSC for assistance during obser-

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005



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Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Habitat Use and Density

of the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)

in the Taratak Forest Reserve, Sumatra, Indonesia

Wilson NOVARINO1, Santi N. KAMILAHz, Agung NUGROHO1, Muhammad N. JANRA1,
Muhammad SILMI1, Muhammad SYAFRIP

1 Jurusan Biologi, FMIPA Universitas Andalas, Padang, Sumatera Barat, Indonesia 25163


The design and implementation of the present study
aim to generate more precise estimates of Malayan
tapir demographic parameters, which are some of the
priority recommendations listed during the Malay
Tapir Conservation Workshop held in Malaysia, in
August 2003. This report focuses on the occurrence of
Malayan tapir in a salt lick area, in the Taratak Forest
Reserve, West Sumatra, Indonesia.
Because Malayan tapirs (Tapirus indicus) are shy
animals, counting their numbers and determining den-
sities is challenging. Use of habitats may be assessed
through indirect evidence, such as tracks, or systematic
methodologies based on direct evidence, such as radio-
telemetry or camera traps. The camera trapping tech-
nique has been used by several researchers in order
to evaluate tapir populations, distribution, habitat use
and daily activity, all crucial pieces of information for
the design and implementation of tapir conservation
programs (Wallace et al. 2002, Holden 2003). This
technique is also very useful to study Malayan tapirs
due to their character as shy, mainly nocturnal, extre-
mely elusive animals that tend to avoid contact with
In the present study, we used camera traps to deter-
mine habitat use and density of Malayan tapirs in the
Taratak Forest Reserve, in Sumatra. This is one of the
last few remaining forests where tapirs survive in the
island of Sumatra. We wanted to assess the number of
animals visiting a salt lick in the Reserve.

Material and Methods

Placements of photo-trapping areas was chosen based
on results from previous studies (Novarino, 2004),
which identified a salt lick and existing animal trails
that seemed like adequate locations for the placement
of cameras. Eight Photo-Scout cameras (Highlander
Sports Inc.) were used in this study; these were put
into operation in June, 2005. Cameras were set up

to operate 24 hours, with one minute delay time bet-
ween pictures. These were checked every two weeks to
replace film and batteries. Three cameras were deplo-
yed at the salt lick area and five along the animal trails
in the surrounding forest. The placement sites varied
in habitat, altitude (m a.s.l.) and location (see Table
1). Cameras were set up + 50 cm above ground level,
attached to trees and hidden with branches for camou-
flage and protection from animal attacks. The cameras
recorded the date and time when pictures were taken.

Results and Discussion

Based on 12,416 hours of camera operations, 176 pic-
tures were taken. Twelve mammals and one bird spe-
cies were photographed. Pig-tailed monkey (Macaca
nemestrina) became the most captured photo target,
followed by Common Porcupine (Hystrix brachyura),
Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus), and Barking Deer
(Muntiacus muntjak). Other mammal species that also
photographed were Wild Boar (Sus scrofa), Mitred Leaf
Monkey (Presbytis melalophos), Crab-eating Monkey
(Macaca fascicularis), Sumatran Tiger (Panthera
tigris), Malayan Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus),
Sunday Pangolin (Manis javanica), Yellow-throated
Marten (Martes flavinuca) and Malay Mouse-deer
(Tragulus javanicus). An endangered and impor-
tant Southeast Asian land bird, the Argus Pheasant
(Argusianus argus) was also photographed during this
study. Activity of local people was also recorded. The
identity of animals in nine photos is still unconfirmed
due to the low light intensity and small size of targets
(Figure 1). The large variety of animals, most strictly
forest specialists, evidences that the Taratak forest
reserve was previously relatively undisturbed. At least
one of the species, the Argus pheasant, is a primary
forest specialist. This animal's abundance in Taratak
is recently under threat by changes in forest cover by
local people seeking to expand their Gambir (Uncharia
gambir) plantations.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Figure I. Species list and percent photo-capture of each
through eight camera traps in the Taratak Forest Reserv
(176 photos taken in 12,416 hours of monitoring).

With respect to specific camera placements, only
four among the eight camera placement sites detected
Malayan tapirs; specifically, those points located near
or in the salt lick area and below 320 m a.s.l. These
four camera placements were also located close to each
other, while the four other camera traps were located
further away from the salt licks.
The rank in percentage of herbivore image-captu-
red during this study (see Figure 1) is similar to that
of Kawanishi et al. (2002) in Taman Negara, Malaysia,
where they also found Malayan Tapir, Barking Deer
and Wild Boar as the three most common large mam-

mals in their study area in that order.
tapirs photo-captured per unit samp-
ling effort (number of times that tapirs
passed through the camera / number
of trapping hours) during this study
(0.089) is higher than that of a pre-
vious study in Kerinci Seblat National
Park, also in Sumatra, where Holden
et al. (2003) only recorded 0.017-
0.081 animals per unit effort. This dif-
ference emerges perhaps as an effect
of altitude, but most likely the camera
placement. In contrast to Holden
and colleagues, who placed cameras
to maximize tiger photo-captures, in
this study cameras were placed near a
salt lick located on secondary lowland
forest, which seems to be the most
preferred habitat of Malayan tapir.
Kawanishi et al. (2002) also obtained
a high number of tapir photographs

The ratio of


19,9 222

1,7 t1,


,.0 7A 11.4

Table I. Characteristics of placement sites of eight photo-trapping
cameras for the study of Malayan tapirs in the Taratak Forest Reserve,
and number of tapir photo-captures.

Gmwu F~lst typ tude CiWs1 Habitt No tSopir
No. )iu Irwniform t ypW Locaonm pho
*dip. I(AH I o ft
1 sd, 183 150 san k Vey 7
2 twmbro 250 1500 ahll i vaiy 6
3 s"ordy 350 2000 ne4 wul N i 4 f

4 eafonary 534 2o00 f ii uridr [e 0
5 mrlwse 5M4 5 I& forl llifs 0

4 acrsdwry sW 3m00 faml herimdgkm
7 m 1200 -.ia imy I 1
B matsO 7W0 350 aruM rrll J

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

when conducting camera trapping near
iM numurnu or on the trails leading to salt licks.
Baelwtj Tapirs came to the salt lick in every
C indcu one of the two-week intervals between
ca 1., ,a checks. This preliminary result high-
i* 4_0n lights the use and importance of this
IP nt pu it area for Malayan tapirs. Results also
u i~Nrcua.s show that tapirs seem to prefer flat and
P ruva damp areas, rather than dry areas with
4 at difficult topography and high slope or in
mnalnms hill forest (see Table 1). The tendency of
cl.jiftka Malayan tapir to prefer secondary forest
SV ig rather than primary forest was recorded
*r jimcu in previous studies (Novarino, 2004);
F 4w this tendency also was recorded on other
mW.rn species of tapir such as the Baird's tapir
(T. bairdii) (Foerster & Vaughan, 2002).
Regarding distance from forest edge,
species this study's results show a significant
re difference between rates of tapirs photo-
graphed at the forest edge and in forest
interior (see Table 1). However, these
differences may perhaps be an effect
of forest type and topography, rather than distance
from the edge. O'Brien et al. (2003), in their studies
in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP), also
in Sumatra, found that tapirs were photographed at
approximately equal rates near and far from the forest
Preliminary results also indicate that tapirs seem
to be active mostly at night and tend to be solitary. All
tapir photos are recorded at nigh and until early mor-
ning (19:57 to 04:25) and all are of single individuals.
This result is different compared to previous results
obtained by Holden et al. (2003) in Kerinci Seblat
National Park, who recorded tapirs as active since


Figure 2. Differences in the pattern of black and white
coloration between two individual tapirs photographed
at the study area.

17:00 and until 09:00. This difference is perhaps a
response of tapirs to the human activities that occur at
Taratak. The activities of local people inside the reserve
were recorded as the second highest number of image-
captures by the cameras. The predominant nocturnal
activity of tapirs was also documented for Baird's
tapirs (Foerster & Vaughan, 2002), but was proposed
as a behavior to avoid the hotter daytime. Wallace et
al. (2000), too, found that Lowland tapirs (T. terrest-
ris) tapirs tend to be nocturnal, although some diurnal
activity was recorded. A bimodal pattern of activity was
recorded for Mountain tapir (T. pinchaque), for which
Lizcano and Cavalier (2000) record activity during the
early hours of the morning (5:00-7:00) and early hours
of the evening (18:00-20:00). More data are needed to
determine if indeed there are differences in daily acti-
vity patterns among all four tapir species.
Analyses of tapirs image-captured during this study
indicate that only two adults of tapirs seem to exist
in this area. Identifications were based on scratches,
differences in the pattern of white and black on their
bodies (Figure 2) and time of photograph. Two indivi-
dual tapirs were photographed at the same time (diffe-
rence only 5 seconds) on two different cameras. With
the assumption that four cameras detected the tapirs
in a 4 km2 area and ignoring the four other cameras
that did not detect the tapirs, the density of tapirs in
this area is 0.5 individuals/km2. Further estimates will
be carried out at the end of this study, as more data
become available.


Early results of this study show preference of Malayan
tapir for secondary lowland forest, in relative flat and
damp areas. The need of Malayan tapirs for salt licks is
evidenced in their visit to these areas every time in each
two-week sampling period. Malayan tapirs also seem to
be more active at night.


This study was supported by Maurice Laing Foundation
through the Rufford Small Grant Program. We would
like to thank Patricia Medici, Deborah Martyr & Iwan
Setiawan who provided technical support to this pro-
ject. We also would like to thank Leonardo A. Salas,
who provided advice and editorial suggestions to this
report. Constructive ideas also were provided by Carl
Traeholt and Rob J. Lee during the project design.
We also would like to thank Henri, David, Pak Ali,
Pak Mantan, Pak Pirin, and Pak Yunus, for helping us
during this project.


Foerster, C. R. & Vaughan, C. 2002. Home Range, Habitat Use,
and Activity of Baird's Tapir in Costa Rica. Biotropica 34:
Holden, J. Yanuar, A. & Martyr, D. 2003. The Asian Tapir in
Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra: evidence collec-
ted through photo-trapping. Oryx 37: 34-40.
Kawanishi, K. Sunquist, M. & Othman, S. 2002. Malayan
Tapirs (Tapirus indicus): Far from Extinction in a
Malaysian Rainforest. Tapir Conservation 11(1): 23-27.
Lizcano, D. J. & Cavelier, J. 2000. Daily and seasonal activity
of the Mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in the Central
Andes of Colombia. J. Zool. Lond. 252: 429-435.
Novarino, W Karimah, S. N., Jarulis, Silmi, M. & Syafri, M.
2004. Habitat Use by Malay Tapir (Tapirus indicus) in
West Sumatra, Indonesia. Tapir Conservation 13 (2):
O'Brien, T. G., Kinnaird, M. F. & Wibisono, H. T. 2003.
Crouching tigers, hidden prey: Sumatran tiger and
prey populations in a tropical forest landscape. Animal
Conservation 6: 131-139.
Wallace, R., Ayala, G. & Gomez, H. 2002. Lowland Tapir
Activity Patterns and Capture Frequencies in Lowland
Moist Tropical Forest. Tapir Conservation 11(2): 14.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


As th xet

A Risk in Low Numbers:

What Diseases to Look for?

By Leonardo Salas

Conservation biologists have long known that as
population numbers dwindle, species are more
prone to extinction by "catastrophes". (By "catastro-
phes" I do not mean hunting or logging, but large forest
fires, a disease outbreak, or an unusually long drought/
flood). This increased risk stems from two basic prin-
ciples. First, larger population numbers ensure that
more individuals may escape the decimating factor just
by simply being away from it. Second, larger popula-
tions contain larger allele diversity, which may prove
critical to surviving the decimating factor.
Collaborative data-sharing exercises and GIS ana-
lyses, such as the workshop on the recent and historic
status of lowland tapir populations, would offer insight
on those populations that are potentially more prone to
succumb to catastrophes. These efforts would identify
where populations have been substantially reduced in
recent history. But it is not just a matter of small size;
connectivity factors need to be considered those fac-
tors that make a population more likely to be exposed/
succumb to a catastrophe. Broadly speaking, these
are internal factors (e.g., density and spatial spread
of the population, movement of individuals within the
population, habitat diversity) and external factors (e.g.,
aspects of the habitats and climate surrounding the
population, links to other tapir populations).
Many authors have proposed that diseases are
usually the culprit in delivering the coup de gras
to recently shrunk populations. If correct, then we
should be on the lookout for diseases that have the
potential to wipe out small tapir populations. What
diseases should we be watching for? How are they
transmitted and what factors external to tapir popu-
lations should be considered to determine the risk of
exposure? What internal factors may make diseases
spread faster/wider?
The problem of wildlife diseases in shrinking popu-
lations is, not surprisingly, quite complex. On one
hand, it has to do with exposure to new pathogens and
enhanced spread of diseases, as Sonia Hernandez exp-
lains: "... As evidenced by canine distemper in lions and
the recent introduction of West Nile into the New World
(and endless other examples), we should consider that
tapirs, already existing in low densities in small and

fragmented populations, might be perfect targets for
an 'emergent' pathogen from either an introduced non-
native species (and the load of pathogens they carry),
or changes in land use that facilitate the range of di-
sease vectors." On the other hand, there is the issue
of immuno-suppression. Mitch Finnegan illustrates
it with a personal example: "We are currently wor-
king with a very endangered species of pygmy rabbit
(Brachylagus idahoensis) that was reduced to about
18 individuals before they were all captured for captive
propagation (we are up to about 100 individuals now).
The biggest problems we have had in the species have
been parasitism with coccidiosis (Eimeria sp.) and
infection with Mycobacterium avium. Infection with
M. avium is almost unheard of in non-immuno-com-
promised mammals and coccidians are usually well
adapted to their host and not a serious disease threat.
Our rabbits were suffering acute deaths to a coccidian,
which is extremely unusual." Why were these otherwise
rare or harmless infections decimating the endangered
rabbits? "We tested the rabbits' immune function and
found it to be severely depressed making them suscep-
tible to these otherwise fairly innocuous organisms."

"Diseases are usually the culprit
in delivering the coup de gras
to recently shrunk populations."

Sonia and colleagues highlight the danger of
disease outbreaks in dwindling tapir populations in
a hot-from-the-press publication. Their article is the
first to offer reference values for hematology, blood
chemistry, mineral values and antibody profiles in wild
tapirs. This kind of studies is important not only to
understand what is the normal serology of animals in
the wild, but sets a standard against which captive nut-
rition and health can be compared. She and her col-
leagues found significant differences between the wild
population and captive ones, in particular regarding
diseases and antibody seroprevalence (the presence
of antibodies in the blood), but also blood chemistry
(which they assumed was related to differences in diet).
We will return to the issue of health standards from
wild populations later on.
What diseases to be on the look out, we asked?
Surprisingly, Sonia et al. found that the tapirs in
Corcovado did not share ticks and diseases with the
livestock surrounding the park. Rather, the diseases
and ticks they carried were common among livestock

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


and wildlife (cattle, horses, domestic cats, but also pec-
caries, capybaras and jaguars) in Central and South
America. However, she readily admits that the animals
they tested were at the core of the population, not the
periphery the typical place of contact. So, the jury
is still out (and more research and papers are needed,
especially comparing wild tapir populations!) about
what is the normal chemistry and seroprevalence pro-
file of a wild tapir population and what may be a threat
to dwindling tapir populations.
Sonia generously expanded, in response to our
question, the caveats of her and colleagues' study.
Said she: "First of all, to understand disease preva-
lence, you need to at least estimate population size and
almost as important, age structure (as well as other
factors that play a role in infectious disease prevalence,
transmission etc)." What she meant by age structure
relates to diseases being more (or less) prevalent (and
damaging) in different age classes, thereby causing dif-
ferential survival of individuals at different ages. For
example, diseases may affect juveniles and wandering
sub-adults more severely than adults. Screening adult
animals may not show all the diseases these animals
have been exposed to in their lives, or may represent a
sample of individuals that already have fended off the
diseases. But our ignorance is even more basic, as we
do not know differences in behavior of wild tapirs of
different ages. These differences may make a segment
of the population more exposed to diseases and give us
clues on where to look for trouble.

"Phenotypic plasticity and behavior
can play a role in preventing
disease outbreaks."

What Sonia meant above by population size relates
to sampling theory: it is important to ensure a random,
representative sample in order to be able to extrapo-
late to the population and be able to conduct proper
statistical tests. "... In other words, the information
we gained would have been more useful if we knew
the total number of animals in the area and, based
on previous reports of disease prevalence in related
species, could figure out a minimum representative
sample size." Then, ideally, the sampling should be
numerically representative and stratified by age cate-
gories. These are requisites unlikely to be fully met by
any wildlife disease study, let alone one on the solitary,
elusive tapirs.
Sonia has come up with a possible explanation for
the relatively few diseases found in the wild tapirs of
her study. She explains: "In my opinion, tapirs [...]
either have a low prevalence of infectious diseases in
general, or the infectious diseases are affecting the

juvenile sector of the population and thus are not
detected easily." She does make this assertion with
caution, but based on some facts and logic: "1) infec-
tious disease accounts for the minority of morbidity/
mortality in captivity, and there are few to no reports
of infectious diseases in free-ranging animals (however,
we must remember the low densities in which these
animals live and the chance of finding sick/dead tapirs
is low); 2) the results of my study do not support a high
prevalence of infectious agents (although, as I said, this
only applies to this region, this group of animals under
the circumstances they live); 3) tapirs exist in low den-
sities and do not aggregate, which in and of itself is a
roadblock to infectious agents..." Sonia is quick to
point out that phenotypic plasticity and behavior can
play a role in preventing disease outbreaks.
But the risks are there nevertheless. Tapirs do
occasionally congregate under fruiting trees and pat-
ches of good browse, at wallowing places, and at salt
licks. Indeed, Franz Kaston Flores visited sites "...of
borderline overlap between cattle, horses and tapirs in
the cloud forests, evidencing even the share of artificial
salt licks for cattle, thereby generating areas of high
epidemiological risk for Mountain tapirs in Tolima
[Colombia]." It remains to be determined whether
these are true places for disease spread. Javier Adolfo
Sarria offers another intriguing mechanism of trans-
mission: interaction with other species. "If in a given
area there are wild herds of (other) infected animals,
these may pass the disease on to tapirs." Certainly, the
few diseases Sonia found were somehow shared among
the tapirs in her study. "Tapirs in my study did have
high titers to VEE and it would be worth investigating
that, especially [... ] where tapirs live in areas with high
prevalence of equine encephalitis (as judged by human,
domestic horse and bird cases)."
To bring the point home, Javier provided a worri-
some example of the importance of monitoring cattle
populations. Javier explains that "...more and more
we are discovering the devastating effects of diseases
brought into wild populations by domesticated animals
and through the expansion of the agricultural frontier.
[...] We have disturbing reports that must be urgently
confirmed of the possible decimating effect of foot-and-
mouth disease on populations of Mountain tapirs in
northern Peru." Our readers may remember that these
populations are largely fragmented and of relatively
small sizes.
Sonia's explanations are a bit too technical for
me (hopefully I am not alone here!), so let's pause
and recoup what she, Franz, Javier and Mitch have
explained above. Several factors may be important in
determining what diseases to look for, and what other
factors to consider when determining the risk of cata-
strophic death of a dwindling tapir population. Firstly,
we lack the basic knowledge of what are normal and

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


prevalent diseases in wild tapirs (Sonia's paper is the
first of its kind). Secondly, we don't know how expo-
sure and disease incidence change with age. Thirdly,
we don't know how tapir behavior (including behavio-
ral changes associated with age) may make segments
of the population more susceptible to pathogens. What
started as a question of "what's there to watch out for"
is turning into a good measure of our ignorance and
lack of preparedness to manage small tapir populati-
ons. And this is not the end of the story bear with me
for a few more paragraphs.

"More and more we are discovering
the devastating effects of diseases
brought into wild populations
by domesticated animals."

Apparently, part of the problem about our limited
knowledge of wildlife diseases stems from the lack of
interest among veterinary professionals. Franz illust-
rates this with an example: "The veterinary profession
participates minimally in the active conservation of
wildlife populations, in great measure because of the
limited motivation about the issue in the faculties
of veterinary medicine in Colombia. [...] In the year
2001, The Wildlife Conservation Society sent two vets
to the Zoologico de Cali to conduct an extraordinary
workshop on the role of vet doctors in the conserva-
tion of wildlife, where I think the evaluation of healthy
wildlife populations was mentioned for the first time
[in Colombia]." (Italics mine). Javier explains that
screening wildlife populations for diseases is becoming
an increasingly common monitoring step around the
world, known as Conservation Medicine.
Franz took it upon himself to go out and survey
cattle ranchers around Tolima and came up with a
long list of diseases, all potentially transmissible to
tapirs by ecto- and endo-parasites. Javier provided
a long list of possibilities too, from diseases known
in zoos. Franz and Sonia explicitly advocate for more
collaboration between field biologists and veterinarians
(Franz mentions that WCS has already developed pro-
tocols even available in Spanish on how to collect
samples). Both mentioned the need to come up with a
sample collection standard methodology. Perhaps this
should be made a requisite of field studies sponsored
by the TSG?
Moreover, Franz adds (Javier concurs), studies
should also be conducted "...on domestic stock and
wildlife surrounding endangered populations." He exp-
lains that park management in Colombia (but not there
only) follows the policy of "parks with people, which
implies the permanent presence of domestic animals
and their diseases..." in these parks. To make things

worse, adds he: "...the wildlife health [protection]
role of park guards is not even contemplated in their
duties." So, we must add two more point to our "igno-
rance" list above: Fourth, we don't know what diseases
are prevalent in wildlife and cattle around tapir popu-
lations; and fifth, we lack a standard protocol to collect
samples for analysis.
The experience with the rabbits tells Mitch "...that
diseases we may need to worry about might be things
that are completely off the radar and not really even
considered mammalian disease agents (like M. avium)
or, more likely, things like coccidia that are a minor
nuisance now but may become more serious with
inbreeding as populations shrink." Accordingly, much
along Franz's and Javier's words, Mitch suggests:
"It might be interesting to look at what parasites or
potential disease agents are common now and see
which ones are likely to exploit a dip in immune func-
tion better than others... An immunologist might be
able to predict what you need to worry most about if
she could be provided with a list of agents the populati-
on is currently living with and the risks the population
is exposed to (inbreeding, specific pollutants, etc.)."
Looking at presently common parasites and diseases
was precisely one of the goals of Sonia and colleagues'
study; more such studies are sorely needed.
It is apparently not that simple to determine how
animals may become immuno-suppressed. Mitch's
rabbit example notwithstanding, Sonia contends that
"...there is little empirical evidence to support the
claim that decreased heterogeneity [in the main set of
genes participating in the immune function] is related
to disease susceptibility." In other words, scientists do
not fully understand what causes immuno-supression,
or even what constitutes an immuno-suppressed indi-
vidual. Still, the information our experts suggest be col-
lected is a good starting point to prepare for possible
decimating agents.
There are two other important points our experts
breached. Mitch explains, again with an example: "We
are also working with California condors who suffered
a similar decline [as that of the rabbits] to 24 indivi-
duals in 1982, but who have essentially no infectious
disease problems except WNV, which has recently
emerged." Mitch speculates that the difference between
Californian Condors and Idaho Pygmy Rabbits "...may
have to do with their life histories and how it con-
tributes to, or protects from, inbreeding. The pygmy
rabbits live in large groups and normally suffer very
high mortality over winter. Their population expands
greatly over the spring and summer and shrinks by as
much as 90% over the winter. As the groups shrank
and the number of groups became fewer and fewer
(reducing recruitment) the effect of this normal cycle
of expansion/contraction of the population may have
served to concentrate genes and enhance inbreeding

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


leaving them immuno-compromised and susceptible
to infectious diseases." Mitch admits that he does not
understand the life histories of condors well enough to
"...know if theirs is especially protective of this effect,
or if they just got lucky with the founder individuals
they were left with." This is an interesting path of
research too, and we should be as candid as Mitch
and openly recognize that we do not know the mating
system of tapirs, or whether it ensures a healthy mix
of genes in the population. These are important pieces
of the puzzle of what may happen to a shrinking tapir
population. Thus, we add one more issue to the list:
we don't know the social/mating system of tapirs and
cannot predict the likelihood of immuno-compromise
in a dwindling population.
If you are keeping track you will have noticed that
our veterinary experts are pointing to the need of col-
laborative work among field ecologists, veterinarians
and zoo-keeping specialists, behaviorists and popula-
tion geneticists (that is, almost all amongst our rank!).
Sonia, like Franz, offers tangible recommendations:
"Future studies might target juveniles, or might com-
bine efforts between population ecologists that are
looking at population growth and age structure with
veterinarians studying the prevalence of pathogens at
different ages to shed more light on this picture. (...)
Several more studies, like mine and the ones others
have undertaken, and with more consideration to the
principles of disease ecology and epidemiology need to
be done to determine what, if any, infectious disease
affects, regulates or has the potential to cause signifi-
cant population effects for free-ranging tapirs. A good
first step would be to ask all the veterinarians who
have worked with these animals in the field to put toge-
ther their results in one site (i.e., a website)." Back to
Sonia, then: maybe this should be one of the goals of
the Tapir Veterinary Committee?
Finally, let's go back the issue of health standards
from wild populations that Sonia mentioned and
Franz decried as not of interest to faculties of vete-
rinary medicine in Colombia. It is not just a matter
of knowing what diseases wild tapirs are exposed to.
Zoos and captive breeding facilities need this informa-
tion to ensure that their stocks are as healthy as, and
resemble in all possible ways, wild animals. Why so?
It becomes obvious that if re-introduction/translocati-
on of animals may become a management option to
save wild populations, it is necessary that animals to
be introduced are not handicapped nutritionally and
immunologically. Without getting into too much detail,
animals to be re-introduced should have been exposed
to the same pathogens as their wild counterparts in
order to be successful. Equally as important is not to
introduce diseases to populations we are striving to
recover. Only with information about pathogens in the
wild can captive breeding specialists and veterinarians

ensure they have prepared the animals for their inten-
ded destination without threatening those surviving in
the wild. Mitch puts it in one line: "You can't win! They
must be clean, but not too clean!" So, the information
is needed to know how much clean is not too clean,
and of what. Many among us readers will have reser-
vations about re-introducing animals, but we do not
know what our options will be in the future and should
be prepared with as much information as possible for
as many eventualities as we can conceive.
Many thanks to Sonia Hernandez-Divers, veteri-
nary doctor and Doctoral candidate at the Institute
of Ecology of the University of Georgia in Athens, to
Javier Adolfo Sarria, veterinary doctor, Coordinator
of the Andean Ungulates Project of Colombia and of
the TSG Genetics Committee, to Mitch Finnegan, vete-
rinary doctor at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, and to
Franz Kaston Flores, wildlife veterinary doctor from

Leonardo Salas
Ph.D. Animal Population Biologist, Wildlife Conservation
Society (WCS)
Editor, Tapir Conservation Newsletter, IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG)
PO. Box 106, Waigani, NCD, PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Phone: +675-323-1532; +675-324-5432; +675-688-4577

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

You Can Help!

Compiling a Global Literature Database
of Tapir Species

Based at the Department of Biological Sciences of Towson
University, Melissa Cameron, one of my graduate students,
and I are compiling a literature database of the four tapir
species occurring worldwide. Out goal is threefold:
I) to have this database available for the members of the
IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group,
2) to simulate further interest in tapir biology, and
3) to facilitate new research initiatives on tapirs.
The database will contain published articles but also
unpublished theses (M.S. or Ph.D.) concerned with tapir bio-
logy (i.e. ecology, behavior, genetics, and conservation). We
are collecting papers in pdf or other electronic format by
using the main available search engines.
If you have any reprints, a thesis, or are aware of search
engines covering Latin America or Asia please let us know.
We hope in the near future to be able to provide the Tapir
Specialist Group with a comprehensive global tapir literature
database. You may contact us at:
Harald Beck, Ph.D.


IUNS Tapi Spcals Gru Members

Currently, the TSG has 97 members, including
field researchers, educators, veterinarians,
governmental agencies and NGO representatives,
zoo personnel, university professors and students,
from 26 different countries worldwide (Argentina,
Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia,
Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany,
Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico,
Republic of Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Taiwan,
Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United
States, and Venezuela).


Researcher, Malayan Tapir Project, Krau Wildlife Reserve
E-mail: cobra7512081

Ph.D. Director (Research & Conservation),
Singapore Zoological Gardens
Associate Professor, Tajen Institute of Technology

Departamento Academico de Ciencias Biologicas y
Facultad de Ciencias y Filosofia, Universidad Peruana
Cayetano Heredia

ANGELL, GILIA (United States)
User Interface Designer,

APARICIO, KARLA (Republic of Panama)
Scientific Committee, Patronato "Amigos del Aguila Harpia"
Associate Researcher, Earthmatters.Org

BARONGI, RICK (United States)
Director, Houston Zoo Inc.

BECK, HARALD (Germany / United States / Peru)
Ph.D. Assistant Professor & Curator of the Mammal
Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University

D.VM. Director T6cnico, Fundaci6n Nacional de Parques
Zool6gicos e Acuarios (FUNPZA)
Ministerio del Ambiente (MARN)

Ph.D. Lecturer in Biodiversity Conservation, Durrell
Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)
Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury

Delegaci6n Regional NoA, Parques Nacionales

Coordinator, Programa Parques en Peligro
Fundaci6n Ecuatoriana de Estudios Ecol6gicos EcoCiencia

Coordinador de Proyectos Ambientales, Asociaci6n Meralvis

M.Sc. Coordinador de Conservaci6n de Sitios,
Guyra Paraguay

Director, Andean Bear Project, Fundaci6n Espiritu del

M.Sc. Researcher, El Rey National Park

CHONG, MIKE H. N. (Malaysia)
Coordinator, Freelance Naturalist, Bird Guide
Asian Raptor Research & Conservation Network-Information
Centre / Nature Tours

COLBERT, MATTHEW (United States)
Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences,
University of Texas

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

M.Sc. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y Ecologia

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Ph.D. Departamento de Ecologia de los Recursos Naturales,
Institute de Ecologia, UNAM

DEE, MICHAEL (United States)
General Curator, Los Angeles Zoo

Assistant Director, Parc Zoologique de Lille
Lowland Tapir Studbook Keeper,
EAZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

DOWNER, CRAIG C. (United States)
BA, M.Sc., President, Andean Tapir Fund

M.Sc. Graduate Student, Posgrado en Biologia, Universidad
de Costa Rica (UCR)

FLESHER, KEVIN (United States / Brazil)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Rutgers University

FLOCKEN, JEFFREY (United States)
International Affairs Specialist,
Division of International Conservation
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
E-mail: jeff

FOERSTER, CHARLES R. (United States / Costa Rica)
M.Sc. Leader, Baird's Tapir Project,
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

FRANKLIN, NEIL (Indonesia)
Director, Indonesia Program,
The Tiger Foundation (Canada)
The Sumatran Tiger Trust (United Kingdom)

GARRELLE, DELLA (United States)
D.VM. Director of Conservation and Animal Health
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

GLATSTON, ANGELA (The Netherlands)
Ph.D. Curator of Mammals, Rotterdam Zoo

GOFF, DON (United States)
Director of Animal Programs, Beardsley Zoological Gardens
Lowland Tapir Studbook Keeper,
AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

GONQALVES DA SILVA, ANDERS (Brazil / United States)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Center for Environmental
Research and Conservation (CERC)
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental
Biology, Columbia University

GREENE, LEWIS (United States)
Director, Virginia Zoological Park
Chair, AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

D.VM. Zool6gico Regional Miguel Alvarez del Toro (ZooMat)

D.VM. Policlinica y Diagn6stico Veterinario

D.VM. College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia

HOLDEN, JEREMY (Indonesia)
Flora and Fauna International
E-mail: jeremy_holdenl@(

HOLST, BENGT (Denmark)
M.Sc. Vice Director and Director of Conservation and
Science, Copenhagen Zoo
Chair, EAZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

JANSSEN, DONALD L. (United States)
D.VM. Ph.D. Veterinary Services,
San Diego Wild Animal Park

Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Royal Forest Department of Thailand

Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant
Royal Forestry Department of Thailand

D.VM. Scientific Director, Fundaci6n Nativa

Ph.D. Technical Advisor,
Division of Research and Conservation
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP)

Director of Conservation and Science, Houston Zoo Inc.

D.VM. M.Sc. Research Associate, Universidad del Mar -
Campus Puerto Escondido
E-mail:; ilira

Tapir Conservation 0 The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group m Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


LIZCANO, DIEGO J. (Colombia)
Ph.D. Graduate Student,
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)
Eliot College, University of Kent at Canterbury

Ph.D. Graduate Student, Centro de Biologia Animal,
Departamento de Biologia Animal
Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa

LYNAM, ANTONY (Thailand)
Ph.D. Associate Conservation Ecologist,
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Thailand

D.VM. M.Sc. Research Associate, IPE Instituto de
Pesquisas Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)

Team Leader, Flora and Fauna International

MATOLA, SHARON (United States / Belize)
Director, Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

McLAIN, JENNIFER (United States)
Registrar, Houston Zoo Inc.
Malay Tapir Studbook Keeper,
AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

Research Coordinator, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)

MEIJAARD, ERIK (The Netherlands / Indonesia)
Ph.D. Senior Forest Ecologist, The Nature Conservancy
(TNC), East Kalimantan Provincial Office

MENDOZA, ALBERTO (Mexico / United States)
D.VM. Manager, Latin American Programs,
Houston Zoo Inc.

MOLLINEDO, MANUEL A. (United States)
Director, San Francisco Zoological Gardens

Ph.D. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL)

MORALES, MIGUEL A. (Paraguay / United States)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Land Resources Program
Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies,
University of Wisconsin

Ph.D. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)

Museo de la Estaci6n Biol6gica de Rancho Grande
E-mail: adrian.naveda@cantv. net

Researcher, Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris
E-mail: anfibios

Lecturer, Jurusan Biologi FMIPA, Universitas Andalas
E-mail: wilson n

O'FARRILL, GEORGINA (Mexico / Canada)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Biology Department,
McGill University

Coordinator, Proyecto Corredores de Conservaci6n,
Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris

D.VM. Staff Member, Vida Livre -
Medicina de Animais Selvagens

D.VM. Gerente del Departamento de Veterinaria,
Africam Safari

Laboratorio de Ecologia de Vertebrados,
Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES)

Ph.D. Technical Forest Official Department of National
Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation
Royal Forest Department of Thailand

D.VM. Senior Veterinarian, Fundaci6n Temaiken

Institute de Ciencias Naturales,
Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL)

ROMAN, JOSEPH (United States)
Curator, Virginia Zoological Park
Baird's Tapir Studbook Keeper,
AZA Tapir Taxon Advisory Group

Tapir Conservation 0 The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group m Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Professor & Researcher, Escuela de Biologia, Universidad de
San Carlos de Guatemala

RUSSO, KELLY J. (United States)
Conservation Program Assistant, Houston Zoo Inc.

SALAS, LEONARDO (Venezuela / Papua New Guinea)
Ph.D. Animal Population Biologist,
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Ph.D. President, Sociedad Mastozoologica de Panama

Tapir Preservation Fund

Biologist, Licenciado en Ciencias Biol6gicas, Universidad
Central del Ecuador
E-mail: lfsandoval

M.Sc. Candidate, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
E-mail:; adriana-

D.VM. M.Sc. Genetics & Animal Improvement

Ph.D. Captive Research on Tapirs: Behavior and
Management, 4TAPIRS Information Centre

SHOEMAKER, ALAN H. (United States)
Permit Advisor, American Zoo and Aquarium Association
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

SMITH, BRANDIE (United States)
Assistant Director, Conservation and Science,
American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA)

Licenciada en Ciencias Biol6gicas, Investigadora Asociada,
Conservaci6n Argentina

Environmental Manager, Enviromental Sciences,
Universidad Tecnol6gica de Pereira

THOISY, BENOIT DE (French Guiana)
D.VM. Ph.D. Kwata Association
E-mail: ihoii\ ,i- nplui gf.

TILSON, RONALD (United States)
Ph.D. Director of Conservation, Minnesota Zoo

TODD, SHERYL (United States)
President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)

M.Sc. Graduate Student, Sao Paulo University
(USP Universidade de Sao Paulo)
Researcher, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas
(Institute for Ecological Research)

TRAEHOLT, CARL (Denmark / Malaysia / Cambodia)
Ph.D. Research Coordinator, Malayan Tapir Project,
Krau Wildlife Reserve, Copenhagen Zoo

VALDEZ LEAL, JUAN DE DIOS (Mexico / Costa Rica)

VAN STRIEN, NICO (The Netherlands / Indonesia)
Ph.D. SE Asia Coordinator, International Rhino Foundation

Ph.D. Associate Professor, Botany Department,
University of Hawaii at Manoa

WALLACE, ROBERT B. (England / Bolivia)
Ph.D. Associate Conservation Ecologist,
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Madidi

WATERS, SIAN S. (United Kingdom)
BA, M.Phil. Conservation Zoologist
E-mail: sian s;

Ph.D. Private Consultant
E-mail: kdwilliams56

General Curator, Belize Zoo

WORTMAN, JOHN (United States)
Collections Manager, Peace River Center for the
Conservation of Tropical Ungulates

Tapir Conservation 0 The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group m Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005


Patricia Medici, Brazil,

Siin S.Waters, United Kingdom, sian s
William Konstant, United States,

Baird's Tapir Coordinator
Eduardo J. Naranjo Pihera, Mexico,

Lowland Tapir Coordinator
Viviana Beatriz Quse,Argentina,

Malay Tapir Coordinator
Carl Traeholt, Denmark / Malaysia,

Mountain Tapir Coordinator
Emilio Constantino, Colombia,

Red List Authority
Alan H. Shoemaker, United States,

Tapir Conservation Newsletter Editors
Leonardo Salas,Venezuela/Papua New Guinea,
Stefan Seitz, Germany,
Kelly J. Russo, United States,
Rick Barongi, United States,

Fundraising Committee Coordinator
Patricia Medici, Brazil,

Action Planning Committee Coordinator
Patricia Medici, Brazil,

Zoo Committee Coordinator
Siin S.Waters, United Kingdom, sian s

Veterinary Committee Coordinator
D.V.M. Pilar Alexander Blanco Marquez,Venezuela,

Genetics Committee Coordinators
Anders Gongalves da Silva, Brazil/United States,
D.V.M. Javier Adolfo Sarria Perea, Colombia,
Cristina Luis, Portugal,

Education & Outreach Committee Coordinator
Kelly J. Russo, United States,

Marketing Committee Coordinator
Gilia Angell, United States, gilia

Gilia Angell, United States,

Evolution Consultant
Matthew Colbert, United States,

This newsletter aims to provide information regarding all
aspects of tapir natural history. Items of news, recent events,
recent publications, thesis abstracts, workshop proceedings
etc concerning tapirs are welcome. Manuscripts should be
submitted in MS Word.

There are two deadlines per year: 3 I March for publication
in June and 30 September for publication in December.

Please include the full name and address of the authors
underneath the title of the article and specify who is the
corresponding author.

Full length articles on any aspect of tapir natural history
are accepted in English, Spanish or Portuguese language.
They should not be more than 15 pages in length (including
references). In any case, an English abstract is required.

Figures and Maps
Contributions can include black and white photographs, high
quality figures and high quality maps and tables. Please send
them as separate files (formats preferred: jpg, pdf, cdr, xls).

Please refer to these examples when listing references:

journal Article
Herrera, J.C.,Taber,A.,Wallace, R.B. & Painter, L. 1999.
Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) behavioral ecology in a
southern Amazonian tropical forest. Vida Silv.Tropicale

Chapter in Book
Janssen, D.L., Rideout, B.A. & Edwards, M.S. 1999.Tapir
Medicine. In: M.E. Fowler & R. E. Miller (eds.) Zoo and Wild
Animal Medicine, pp.562-568. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadelphia,

Brooks, D.M., Bodmer, R.E. & Matola, S. 1997.Tapirs: Status,
Survey and Conservation Action Plan. IUCN, Gland,

Foerster. C.R. 1998.Ambito de Hogar, Patron de Movimentso
y Dieta de la Danta Centroamericana (Tapirus bairdii) en
el Parque Nacional Corcovado, Costa Rica. M.S. thesis.
Universidad Nacional, Heredia, Costa Rica.

Santiapilli, C.& Ramono,WS. 1989.The Status and
Conservation of the Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Sumatra,
Indonesia. Unpublished Report,Worldwide Fund for Nature,
Bogor, Indonesia.

Please send all contributions to Leonardo Salas, or by hard copy to this postal
address: P.O. Box 106,Waigani, NCD, Papua New Guinea.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 14/2 0 No. 18 0 December 2005

Tapir Conservation

Volume 14/2 0 No. 18 E December 2005

I~ Cotet

Contents ....................................... ............ 2

Editorial Board ............................................. 2

From the Chair .............................................. 3
Letter from the Chair
By Patricia Medici ......................................... 3
Heidi Jean Frohring, 1967-2005
By Patricia Medici & Sheryl Todd ........................ 5

TSG Committee Reports ................................. 6
Action Planning for Tapir Conservation
By Patricia Medici & Sian Waters ......................... 6
Marketing Committee and Website
By Gilia Angell .................... .... .................. 12
Zoo Committee
By Sian S. Waters ................ .... ................. 14

Project Updates ........................................... 15
Lowland Tapir Footprint Identification Technique
By Patricia Medici ......................................... 15
Lineamientos sobre la Conservaci6n de Tapirus
terrestris Primer Encuentro de Instituciones
Por Viviana Quse ............................................ 16
Ex Situ Progress Resulting from the Baird's Tapir
PHVA Workshop
By Alan Shoemaker & Lewis Greene ................. 17

News from the Field ..................................... 18
Estimating the Genetic Diversity of Mountain Tapir
Populations in Colombia: A Joint Effort
By Carlos A. Pedraza & Diego J. Lizcano .............. 18

First Ever Notes on Tapir Reproduction in the Wild
By Leonardo Salas ......................................... 21

Contributed Papers .................................... 22
Diet of Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) Introduced in a
Salt Marsh Area of the Baixada do Massiambu,
State Park of the Serra do Tabuleiro -
Santa Catarina, South of Brazil
By Luiz G. R. Oliveira Santos, L. C. Pinheiro
Machado Filho, Marcos A. Tortado, Daniel de B.
Falkemberg and Maria J. Hotzel ........................ 22
Habitat Use and Density of the Malayan Tapir
(Tapirus indicus) in the Taratak Forest Reserve,
Sumatra, Indonesia
By Wilson Novarino, Santi N. Kamilah, Agung
Nugroho, Muhammad N. Janra, Muhammad Silmi,
Muhammad Syafri ........................................ 28

Ask the Experts ............................................ 31
A Risk in Low Numbers:
What Diseases to Look for?
By Leo Salas ......................... .................... 31
You can help! Compiling a Global Literature
Database of Tapir Species
By Harald Beck .............. ..... ... ............. ...... 34

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Membership Directory ................................. 35

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Structure ..................................... ............ 39

Notes for Contributors ................................ 39

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