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 2008
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.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00095885
Volume ID: VID00024
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 17/2 U No. 24
December 2008


Tapir Conservation

Prfiting and ilttributiortof the Tapir Con y
Houston Zoo Inc#, 1513 j4.Mac' regor, Hot
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Patrfcia Medici, Brazil

Steering Committee
Alan Shoemaker, United States
Alberto Mendoza, Mexico/United States
Anders Gongalves da Silva, Canada
Bengt Holst, Denmark
Carl Traeholt, Denmark/Malaysia
Diego Lizcano, Colombia
Gilia Angell, United States
Jeffrey Flocken, United States
Kelly Russo, United States
Mathias Tobler, Switzerland/Peru
Michael Dee, United States
Olga Montenegro, Colombia
Rick Schwartz, United States
Viviana Quse,Argentina

Baird's Tapir Coordinator
Manolo Garcia, Guatemala

Lowland Tapir Coordinator
Viviana Beatriz Quse,Argentina

Malayan Tapir Coordinator
Carl Traeholt, Denmark/Malaysia

Mountain Tapir Coordinator
Diego J. Lizcano, Colombia

Red List Authority
Red List Focal Point: Alan H. Shoemaker, United States
TSG Species Coordinators /TSG Country Coordinators

Tapir Conservation Newsletter Editors
Contributions Editor: Carl Traeholt, Malaysia
Layout & Distribution Editors:
Stefan Seitz, Germany / Kelly J. Russo, United States

Virtual Library Manager
Mathias Tobler, United States/Peru

Fundraising Committee Coordinator
Patrfcia Medici, Brazil

Action Planning Committee Coordinator
(National Action Plans)
Patr'cia Medici, Brazil /TSG Country Coordinators

Action Plan Implementation Taskforce
Coordinator: Patr'cia Medici, Brazil
Focal Point(s) Lowland Tapir: Olga Montenegro, Juliana
Rodriguez, Benoit de Thoisy
Focal Point(s) Baird's Tapir: Kendra Bauer
Focal Point(s) Mountain Tapir: Carlos Pedraza

Focal Point(s) Malayan Tapir:
Carl Traeholt, Zainal Zahari Zainuddin
Focal Point(s) Ex-Situ Conservation:
Viviana Quse (Lowland Tapir), Nanda Kumaren (Malayan Tapir),
Alberto Mendoza (Baird's Tapir)
Focal Point(s) Marketing & Education: Kelly Russo

Zoo Committee Coordinator
Viviana Beatriz Quse,Argentina

Veterinary Committee Coordinator
Javier Adolfo Sarria Perea, Colombia/Brazil

Genetics Committee Coordinators
Anders Gongalves da Silva, Canada / Cristina Luis, Portugal

Marketing & Education Committee Coordinators
Gilia Angell, United States / Kelly J. Russo, United States

Gilia Angell, United States

Re-Introduction & Translocation Advisory
Committee Coordinators
Patricia Medici, Brazil /Anders Gongalves da Silva, Canada

Ethics Committee

Country Coordinators
South America
Argentina: Silvia Chalukian
Bolivia: Guido Ayala
Brazil: Patr'cia Medici
Colombia: Olga Montenegro, Juliana Rodriguez
Ecuador: Leonardo Ord6hez Delgado, Fernando Nogales
Guiana Shield (French Guyana, Guiana and Suriname):
Benoit de Thoisy
Paraguay: Jose Luis Cartes
Peru: Mathias Tobler
Venezuela: in the process of identifying a coordinator
Central America
Belize: in the process of identifying a coordinator
Costa Rica: in the process of identifying a coordinator
Guatemala:Jose Roberto Ruiz Fuamagalli
Honduras: Nereyda Estrada Andino
Mexico: Epigmenio Cruz Aldin
Nicaragua: in the process of identifying a coordinator
Panama: in the process of identifying a coordinator
Southeast Asia
Indonesia: Wilson Novarino
Malaysia: Zainal Zahari Zainuddin
Myanmar: Antony Lynam
Thailand: in the process of identifying a coordinator

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

Evolution Consultant
Matthew Colbert, United States



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Message from the

Editorial Board

To the readers of the
Tapir Conservation Newsletter,

In 1990, Sharon Matola wrote the first issue of Tapir
Conservation with her manual typewriter in her office
at the Belize Zoo. She introduced it with the following
words: "This newsletter represents the first real effort
of the Tapir Specialist Group/IUCN/SSC to establish
an effective international network of communication
among its members. Our immediate goal is to
strengthen communication within the TSG and then,
unified, work towards achieving the measures that
will promote conservation of the family Tapiridae."

Today, 18 years and 23 issues later these goals still
stand true, but our content has slowly evolved. The
early issues contained short updates on ongoing field
studies and news from captivity. Sharon published
one issue a year until 1997, when Sheryl Todd joined
the effort and the Newsletter got its first makeover.
Published now in a professional layout, the news
and field updates got more detailed, and included
illustrations and black and white photos. The focus of
the Newsletter was still on the exchange of information
among TSG members, but more and more information
of interest to a broader audience was included. The
second makeover occurred in 2002, when Sian Waters
and Stefan Seiz became the editors and the layout
became more journal-like, with a front cover in color
and more photos throughout the issue. A new section
on Contributed Article was also added, with the goal
of publishing peer-reviewed scientific articles on topics
related to tapirs. This new format was a great success,
further promoted and developed by Leonardo Salas
during his tenure as editor (2005-2008). Between 2002
and 2008, over 34 articles were published in Tapir
Conservation, covering topics from diet, habitat use,
population genetics, conservation status and captive

At the Fourth International Tapir Symposium in
Mexico in April 2008, a new editorial board was put
together, consisting of TSG members with expertise in
various fields. During the Symposium, the members
of the editorial board discussed the future of Tapir
Conservation, agreeing that scientific articles should

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First issue of Tapir Conservation, published in 1990.

become the primary focus of our efforts. We wish for
Tapir Conservation to be a journal for researchers
who want to publish their tapir data, observations, and
conservation successes and failures (we can always
learn from our mistakes) quickly. We also want it to
be a place for students working on tapirs to gain some
experience with scientific writing. The new editorial
board is committed to reviewing new contributions
in a timely manner and to help authors improve their
manuscripts for publication in Tapir Conservation. If
you have data sitting in a drawer, a great observation
you want to share, or an idea you want to propose, but
are not sure how to go about it, please contact us and
we can help you get started. We won't write the article
for you, but we can review a draft and give you ideas
on how to outline your manuscript.

The next issue of Tapir Conservation will be the
first to include a new Spotlight feature where tapir-
related publications in other journals are highlighted
and presented with a short summary. Each year one
paper highlighted in the Spotlight section or published
as a full article in Tapir Conservation will be selected
by the editorial board to receive an award sponsored
by the Natural History Museum of the East Tennessee

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


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the latest Tapir Conservation online at
If you'd like to participate, please let us know.

As a closing note, Tapir Conservation Newsletter is
what it is today thanks to the efforts of Sharon Matola,
Sheryl Todd, Sian Waters, and Leo Salas. To all our
former editors-in-chief, thank you for the hard work you
put into transforming Tapir Conservation. We can only
hope to live up to the standards and vision of those that
have preceded us. To make this true, your contribution
is invaluable, and we look forward to receiving many
more from all of you. We also have to recognize the
incredible efforts of our creative team, Kelly Russo and
Stefan Seitz, who bring it all together just in the nick of
time to form the fantastic publication that currently is
our Newsletter. Many thanks, Kelly and Stefan. Finally,
our warmest gratitude to the Houston Zoo for financing
the printing and distribution of the Newsletter, without
which none of it would be possible.

With wishes of a happy year,

The Tapir Conservation Newsletter
Editorial Board

kr-11;tI*lN t

The Newsletter got its first makeover in 1997.

State University. This way we hope to encourage tapir
researchers to publish the data they have collected with
so much effort and help promote wider information
sharing. This is the first issue of Tapir Conservation
that is entirely dedicated to articles contributed by
tapir researchers over the last year. The work ranges
from observations of behavior in Colombia to the
value of natural licks in determining tapir presence/
absence at the landscape scale. Unfortunately, all our
contributions to this issue are from field biologists in
Latin America. We hope that our members in the zoo
community and our brothers in Far Asia will soon leave
their mark too.

The new editorial board is also working on
expanding the reach of the Newsletter. However, we
are only able to print so many copies per volume. As
such, we would like to request volunteers from the
TSG membership to forgo their print subscription of
Tapir Conservation in favor of a university or library
in a tapir range country. You can name the institution
you would like to sponsor, or we can find one for you.
The goal is to get the conservation work that TSG
members are doing as much exposure as possible and
help increase awareness. As always, you can download

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Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

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In the northeastern Brazilian Pantanal, lowland
tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) regularly visit natural
licks to eat soil and drink water. Here, we evaluate
the importance of natural licks in predicting
tapir presence in the region. We examined the
relationship between the frequency of use of eight
natural licks by tapirs and land cover composition
at three spatial scales. We also test the relationship
between frequency of use of licks and tapir
probabilities of occurrence in areas surrounding
natural licks (based on a landscape habitat model).
Areas with similar landscape composition presented
different intensity of use of the natural licks and
areas with low occurrence probability exhibited
high intensity of use. The results indicate that
natural licks are discrete landscape units important
to the occurrence of T. terrestris in the region and
should be incorporated into models of local species'

Keywords: Tapirus terrestris, habitat scale, natural
licks, Pantanal, species occurrence


Predicting the occurrence and distribution of
organisms is a very important step towards effective
conservation strategies. Such information is essential
in, for instance, identifying priority conservation areas.
In-depth assessments of species' habitat requirements
need to evaluate habitat preferences and species
responses across multiple spatial scales (Wiens 2002).
This is because organisms respond to environmental
changes at different scales and hierarchical levels. The
response at each scale is dependent on life history
traits (Bissonette et al. 1997; Hobbs 2003). The
finest spatial unit that an organism perceives habitat
heterogeneity (grain) is defined by physiological and
perceptual abilities. The coarser scale of heterogeneity
to which an organism responds (extent) is determined
by the lifetime home range of the individual (Kotliar &
Wiens 1990). However, evaluating coarser scales than
an organism's home range is relevant, because patterns
and process emerging in such spatial resolutions can
affect habitat selection by individuals (Bissonete et al.
Ungulates are able to respond to landscape
heterogeneity across a broad range of scales because

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

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of their high mobility (Fragoso 1999; Hobbs 2003).
The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris, Linnaeus 1758)
weights about 250kg and inhabits a range of habitats in
South America (Emmons & Feer 1997). The IUCN Red
List of Threatened Species classifies the lowland tapir
as Vulnerable (IUCN 2007). Tapirs feed on leaves, fruits
and fibers; palm fruits (Arecaceae) are the main dietary
component in many regions (Bodmer 1990; Fragoso
1997; Henry et al. 2000; Galleti et al. 2001). Thus,
palm forests are thought to be important tapir habitat
(Brooks et al. 1997). In the northeastern Brazilian
Pantanal, tapirs show high preference for Acuri forests
(Scheelea phalerata, Arecaceae) when compared to
other vegetation types. Accordingly, potential tapir
distribution models demonstrate high occurrence
probabilities in such habitat areas (Cordeiro 2004).
Another important resource for many tapir
populations is natural licks (lowland areas with little
vegetation cover and moist soils, Figure 1) where the
animals eat soil and/or drink water (Emmons & Feer
1997; Noss et al. 2003; Montenegro 2004; Coelho
2006). Although the reasons for soil consumption
are not well understood, tapirs probably search for
mineral supplementation and/or detoxification of
plant's secondary compounds. Among 37 vertebrate
species, white-lipped peccaries and tapirs are the
most frequent visitors of natural licks in northeastern
Brazilian Pantanal (Coelho 2006), suggesting that
licks are important components of tapir habitat in the
region. Licks are found in different land cover settings
and may be such an important resource that the
surrounding land cover would have no effect on tapir
visitation rates.
We evaluated the importance of natural licks, as
landscape elements, in predicting occurrence of tapirs
in a reserve in northeastern Brazilian Pantanal. We

Figure 2. Occurrence
probabilities of tapirs in
SESC-Pantanal Reserve
(modified from Cordeiro,
2004). Representation of
900 m radius size areas
centered at eight natural
I) Clementino,
2) Novateiro,
3) Morcegos,
4) Catraca,
5) Farofa,
6) Figueira,
7) Acaud and
8) Sal.

hypothesized that licks are important habitat units at a
fine scale relative to landscape components at the patch
level, thus we expect that: (1) there is no correlation
between natural licks' frequency of use by tapirs and
licks' surrounding landscape composition, and (2)
there will be no correlation between natural licks'
frequency of use and tapir occurrence in surrounding
areas (based on relationships between the species and
vegetation cover classes).


The Brazilian Pantanal, a 140,000 km2 wetland, is a
sedimentary plain located in the upper Paraguay River
basin. This study took place in the Natural Private
Reserve SESC-Pantanal (16041' S, 56016' W), Mato
Grosso State. The Reserve covers 1,070 km2 and is
recognized as a Priority Area for the conservation of the
Pantanal's biodiversity (BDT 1998) and as a RAMSAR
site (RAMSAR 2004). During the rainy season, from
January to April, rainfall and overflow of the Cuiaba
and SAo Lourenqo rivers flood parts of the Reserve.
During the dry season, from June to September,
fires usually occur in the region. Nine vegetation
physiognomies were identified in the Reserve (Cordeiro
2004): grassland with murunduns (where tree clusters
are found on elevated hills normally associated with
termite mounds, locally called murunduns), Cambara
forest (seasonal flooded forests dominated by Vochysia
divergens, Vochysiaceae), dense forest (mostly along
the margins of rivers), Corixo forest (flooded forest
vegetation along seasonal streams, locally known
as corixos), Acuri forest (forest with the understory
dominated by Scheelea phalerata, Arecaceae), dry

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


forest (forest with sparse trees and low developed
understory), Taboca (forest with sparse trees and
understory dominated by Guadua sp., Poaceae), mixed
(grassland and forested transition physiognomies),
shrub, open grasslands, and pasture (grassland
covered by the nonnative Brachyaria humidicola,
We analyzed a sample of eight natural licks at three
spatial scales. Land cover surrounding natural licks
was defined from a classified satellite image (Cordeiro
2004). Some land cover types were grouped into one
category (e.g., grassland with murunduns, grassland
with small murunduns and grassland with murunduns
over humid soil, were all considered as grassland with
murunduns; Table 1). We estimated the area of each
land cover type surrounding licks in buffers of 120,
510 and 900 m radius (numbers divisible by 30 m, the
pixel resolution) centered at each lick. For each buffer
size we used NMDS (Nonmetric multidimensional
scaling) ordination analysis (Legendre & Legendre
1998) to characterize the main trends of variation in
land cover composition. An index of frequency of use
(IU = time of use / sampling time) was estimated using
camera trap sightings between February-April and
July-September 2005 (Coelho 2006).
We estimated the probability of occurrence of tapirs
in the buffer zones using a habitat model for the species
in the SESC-Pantanal Reserve (Cordeiro 2004). The
model considers tapir preferences for each different
land cover type (based on line transect abundance
estimates) to generate a raster image (through logistic
regression) where pixels correspond to the probability
of tapir presence in a 500 m radius. Using the same
buffer areas above, we calculated mean probabilities of
tapir occurrence in areas surrounding each sampled
lick (PO = sum of total pixels probabilities / number
of pixels). Because of the peripheral location of some
licks, we applied the model to areas adjacent to the
Reserve (Figure 2).
The buffers result in 0.04, 0.8 and 2.5 km2 areas,
respectively. These values are within the range of
estimates of home ranges size for tapirs (1.9 up to 3
km2 in the Bolivian Chaco; Noss et al. 2003). Larger
areas were not considered because of the proximity
among licks. Because Acaud and Figueira licks are
located very close to each other (Figure 2) both were
analyzed as one sampling unit at 510 and 900 m
scales. In this case, a corrected mean was used to
estimate the index of use and the buffers were centered
at the largest natural lick (Figueira). Even though at the
900 m scale, a small overlap area appeared between
Novateiro and Morcegos licks (Figure 2), the areas
were kept separate.
We calculated simple linear correlations (r,
Pearson's coefficient) between IU and land cover
composition (defined by the principal axis of the NMDS;

Table 1), and between the IU and mean probabilities
of occurrence (PO). Analyses were carried out using
Statistica (StatSoft 2004) and Idrisi 32 (ClarkLabs
2002) software and significance was assessed at
a=0.05 level.

Table I. Observed correlation coefficients between
first ordination axis (NMDS) and land cover classes of
areas surrounding natural licks at three radii sizes.
Significant values are presented in bold.

Land Cover Classes 120 m 510 m 900 m
Dense Forest -0.33 -0.48 -0.49
Acuri Forest -0.98 -0.99 -0.98
Dry Forest -0.83 0.85 0.89
Tabocal 0.31 0.67 0.64
Mixed 0.98 0.71 0.76
Shrub -0.64 -0.78
Grassland with Murundum -0.21 0.36 0.4
Pasture -0.36
Open Grassland 0.08 0.21
Bared Soil -0.33
Water / Shadow -0.35 -0.34

Results and Discussion

At all three examined scales, land cover composition
surrounding licks were described by gradients
especially associated to Acuri forests and dry forests
(Table 1). Mixed land cover was highly correlated
with the first NMDS axis at 120 m and 900 m buffers
and shrub was highly correlated with the first axis at
900 m.
We did not find a significant association between
frequency of use of licks and surrounding land cover
composition at any of the examined scales (Figure 3).
Instead, the observed curves show high IU values for
licks in either dry forests or Acuri forests, and low
values for intermediate cover types (Figure 3B and C).
However, Cordeiro (2004) found that tapirs have a low
preference for dry forests, which are dominant around
the Clementino and Catraca licks. Thus, the licks
are likely responsible for the high frequency of use
registered at such sites. Nevertheless, Sal, Morcegos
and Farofa licks are also surrounded by dry forest, but
had low IU values (Figure 3A, B and C). These results
suggest that land cover composition is likely not a
significant factor determining the use of licks by tapirs,
and natural licks constitute an attractive area for tapirs
independently of neighboring landscape conditions.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008



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Figure 3. Relationships between frequency of use of
natural licks (IU) by tapirs and landscape composition
of surrounding areas (Axis I, NMDS) across three radii:
(A) 120 m, (B) 510 m and (C) 900 m.
Correlation coefficients (r) represent linear
relationships; polynomial curves are presented for
interpretation. Linear correlation at 510 and 900 m
were tested by log transforming the data.

Even though, we did not observe significant
associations between frequency of visitation of licks
and probabilities of tapir occurrence, there was a
trend of low values of IU associated with high values
of PO (e.g., Figueira and Farofa licks at 120 m scale;
Figure 4) suggesting that tapirs, even being locally
abundant, may seldom visit these licks. On the other
hand, the existence of high IU values in low PO zones
(e.g., Clementino and Catraca licks; Figure 4), suggests

that tapirs may travel through less preferred habitat
to reach licks. According to Coelho (2006), the use of
natural licks by vertebrates might be associated to lick
size, composition and structure of the surrounding
landscape, chemical and structural soil composition,
competition, and predation. In the specific case of
tapirs, our results suggest that land cover composition
is probably not a significant factor in determining
lick use. Other factors would have to be evaluated,
such as chemical composition, size and presence of
competitors and predators.
Tapirs certainly respond to regional scale landscape
variations, however the patterns of area use evaluated
at the local scale seem to be heavily dependent on
fine-scale habitat components, the licks. Natural
licks are also visited by tapirs in Amazonian Forests
(Montenegro 2004) and could be important to the
species distribution in such region. Other geophagical
sites (like riverbanks and rocks), and ponds could also
be discrete habitat units related to local tapir densities
across its range in different environments such as
Cerrado, Caatinga, Chaco and the Atlantic Forest.
Once identified in the mosaic of regional habitats,
these sites should be included in potential distribution
models and its contribution to tapir occurrence can be
quantified related to other landscape elements.
Information regarding species/habitat relationships
and the application of models are useless if they
are not associated to a particular spatial scale or
application (Wiens 2002). Considering applications at
the national and global scales, associations between
tapirs and landscape components at the patch level (as
defined by vegetation physiognomies) can be enough to
predict species occurrence. However, at the local scale,
relationships between organisms and specific habitat
components improve model precision, allowing for
finer detailed habitat descriptions and conservation
action planning for tapirs.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 December 2008



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Figure 4. Relationships between frequency of use of
natural licks by tapirs (IU) and mean probability of
occurrence (PO) across circular areas with radius:
(A) 120 m, (B) 510 m and (C) 900 m.


We thank Martin Schossler, Paola Stumpf and Gabriel
Hofmann for field assistance, and RPPN SESC-Pantanal
park-rangers for logistical support. We thank Leopoldo
G. Branddo and Waldir Valutki for providing support
for the project. Comments by Anders Goncalves da
Silva improved an earlier version of the manuscript.
This study was financed by SESC-Pantanal and CNPq
(483286/2007-9, 310812/2006-2). CAPES provided
fellowship to IPC.


BDT. 1998. Base de Dados Tropical. AFoes Prioritarias
para a Conservaqio da Biodiversidade do Cerrado e
do Pantanal.
pantanal. Downloaded on April 2006.
Bissonette, J.A., Harrison, D.J., Hargis, C.D. & Chapin, T.G.
1997. The influence of spatial scale and scale-sensitive
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J.A. Bissonete (Ed.). Wildlife and Landscape Ecology:
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New York, NY, U.S.A.
Bodmer, R.E. 1990. Fruit patch size and frugivory in the
lowland tapir Tapirus terrestris. J. Zool. 222:121-128.
Brooks, D.M., Bodmer, R.E. & Matola, S. 1997. Tapirs -
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Tapir Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
ClarkLabs. 2002. Idrisi 32. ClarLabs. Clark University,
Worecester, MA, U.S.A.
Coelho, I.P 2006. Relaqoes entire barreiros e afauna de ver-
tebrados no nordeste do Pantanal, Brasil. M.S. disserta-
tion. Program de P6s-Graduaqao em Ecologia, UFRGS.
Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Cordeiro, J.L.P 2004. Estrutura e heterogeneidade da pai-
sagem de uma Unidade de Conservagdo no nordeste
do Pantanal (RPPN SESC Pantanal), Mato Grosso,
Brasil: efeitos sobre a distribuigdo e densidade de
antas (Tapirus terrestris) e de cervos-do-pantanal
(Blastocerus dichotomus). PhD thesis. Program de P6s-
Graduaqio em Ecologia, UFRGS. Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Emmons, L.H. & Feer, F. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest
Mammals: A Field Guide. Second Edition.The University
of Chicago Press, Chicago, U.S.A.
Fragoso, J.M.V. 1997. Tapir-generated seed shadows: scale-
dependent patchiness in the Amazon rain forest. J. Ecol.
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ecological implications. J. Mammal. 80:993-1003.

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F If




Galetti, M., Keuroghlian, A., Hanada, L.& Morato, M.I.
2001. Frugivory and seed dispersal by the lowland tapir
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tapir (Tapirus terrestris L.) in French Guiana. Biotropica
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for wildlife and people in Amamzonia. PhD thesis.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A.
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E., Arispe, R., Rumiz, D. & Rivero, K. 2003. A camera
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(Tapirus terrestris) in Bolivian Dry Forests. Tapir
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M.L. Morrison et al. (Eds.). Predicting Species
Occurrences: Issues of Accuracy and Scale. Island
Press, Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Does Moonlight affect the Use of Natural Licks

by Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris Linnaeus, 1758)

in the Northeastern Brazilian Pantanal?

Igor Pfeifer Coelho', Luiz Flamarion B. Oliveira2, Maria Elaine Oliveira3

PPG-Ecologia, Departamento de Ecologia, UFRGS, PortoAlegre, Brazil. E-mail:
Depto. deVertebrados, Sergo de Mastozoologia, Museu Nacional, UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. E-mail:
PG Ci6ncia Ambiental, Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niter6i, Brazil. E-mail:


We evaluated possible effects of moonlight on
frequency of use of three natural licks by
lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in the Brazilian
Pantanal. Neither lunar phobia nor philia were
detected. The frequency of use by tapirs (estimated
by camera traps) during different classes of
moonlight intensity varied between natural licks,
but a similar frequency was observed across all
moonlight classes when combining data across all
licks. Further studies of activity patterns in lowland
tapir in regards to moonlight intensities in other
regions of the species' distribution are needed to
elucidate if the absence of lunar phobia/philia is a
local or a general pattern for the species.

Keywords: Tapirus terrestris, activity patterns, lunar,
moonlight, Pantanal


Species of mammals from diverse groups, such as
rodents, rabbits, primates, carnivores, and bats,
display nocturnal activity patterns and behaviors
related to moonlight intensity. Several studies suggest
that lunar phobia is a result of a higher predation
risk during moonlit nights (Julien-Laferriere 1997;
Leaver 2004; Griffin et al. 2005). Studies looking
at the relationships between moonlight and bat
behavior suggest lunar phobia as an adaptation to high
predation risk by visually oriented predators, like owls
and hawks (Meyer et al. 2004) and higher availability of
prey (katydids) during dark periods (Lang et al. 2006).
Large predators can also present lunar phobia and
the mechanism involved in predator-prey relationship
remains unclear. For example, in central Brazil the
maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) reduces its
activity during the full moon, probably as a response
to reduced prey (rodents) availability (Sabato et al.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


On the other hand, increased activity during moonlit
nights (lunar philia) was found in primates and rodents.
Owl monkeys (Aotus azarai) in the Argentinean Chaco
present greater nocturnal activity as the moonlight
increases (Fernadez-Duque 2003). Tarsius spectrum,
a Sulawesi primate, increases foraging, travel distance
and home range size during new moon periods
(Gursky 2003). The author points out that a high
availability of prey is responsible for lunar philia in
this species. Paise & Vieira (2006) show that the rodent
Oxymycterus nasutus displays increased nocturnal
activity with increased night brightness and suggest
that brightness levels may facilitate foraging activities
or the ability to escape from predators.
Our goal in this study was to evaluate the relationship
between moonlight intensity and the frequency of use
of natural licks by the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris
Linnaeus 1758) in the northeastern Brazilian Pantanal,
looking for evidences of lunar phobia or philia. The
lowland tapir is an ungulate of about 250kg, inhabiting
dry, rain and gallery forests, chaco, and savannas
in South America (Emmons & Feer 1997). Noss et
al. (2003) found tapirs in the Bolivian Chaco to be
mostly nocturnal. Tapirs feed on fruits, leafs and
fibers (Bodmer 1990; Henry et al. 2000) and visit
natural licks (lowland areas with wet ground and
scarce vegetal covering) to eat soil (geophagy) and/or to
drink water (Emmons & Feer 1997; Noss et al. 2003;
Montenegro 2004; Coelho 2006). Geophagy by tapirs
is probably related to mineral supplementation of their
diet (Montenegro 2004) or for the neutralization of
toxic substances from plants. Eating soil may be very
important for tapirs, especially during reproductive
or lactating periods as observed for female African
elephants (Loxodonta africana; Holdo et al. 2002) or
during periods of scarcity of food or great availability of
food items rich in secondary compounds as observed
for howler monkeys, Alouatta belzebul (Souza et al.
2002). In the northeastern Brazilian Pantanal, tapirs
show a high frequency of lick use, almost exclusively
occurring during the night (Coelho 2006; Figure 1).

Material and Method

Our study area was the Natural Private Reserve SESC-
Pantanal (16041' S, 56016' W), covering 1,070 km2 in
northeastern Brazilian Pantanal. The Reserve presents
different forest and savanna vegetation physiognomies.
Field surveys were carried out from February to
April (flood season) and from July to September
(dry season) 2005. We used passive camera traps to
investigate the use of eight natural licks by vertebrates
in the region (Coelho 2006). We set one camera trap at
each lick, positioning the cameras to photograph the
areas of highest use (geophagical sites) based on tracks

Figure I. Lowland tapirs at a natural lick in SESC-
Pantanal Reserve, northeastern Brazilian Pantanal.
March 2005.

and tooth marks. Each photograph (35mm film, ASA
400) registered date and time. To evaluate a possible
relationship between tapir lick use and moonlight, we
used all the nocturnal records (after sunset and before
sunrise) of the species from the three most visited
natural licks (Clementino, Morcegos, and Catraca).
A total of 524 nocturnal records were considered for
the analysis, 311 from the flood season and 213 from
the dry season. We used the percentage of lunar disk
illuminated, obtained from the U.S. Naval Observatory
website (
OneDay.html), as a measure of night luminosity. Four
classes of moonlight intensity were defined (Low: 0-
24%, Moderate Low: 25-49%, Moderate High: 50-74%,
and High: 75-100%). We calculate the frequency of use
as the number of tapir records per sampling time for
each class. Data was analyzed for each lick and season
separately and for all licks combined. Records before
moonrise and after moonset represent zero percent of
lunar disk illuminated.


We did not find a relationship between tapir lick use
and moon phases. The frequency of use for different
classes of moonlight intensity varied between natural
licks (Figure 2). At the Clementino lick, higher
frequency of visits for both dry and wet seasons were
observed at the moderate low class of lunar brightness
(Figure 2a). At the Morcegos lick, a higher frequency
of use was observed during moderate high moonlight
(Figure 2b). Finally, at the Catraca lick, frequencies
were highest for the high and low moonlight classes
during the dry season and for the moderate low class

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008





0 2l 25 49



FK o

50 iS /b 103


r 1
D 24





25 AB 50 z 4 r 1
% nar Oak ljminetOd







25-49 50-74 75-100
% luftr d4k itmlnated

Figure 2. Frequency (visits/hour) of nocturnal visits to natural licks by tapirs for different moonlight intensities
during dry and flood seasons in the Brazilian Pantanal:
(a) Clementino lick, (b) Morcegos lick, (c) Catraca lick, and (d) all natural licks.

in the flood period (Figure 2c). We observed a similar
frequency for all moonlight classes when combining
data for all three natural licks (Figure 2d). Clouds
covering the moon could introduce some bias in our
results; however, cloudy days are not common in the
region, especially during the dry season.


Possible lunar philia by tapirs may occur because
moonlight facilitates movement and foraging. Local
hunters from the Colombian Andes report high
activity of mountain tapirs (Tapirus pinchaque)
during full moon periods (Lizcano & Cavelier 2000).

These authors, using camera traps, also found higher
nocturnal tapir activity along trails and at a natural
lick during the full moon. They suggest that the light
could facilitate the movement along trails. However,
the authors considered the moon phase at the day of
the record regardless of the time (the full moon, for
example, may not be visible at some times), which
could introduce a certain bias. In the case of this
study, luminosity may not be that important for tapir
mobility because the reserve is composed of a mosaic
of open areas and forests with a flat topography with
no apparent difficulty for tapir movement.
Predators frequently visit licks, therefore tapirs
might be expected to exhibit some degree of lunar
phobia (Coelho 2006). However the local tapir
population (estimated at 581 individuals; Cordeiro

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

% lun dr dWi ,rrhnBlod



25-4 50 074 75. t00
% hlna dil i mhmlnsed

""" """ """ """


2004) might not be under a high predation risk. There
are three potential tapir predators in the area: the
puma (Puma concolor), the jaguar (Panthera onca),
and humans. Although pumas are abundant in the
reserve (Trolle et al. 2007), it is unlikely that they are
important tapir predators, with the exception of young
or convalescent animals. In addition, a study of puma
diet in the reserve failed to observe tapirs among the
species' prey (Bachega 2004). Jaguars are more likely
to prey on tapirs, however they are not abundant at the
reserve when compared to other Pantanal sites (Trolle
& K6ry 2005; Soisalo & Cavalcanti 2006). We also
have not records of them at the natural licks, though
tracks were observed in surrounding areas. Finally,
local hunters use natural licks as hunting sites (Farias
2006); however, there has been very little hunting
inside the reserve in the past ten years. As such, there
is little evidence to suggest lunar phobia in this tapir
population. On the other hand, the nutritional and
physiological benefits gained from natural licks may
outweigh the possible risks of predation.
The high variation in visitation rates among licks for
different moonlight intensity classes suggests that the
species shows no lunar philia or lunar phobia in the
SESC-Pantanal Reserve. Predominance of observations
at intermediate classes of moonlight indicates the
possibility that tapirs prefer to visit natural licks when
there is still sufficient light for movement but predation
risk is minimized. However, at this time we do not see
a clear pattern to corroborate this hypothesis. Finally,
tapir populations at other sites in the Pantanal or other
regions that are under higher predation risks may
show lunar phobia. An evaluation of activity patterns
of lowland tapirs (by radio-telemetry or camera traps)
in relation to moonlight intensities for other regions
of the tapirs' distribution is needed to elucidate if the
absence of lunar phobia/philia is a local or a general
pattern for the species.


We thank Martin Schossler, Paola Stumpf and Gabriel
Hofmann for field assistance, and RPPN SESC-Pantanal
park-rangers for logistical support. We thank Leopoldo
G. BrandAo and Waldir Valutki for providing support
for the project. An anonymous reviewer provided
valuable comments. This study was financed by SESC-
Pantanal and CNPq (483286/2007-9, 310812/2006-2).
CAPES provided fellowship to IPC.


Bachega, I. 2004. Ecologia alimentar comparative de tres
carnivores simpdtricos (Mammalia: Carnivora) na
RPPN do SESC Pantanal, Bardo de Melgago, Mato
Grosso. M.S. dissertation. Program de P6s-Graduaqao
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Porto Alegre, Brazil.
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sagem de uma Unidade de Conservagdo no nordeste
do Pantanal (RPPN SESC Pantanal), Mato Grosso,
Brasil: efeitos sobre a distribuigdo e densidade de
antas (Tapirus terrestris) e de cervos-do-pantanal
(Blastocerus dichotomus). PhD thesis. Program de P6s-
Graduaqio em Ecologia, UFRGS. Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Emmons, L.H. & Feer, F. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest
Mammals: A Field Guide. Second Edition.The University
of Chicago Press, Chicago, U.S.A.
Farias, J.K.N.P 2006. Sustentabilidade de populaqoes
humans no Mato Grosso: subsidies atraves do mane-
jo de ungulados silvestres. M.S. dissertation. PPG em
Ciencias Ambientais, Instituto de Geociencias, UFF
Niter6i, Brazil.
Fernandez-Duque, E. 2003. Influences of moonlight, ambient
temperature, and food availability on the diurnal and
nocturnal activity of owl monkeys (Aotus azarai).
Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 54:431-440.
Griffin, PC., Griffin, S.C., Waroquiers, C., Mills, L.S. 2005.
Mortality by the moonlight: predation risk and the
snowshoe hare. Behavioral Ecology 16 (5):938-944.
Gursky, S. 2003. Lunar Philia in a Nocturnal Primate.
International Journal of Primatology 24 (2):351-367.
Henry, O., Feer, F, Sabatier, D. 2000. Diet of the lowland tapir
(Tapirus terrestris L.) in French Guiana. Biotropica 32
Holdo, R.M., Dudley, J. P, McDowell, L.R. 2002. Geophagy in
the African elephant in relation to availability of dietary
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Julien-Laferriere, D. 1997. The influence of moonlight on
activity of woolly opossums (Caluromys philander).
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Lang, A.B., Kalko, E.K.V, Romer, H., Bockholdt, C.,
Dechmann, D.K.N. 2006. Activity levels of bats and
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and pilferage on the caching decisions of Dipodomys
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of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in the Central
Andes of Colombia. Journal of Zoology 252:429-435.
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and habitat preferences of insectivorous bats in a West
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Montenegro, 0. 2004. Natural licks as keystone resources
for wildlife and people in Amamzonia. PhD thesis.
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. U.S.A.
Noss, A.J., Cu6llar, R.L, Barrientos, J., Maffei, L., Cu6llar, E.,
Arispe, R., Rumiz, D., Rivero, K. 2003. A camera trapping
and radio telemetry study of lowland tapir (Tapirus
terrestris) in Bolivian Dry Forests. Tapir Conservation
12 (1):24-32.
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Coelho, C.L. 2006. A note on the effect of the full moon
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and Pantanal of Brazil. Biodiversity and Conservation

Aportes a la Historia Natural de la Danta Colombiana

(Tapirus terrestris colombianus) Compilados en el Norte de los

Andes Centrales Colombianos

Andres Arias Alzate

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), Grupo de Mastozoologia-CTUA, Instituto de Biologia, Universidad de Antioquia. Medellin, Colombia.
E mail:


Se recopilo informaci6n sobre aspects de his-
toria natural de la danta colombiana (Tapirus
terrestris colombianus) en las tierras bajas del
norte de la Cordillera Central, mediante el monito-
reo visual de una hembra subadulta en la vereda La
Ceiba (municipio: Remedios, Antioquia, Colombia).
Durante el seguimiento se caracterizan tres com-
portamientos principles: descanso en los refugios,
forrajeo y descansos en las fuentes de agua. Ademas
se described tanto las actividades de cada compor-
tamiento, como los sitios visitados, vocalizaciones y
algunos aspects de su dieta. La informaci6n reco-
pilada es important para promover futures traba-
jos sobre historic natural, para asi poder soportar
mejor planes de conservaci6n, donde la efectiva
protecci6n del habitat natural del tapir, sera un
important paso para la protecci6n de esta especie
en Colombia.

Palabras calves: Tapirus terrestris colombianus, his-
toria natural, comportamiento.


information about some aspects of the Colombian
danta (Tapirus terrestris colombianus) natural
history was compiled in the lowlands of the
northern Central Mountain Chain, with the study of
a subadult female in La Ceiba locality (municipality
of Remedios, Antioquia, Colombia). Three main
were characterized: refuge resting, foraging and
water resting. Besides, not only the activities of
each, but also the places visited, vocalization and
some diet aspects are describe. All this information
is important to promote more studies about
natural history, that support more efficiently the
conservation plans, where an effective protection
of the tapir's habitat, will be an important step to
protect this specie in Colombia.

Keywords: Tapirus terrestris colombianus, natural
history, behavior.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008



El genero Tapirus es el unico representante actual
de la familiar Tapiridae. Posee 4 species: Tapirus
indicus, distribuida en el continent asidtico; T.
bairdii, T. pinchaque y T. terrestris que habitan centro
y sur Am6rica (Lizcano et al., 2002). A lo largo de
esta distribuci6n, los tapires juegan un important
papel en la dinimica de los ecosistemas ya que han
sido catalogados como dispersores y consumidores
de semillas (Janzen, 1981; Bodmer, 1990, 1991;
Rodrigues et al., 1993; Salas & Fuller 1996; Salas,
1996; Fragoso, 1997; Brooks & Eisenberg, 1999).
Tambi6n constituyen un important component
de la dieta de poblaciones humans y estin unidas
fuertemente al pensamiento de las cultures indigenas
(Brooks & Eisenberg, 1999; Cabrera et al., 2001).
Hasta el moment son mis los studios
concentrados a esclarecer los aspects de distribuci6n,
uso de habitat y hibitos alimenticios, en los que se
ha evidenciado el important rol del tapir sobre las
comunidades de plants (Bodemer, 1991; Rodrigues et
al., 1993; Salas & Fuller 1996; Fragaso, 1997; Fragoso
& Huffman, 2000). La informaci6n con que se cuenta,
sugiere que los tapires se alimentan de hojas frescas,
plantulas, ramas obtenidas de arbustos y arboles
pequefios, ademis de variables frutos y plantulas
acuiticas (Hershkovitz, 1954; Bodmer, 1990; Olmos
et al., 1999; Salas & Fuller 1996; Henry et al., 2000),
como tambi6n de cortezas de arboles (Aranda, 2000;
Julia & Richard, 2000). Pero son pocos los trabajos
que hablan de aspects basicos de la biologia e historic
natural, tales como los lugares y forma de los refugios,
duraci6n de las actividades de forrajeo, bafios, entire
otros. La mayoria de estos aspects se han estudiado
en cautiverio debido a que es dificil observer los
tapires en la vida silvestre (Montenegro, 1998; Lira et
al., 2004; obs. pers.).
Se conoce que los tapires presentan una preferencia
por habitats que tienen cercania con fuentes de agua,
evitando terrenos abiertos. Sin embargo, se han
encontrado lugares de alimentaci6n o comederos en
claros de bosques asociados a cuerpos de agua (Acosta
et al., 1996; Aranda, 2000). Permanecen en una misma
zona y frecuentan los mismos caminos formando
trochas o caminaderos dentro de la vegetaci6n densa.
Para descansar y evadir depredadores, utilizan refugios
o echaderos en lugares donde la vegetaci6n es densa.
Tales lugares generalmente estin cerca a fuentes de
agua (Hershkovitz, 1954; Acosta et al., 1996; Aranda,
Los habitats en los que se encuentran los tapires
han sido sometidos a fuertes perturbaciones. El 90%
de los bosques Andinos tropicales en Sur Am6rica han
sido deforestados (en Colombia para el afio de 1998
ya se habia perdido el 68% de esta cobertura) y la

gran mayoria han sido transformados por actividades
de extracci6n maderera y mediante quemas para la
ganaderia extensive, agriculture y transformaci6n a
cultivos ilicitos principalmente la coca (Erythroxylum
coca y Erythroxylum novogranatense), la cual es una
de las amenazas mas importantes para los bosques de
tierras bajas, debido a que degrada altamente los suelos
y contamina altamente las fuentes de agua, retrasando
la regeneraci6n normal de los bosques (Lizcano
& Cavelier, 2000; Vifia et al., 2004; Fjeldsa et al.,
2005; Perz et al., 2005; Etter et al., 2006). La caceria
indiscriminada, las tasas altas de mortalidad juvenile
y la baja tasa reproductive, son factors que afectan
negativamente las poblaciones de danta a lo largo de
su distribuci6n, haci6ndolas aim mis susceptibles a
process de extinci6n local en comparaci6n con otros
ungulados grandes de los bosques neotropicales, tales
como los venados (Mazama americana y Mazama
gouazoubira), y las tatabras (Tayassu pecari y Pecari
tajacu) (Bodmer & Brooks, 1997; Brooks & Eisenberg,
El present articulo pretend aportar al
conocimiento sobre comportamientos naturales
de la especie Tapirus terrestris, distribuida en las
tierras bajas del norte de Colombia. Con base en la
descripci6n y distribuci6n dadas por Hershkovitz
(1954) y la ampliaci6n del rango de distribuci6n para
Antioquia realizado por Arias et al. (en prensa), junto
con la distribuci6n descrita por Constantino et al.
(2006) el individuo objeto de studio corresponde a la
subespecie Tapirus terrestris colombianus.


Area De Estudio
La investigaci6n se realize en las tierras bajas del
norte de Colombia en el Nororiente Antioquefio,
municipio de Remedios, vereda La Ceiba (060 55'
16.1" N 740 30' 46.9" W) aproximadamente 5 horas
de camino desde la vereda el Popero (06056'11.9" N
74030'57.9" W). La zona present una cobertura veget
al de rastrojo medio-bajo, con fragments de bosque
secundario, conectados con una matriz de bosque
primario mis grande, ademrs se encuentra un area
de cultivo de "pancoger" compuesta por yuca, platano,
maiz y algunos arboles frutales como mango, guayaba
y papaya.
Con el fin de compilar aspects sobre la historic
natural de Tapirus terrestris colombianus, se realize
un monitoreo visual de una hembra subadulta con un
moderado grado de amansamiento (t6rmino empleado
para dar a entender que no es un animal silvestre
totalmente, pero que nunca ha sido encerrada en un
corral o jaula lo que le permit desplazarse por toda
la zona de studio) mediante el muestreo Ad libitum

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


ForrW Cosgca3*n No
%enw de ogumr

Categorte d comnportmeMnfo

Figura I. Porcentaje del tiempo total de cada
categoria de comportamiento.

con registro continue (Zerda, 2004) en dos sesiones de
6 horas durante 5 dias. Se definieron 3 categories de
comportamiento: descanso en los refugios, descanso en
las fuentes de agua y forrajeo, se registraron tanto las
actividades, como los sitios visitados, vocalizaciones y
algunos aspects de su dieta. Las species de plants
colectadas fueron determinadas en el herbario de la
Universidad de Antioquia.


En total se acumularon 60 horas de seguimiento
visual, donde se registraron las tres categories de
comportamiento. En la tabla 1 se especifica el tiempo
de duraci6n de cada comportamiento y el tipo de
refugio empleado durante los descansos.
Sin incluir el tiempo invertido en la bfisqueda
y espera de la danta, se observ6 que el 77,21% de
las actividades correspondent a un period en los
refugios, un 14,74% en forrajeo y el 8,04% restante a
descanso en las fuentes de agua (Figura 1). Teniendo
en cuenta que los seguimientos fueron durante el dia,
se sospecha que los recorridos durante la noche son

EParcartatoti de

D0a0a0 s 6In Damanso on
too rsMuglo Refugtos Foiajeo (min) las fuaneas do
("nn) aqga(min)
1 360 1. 2 so 20
240 3 45 35
3 300 2_ _ 40 25
4 270 CmOa at 3 90 30
5 270 3 so 40
Total 1440 275 ISO

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

mas largos y que el territorio y los hdbitos elucidados
son una pequefia fracci6n de su amplio espectro real.

Descanso en los refugios
La danta utiliza regularmente tres sitios como refugios,
donde permaneci6 por periods que oscilan entire 240
y 360 minutes. Durante la visit al primer refugio el
animal permaneci6 360 minutes. Debido a que este
refugio present poca visibilidad, s61o se escucho en
dos ocasiones una vocalizaci6n que consiste en un
silbido corto compuesto de dos parties.
En el segundo refugio permaneci6 un promedio de
330 minutes y se observe la danta echada, realizando
movimientos de las orejas en todas las direcciones.
Ademis se escuch6 el mismo silbido, emitido cuatro
veces con pausas de 5 a 10 segundos durante dos
periods de tiempo separados aproximadamente 10
En el tercer refugio, la danta realize el mismo
comportamiento observado en el refugio 2, pero sin la
vocalizaci6n, alli el animal descanso en promedio 260

El primer refugio esta ubicado en una pendiente carac-
terizada por rastrojo medio-bajo de 2 m a 2,5 m de
alto. El lugar se encuentra rodeado por malezas y algu-
nos arbustos que no sobrepasan los 1,5 m de altura.
La vegetaci6n es muy tupida y se nota claramente la
entrada al refugio (fotografia 1A). Esta entrada es un
orificio circular y de una altura de 1 m (Mas o menos la
altura a la cruz). El interior del refugio tiene forma de
cueva. El techo cuenta con una altura entire 0,8 m y 1,3
m, las paredes estdn formadas por past y maleza. El
interior del refugio es oscuro y la temperature es mas
baja que en el exterior. El suelo esti conformado en su
mayoria por barro de color cafe oscuro y de apariencia
hfumeda y en algunas parties cubierto de races, hojas y
ramas secas (fotografia 1B).
El segundo refugio se encuentra en la pendiente
de una montafia con rastrojo entire los 3 m y 4 m de
altura. Su apariencia es circular y esti rodeado por
arbustos, que forman el techo del refugio a unos 2,5

P9gWIiQsf 1n pm

Tabla I. Resultados
obtenidos en el
seguimiento y
refugios usados.


Fotografia I. A) Entrada refugio I, B) Interior refugio I, C) Refugio 2, D) Refugio 3, E) Descansos en las fuentes de
agua, F) Danta sumergida, G) Danta produciendo burbujas.

m y 3 m de altura. De todos los refugios, este cuenta
con un interior mis aireado, mas abierto e iluminado
lo que permit una mayor visibilidad. El suelo esta
cubierto de past, y el lugar donde descansa el animal
estA cubierto por hojarasca (fotografia 1C).
El tercer refugio se encuentra a 20 m de una
quebrada (lo que lo hace muy humedo) y en el borde
de un cafiaduzal. El sitio present malezas, arbustos
pequefios (2 m de altura) y algunos arboles de mayor
altura (7 m). Dicha vegetaci6n forma las paredes y
el techo del refugio. La entrada present un tunel de
1,60 m a 1,80 m de alto y de 2 m de profundidad. El
suelo de este refugio estA formado por races y barro
hfimedo. En algunos lugares se encuentra cubierto de
hojarasca y past (Fotografia 1D).

Forrajeo Y Dieta
La duraci6n del forrajeo fue de 275 minutes en
total. Durante ese tiempo, la danta olfate6 el suelo
y la vegetaci6n con levantamientos de la proboscis,
emitiendo una vocalizaci6n cada 5 o 10 segundos. Esta
consiste en un chasquido corto y agudo de dos silabas.
Con la proboscis el animal arranca hojas o ramas con
hojas y frutos, y se queda en el lugar masticandolas
por un corto period de tiempo.

Se registraron 18 species de plants consumidas
por esta danta, 16 son de manera direct y el resto
por informaci6n local (Tabla 2). Se colectaron siete de
las plants registradas, para ser determinadas en el
herbario de la Universidad de Antioquia. A partir de
la informaci6n suministrada por los guardabosques
y algunas observaciones de plants ramoneadas
(asociadas con huellas) en la Reserva Popales
(municipio de Segovia), se registraron cuatro species
mas, para un total de 22 species de plants que
conforman parte de la dieta de la danta colombiana.

Descanso en las fuentes de agua
Durante cinco oportunidades se observe que la danta
visit la quebrada afluente del rio It6, que en el lugar de
studio mide de 2 m a 6 m de ancho. Para esta activi-
dad la danta utiliza un ensanchamiento en la quebrada
de aproximadamente 13 m de largo por 5 m de ancho,
con una profundidad entire 1.5 m y 2 m.
En cada bafio el tapir reposa en el agua siempre
con el cuerpo sumergido, la cabeza afuera y los ojos
cerrados (fotografia 1E). En ocasiones, la danta reali-
za cortos recorridos a lo largo del ensanchamiento y
se detiene moviendo la proboscis hacia arriba, como
olfateando el lugar. En otras oportunidades, se queda

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


inm6vil inmediatamente despu6s de entrar a la queb-
En una ocasi6n se observ6 un comportamiento
en el que el animal se sumergi6 4 veces por periods
de tiempo de 25 segundos (fotografia 1F). En estas
inmersiones, la danta movia la cabeza hacia los lados
y producia burbujas, o simplemente dejaba la cabeza
quieta. Posteriormente, comenz6 a nadar rdpidamente
sumergida de un lado a otro desplazdndose de 3 a 4
metros, para luego mover la cabeza hacia los lados
agitando fuertemente el agua. Todo este comportami-
ento dur6 aproximadamente 30 minutes. Finalmente,
la danta emergi6 masticando un material que contenia
vegetaci6n no identificada.

Se escucharon 4 tipos de vocalizaciones: (1) Un silbido
corto y agudo que la danta emiti6 cuando estaba en el
agua; (2) un silbido corto de menor duraci6n y mas
grave que el anterior, fue emitido cuando el animal
se encontraba en los refugios; (3) una vocalizaci6n de
dos parties en forma de chasquido en los periods de
forrajeo y mientras se desplazaba; (4) un silbido largo
que realize cuando se encuentra lejos de los observa-
dores, el cual es reportado en poblaciones silvestres
por cazadores, que emiten un sonido semejante que
al ser respondido por la danta permit ubicarla. Esta
situaci6n se pudo comprobar por los observadores en
el present studio.


Dado que no fue possible cuantificar los desplazamien-
tos nocturnos, solo se pudo estimar una pequefia area
de acci6n de 300 m de radio. Esta fracci6n incluye
zonas de forrajeo, descanso y bafio, las cuales fuer-
on utilizadas en diferentes proporciones de tiempo,
77,21% en actividades de descanso, el 14,74% en acti-
vidades de forrajeo y el 8,04% restante en descanso en
las fuentes de agua.

Descanso en los refugios
Esta categoria de comportamiento fue la actividad con
mayor tiempo efectivo invertido durante el seguimien-
to, con un 77,21% del tiempo total. Lira et al. (2004)
en su studio con Tapirus bairdii, reportan un porcen-
taje de ocurrencia much mayor que el forrajeo tanto
para la hembra como para el macho, pero menores al
porcentaje del tiempo invertido por la danta reportado
en este studio. Esto quizis se deba principalmente a
que el studio realizado por Lira et al. (2004) fue con
individuos en cautiverio y este estado puede influir de
manera notable en la actividad y comportamiento de
estas y otras species. Hay que tener en cuenta que

aunque la danta objeto de studio no era un animal
totalmente silvestre al presentar un moderado grado
de amansamiento, puede estar reflejando el compor-
tamiento natural del tapir de tierras bajas durante las
horas del dia. Teniendo en cuenta que los tapires pre-
sentan un patron de actividad principalmente nocturno
(Padilla & Dowler, 1994; Constantino et al., 2006), era
de esperarse que este comportamiento se presentara
en mayor proporci6n durante las horas del dia.

Los tres refugios encontrados estin acordes con lo
reportado por Acosta et al. (1996), Emmons y Feer
(1999) y Aranda (2000), quienes encontraron que
las dantas utilizan refugios o echaderos en lugares
donde la vegetaci6n es densa. Esto incluye chuscales
(Chusquea sp.) y matorrales, ademas en su mayoria
estin ubicados cerca a fuentes de agua. Estas condici-
ones les permit a los tapires mayores probabilidades
de escapar frente al ataque de los jaguars (Pantera
onca) o pumas (Puma concolor), species que son sus
principles depredadores (Hershkovitz, 1954; Padilla
& Dowler, 1994; Acosta et al., 1996; Aranda, 2000).

Forrajeo y dieta
Esta categoria comprendi6 el 14,74% del tiempo
efectivo total, much menor que el descanso en los
refugios y menor en comparaci6n con los trabajos de
Terwillinger (1978) y Foerster (1998, en Lira et al.,
2004) con Tapirus Bairdii en estado silvestre, donde
encontraron porcentajes de forrajeo de 88% y 71%
del tiempo efectivo. Este porcentaje era de esperarse
ya que al ser los tapires principalmente nocturnos
(Constantino et al ,2006), durante el dia pasan mas
tiempo descansando, aunque pueden tener actividad
de forrajeo pero en una menor proporci6n (Padilla &
Dowler, 1994).
Con respect al la dieta, para T. pinchaque en
los Andes colombianos se ha reportado de 23 a 46
species de plants consumidas, con preferencia por
plantulas y hojas j6venes (Acosta et al., 1996). En estu-
dios con T. bairdii en Centroam6rica revelan un mayor
nfmero de species de plants consumidas, entire
93 y 171 (Acosta et al., 1996, Brooks & Eisenberg,
1999). En trabajos para T. terrestris en otros paises
se registran de 8 a 88 species de plants que hacen
parte de la dieta de esta especie (Bodmer 1990; Salas
& Fuller, 1996; Julia & Richard, 2000; Herrera et al.,
2000; Galetti et al., 2001; Henry et al., 2001). Hasta
el moment no se habian realizado en Antioquia y
posiblemente en Colombia ningin studio que aportara
informaci6n sobre la composici6n de la dieta de
Tapirus terrestris colombianus. Sin embargo para la
zona norte de la Amazonia colombiana Constantino et
al. (2006) reportan algunas de las plants consumidas
por Tapirus terrestris, entire las cuales estin: Spondias

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


Tabla 2.
de plants

spp., Annoma spp., Protium spp., Ficus spp. y frutos
de palmas como Maurittia spp., Scheelea spp. y
Bactris spp. En este studio se encontr6 que la dieta
incluye 22 species de plants, 13 de las cuales son
plants silvestres, 7 correspondent a plants cultivadas
y 2 a pastos para el ganado (tabla 2). Es evidence que
de estas species consumidas hay un buen porcentaje
que corresponde a plants cultivadas y debido a que
Tapirus terrestris es un especie generalista en la
dieta (Salas & Fuller, 1996), el recurso del cultivo de
"pancoger" es aprovechado debido a su disponibilidad
en la zona de studio.
S61o se observ6 una vez a la danta lamiendo el
suelo quizis en busca de sales y minerales, estos
posiblemente podrian complementary las necesidades
alimenticias y en ocasiones actuar como un mecanismo
de neutralizaci6n de las toxinas que contienen algunas
plants (Acosta et al., 1996). Es important anotar
que Ipomoea sp (batatilla), una de las plants que
compone la dieta, posee un lItex t6xico en las hojas
(Molina com. per.)

Descanso en las fuentes de agua
Aunque los tapires han sido catalogados como buenos
nadadores (Hershkovitz, 1954), de la bibliografia
revisada ningin studio cuantifica el tiempo efectivo

invertido en estas actividades. Sin embargo Lira et
al. (2004) en su studio con una pareja de Tapirus
Bairdii en cautiverio, reportan las frecuencias de
ocurrencia, tanto para la hembra (0.85%) como para
el macho (1.74%). La danta en este studio uso el
10% del tiempo registrado en actividades acuaticas, es
evidence entonces que aunque en este trabajo solo se
registraron las categories de comportamiento durante
el dia, en los dos trabajos el descanso en las fuentes
de agua muestran porcentajes de actividad bajos,
invirtiendo asi mas tiempo en descansos en los refugios
y el forrajeo.
Durante esta actividad se observ6 que en varias
ocasiones la danta estaba cubierta de moscas antes de
entrar al agua; posiblemente este comportamiento est6
relacionado con una forma de evadir este y otro tipo
de ectoparisitos (Hershkovitz 1954; Padilla & Dowler,
1994), ademis, los periods de bafio coincidian con
horas calurosas. Es probable entonces que el bafio est6
asociado con ambos factors: evasi6n de ectoparisitos
y regulaci6n comportamental del exceso de calor
producido por las horas calurosas.
En dos de 5 registros de la danta en el agua, se
observ6 que sumergia la cabeza cerca de la orilla de
la quebrada y la movia lentamente hacia los lados y
liberando aire que producia burbujas (fotografia 1G).

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

Familia Nombre cientifico Parte consumida Registro
Melastomataceae Cf. Clidemia sp 1 Tallo, hojas, fruto Directo
Melastomataceae Cf. Clidemia sp 2 Tallo, hojas Directo
Asteraceae Austroepatorium sp Tallo, hojas Directo
Rubiaceae Genipa americana Frutos Directo
Labiatae Salvia sp. Tallo, hojas, flores Directo
Verbenaceae indeterminado Hojas Directo
Euphorbiacea Croton sp o Hieronima sp Hojas Directo
Malpighiaceae indeterminado Hojas Directo
Poaceae Hyparrhemia rufa Hojas Directo
Poaceae Melinis minutiflora Hojas Directo
Anacardiaceae Mangifera indica Frutos Directo
Euphorbiacea Manihot sculenta Raiz, hojas Indirecto
Caricaceae Carica papaya Frutos, hojas Indirecto
Musaceae Musa sp. Frutos, hojas Directo
Myrtaceae Psidium guajaba Frutos Directo
Arecaceae Coccus nucifera Raices, frutos pequeios Directo
Poaceae Zea maiz Frutos, hojas Indirecto
Colvolvulaceae Ipomoea sp. Hojas, tallos Directo
Moraceae Artocarpus communis Hojas Directo
Heliconiaceae Heliconia sp. Hojas Indirecto
Cecropiaceae Cecropia sp. Hojas, retoios Indirecto
Myrtaceae Miconia sp. Frutos Indirecto


No se tienen una explicaci6n para este comportamiento,
pero podria estar relacionado con una actividad ludica
o con una manera de buscar otro tipo de alimento, entire
los cuales podrian estar macroinvertebrados acuaticos
y peces los cuales han sido reportados como possible
alimento por Hershkovitz (1954) y Padilla & Dowler,
(1994). Incluso Julia & Richard (2000) reportan la
depredaci6n de nidos con huevos de Pleuroderma sp
(Anfibia- Anura) por parte de un tapir macho juvenile.
En general La variaci6n de estas categories compor-
tamentales puede darse tanto por edad como por sexo
de los individuos, los juveniles y las hembras prefiadas
gastan a menudo mis tiempo en actividades de descan-
so y menos tiempo en alimentaci6n, estas actividades
tambi6n pueden presentar variaci6n a lo largo del afio
tanto con la estacionalidad como con la disponibilidad
de alimento (Padilla y Dowler, 1994).

Hunsaker & Hahn (1969) described cuatro tipos de
vocalizaciones realizadas por T. terrestris en la ama-
zonia Brasilefia. Entre estos estdn dos silbidos altos
y agudos realizados mediante el paso de aire por las
cuerdas bucales y emitidos en diferentes intensida-
des. Segin los autores estos silbidos son realizados
en situaciones de miedo, dolor, regocijo y explora-
ci6n. Incluso se utilizan para alertar a otros tapires.
Un chasquido producido por la lengua y el paladar
es usado como m6todo de identificaci6n de la espe-
cie. Un ronquido producido por la salida forzada del
aire a trav6s del hocico, esti asociado a la agresi6n.
Durante el seguimiento se registraron los dos primeros
tipos de vocalizaciones. Un silbido de alta intensidad
mientras se encontraba en el agua. El otro silbido de
igual intensidad al anterior, pero de mayor duraci6n
fue emitido cuando se encontraba distant del punto
de observaci6n. Durante el process de forrajeo emitia
el chasquido descrito anteriormente. El cuarto tipo de
vocalizaci6n que se registry fue emitido mientras des-
cansaba en los refugios. Sin embargo, no es seguro que
este filtimo corresponda al cuarto tipo de vocalizaci6n
descrita por los autores antes mencionados.


Hay que tener en cuenta que la danta es un mamifero
grande con amplios requerimientos de habitat, nece-
sitan cerca de 200 hectareas de area de vida, donde
puedan encontrar suficientes recursos alimenticios y
buenas condiciones de habitat para la reproducci6n
(M6dici et al., 2001; Rocha, 2001; en Sekiama et al.,
2006). Es una especie que present bajas densidades
poblacionales como se ha registrado para la amazonia
peruana de 4ind/10km2 (Bodmer & Brooks, 1997) y 2,8
ind/100km2 para el norte de la Amazonia de Colombia

(Solano & Vargas 1999, en Constantino et al., 2006).
Ademis por su rol como dispersor de semillas juega un
important papel en la dindmica de los ecosistemas y
al coexistir con otras species igualmente amenazadas
como el Paujil de Pico Azul (Crax alberti) (catalogado
en Peligro critic CR) y el mico Churuco (Lagothrix
lagothricha lugens) (catalogado como vulnerable VU)
(Tapirus terrestris colombianus catalogada en peligro
critic CR), podria utilizarse como especie bandera
generando un efecto sombrilla para la conservaci6n de
esta y otras species.
Es important seguir realizando y promoviendo
investigaciones sobre la biologia y ecologia de esta
especie, ya que con estos aspects de historic natural
junto con otros studios, son la base para complemen-
tar y edificar estrategias de conservaci6n efectivas que
mejoren las poblaciones de danta y brinden mejor cali-
dad de vida a los pobladores locales.


Agradezco a los habitantes de la vereda El Popero
en especial a las families Tob6n de las fincas Piedra
de Moler y el Sini y a la Familia Correa de la finca
el Clavel, ellos posibilitaron las visits realizadas a
la zona, a Juan Alejandro Palacio por la ayuda en la
investigaci6n, a Rita Isabel Vl6ez y al revisor an6nimo
por la revision del manuscrito, a CORANTIOQUIA
(Corporaci6n Aut6noma Regional del Centro de
Antioquia) por el apoyo econ6mico y logistico que
posibilitaron 6sta investigaci6n y a todos los que me
apoyaron en este studio.

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Biotr6pica 32(1):165-173.
Montenegro, O.L. 1998. The Behavior of lowland tapir
(Tapirus Terrestris) at a natural mineral lick in the
Peruvian Amazon. M.S. thesis. University of Florida,
Florida, United States.
Padilla, M. & Dowler R. 1994. Tapirus terrestris. Mammalian
species 481:1-8.
Perz, S. G., Arambur C., & Bremner, J. 2005. Population,
land use and deforestation in the pan Amazon basin:
a comparison of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador,
Peru and Venezuela. Environment. Development and
Sustainability 7:23-49.
Olmos, F, Pardini, R., Boulhosa, R.L., Bilrgi, R., Morsello, C.
1999. Do tapirs steal food from palm seed predators or
give them a lift?. Biotr6pica 31(2):375-379.
Rodriguez, M., Olmos, F. & Galetti, M. 1993. Seed dispersal
by tapir in southeastern in Brazil. Mammalia 57(3):460-
Salas, L.A. 1996. Habitat use by lowland tapir (Tapirus
terrestris L.) in the Taboro River valley, southern
Venezuela. Can. J. Zool 74:1452-1458.
Salas, L.A. & Fuller, T.K.1996. Diet of the lowland tapir
(Tapirus terrestris L.) in the Taboro River valley,
southern Venezuela. Can. J. Zool 74:1444-1451.
Sekiama, M.L., Lima I.P, Rocha V.J.2006. Ordem
Perissodactyla. En: N.R. dos Reis, A.L. Peracchi, A.P
Wagner & I.P de Lima (eds.) Mamiferos do Brasil, pp.
277-281.Universidade Estadula de Londrina, Londrina,
Terwilleger, VJ. 1978. Natural history of Baird's tapir on
Barro Colorado Island, Panama Canal Zone. Biotr6pica
10 (3):211-220.
Vifa, A., Echavarria FR. & Rundquist D.C. 2004. Satellite
change detection analysis of deforestation rates and
patterns along the Colombia Ecuador border. Ambio
Zerda, OE. 2004. Comportamiento animal: introducci6n,
m6todos y practices. Universidad Nacional de Colombia,
Bogota Colombia.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


Distribuci6n HistoricaY Actual de la Poblaci6n de

Danta de Tierras Bajas Tapirus terrestris colombianus

(Hershkovitz 1954) mas al Norte de SurAmerica

Franz Kaston Florez', Carlos Fern6ndez Rueda2, William Peiialosa3, Jaime Rodriguez4, Gustavo Torres',
Maria Mercedes Armenta6

I Fundaci6n Nativa, Director; Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group, E.mail:
2 Defensores de la Naturaleza, Palomino La Guajira, Director, Celular 57-312-6411057
3 Fotocolector Campesino Palomino
4 Fotocolector Campesino Palomino
5 Fotocolector Indigena Arhuaco
6 Fotocolectora Indigena Wiwa-Arhuaco


Existe una sub-especie de tapir, localmente llama-
da danta, end6mica al norte Colombia, descrita
con el nombre Tapirus terrestris colombianus por
(Hershkovitz 1954), basado en la piel y el crineo de
un macho adulto colectado en el Departamento del
Magdalena, cara sur de la Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta, la Distribuci6n original por el autor corresponde
a los Departamentos de Magdalena, Bolivar, C6rdoba
(alto rio Sini), noroccidente de Antioquia y extinta en
el Departamento de Atlintico. Posteriormente se defi-
ne la distribuci6n actual de esta misma sub especie
en las regions de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta,
El Magdalena Medio, La Serrania de San Lucas, la
parte baja del rio Cauca y el alto rio Sini en Colombia,
(Constantino 2005).
El area de studio esti localizada de 0 a 1000
m de altitude desde la cuenca del rio Palomino hasta
la cuenca del rio Jerez en el Municipio de Dibulla,
con una extension aproximada de 300 km2 en el
Departamento de La Guajira en la cara norte de La
Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. Macizo de forma pira-
midal igneo-metamorfico aislado de la cordillera de
los Andes que termin6 su levantamiento a finales del
period Terciario (Salazar 1998). Situado al norte de
Colombia, entire los 10001'05" y 11020'11" de latitud
norte y los 72036'16" y 74012'49" de longitud al oeste
del meridiano de Greenwich. Es una region hetero-
g6nea con comunidades vegetables asi: bosque denso,
siempreverde, ombr6filo, tropical de tierras bajas:
Con muy poca intervenci6n, dosel continue, arboles
siempreverdes mayores de 15m. Con baja interven-
ci6n, rastrojos altos y cafetales con sombrio algunas
areas abiertas y potreros. Con median y alta interven-
ci6n, arboles pioneros de madera blanda de 10 a 20 m

de altura, areas abiertas, arboles de galeria arbustiva
y pastizales (Salazar 1998). La cara norte de la Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta present un clima tropical con
precipitaci6n de tendencia monomodal, un period
seco bien marcado entire diciembre y junio con deficit
de agua, una 6poca de lluvias de agosto a noviembre,
con un period pequefio de lluvias entire abril y junior
(Salazar 1998). Esta influenciado por su aguda vari-
aci6n altitudinal, su posici6n frente al mar y a los
vientos Alisios del Nordeste, se puede confirmar que la
cara norte es la mis humeda, la mayor precipitaci6n se
produce en la cuenca del rio Palomino con valores de
1.836,8 mm (Salazar 1998). El regimen de lluvias esta
definido en gran parte por el movimiento de la Zona
de Convergencia Intertropical (ZCIT) (Salazar 1998).
Debido a sus caracteristicas geogrificas, climiticas y
geomorfol6gicas anteriormente anotadas, el area de
studio en la cara norte de la Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta se puede definir como Zonobioma Hfimedo
Ecuatorial. (Hernindez-Camacho y Sanchez 1992).
Esta region se encuentra habitada principalmen-
te por la cultural Tayrona de las etnias Kogui,Wiwa,
Arhuaca y campesinos. Las entrevistas realizadas
pudieron constatar que las dantas habitaron la oril-
la del mar y todo el bosque hfimedo mis al norte de
Suram6rica en La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. No es
dificil pensar que en tiempos precolombinos la danta
era uno de los mamiferos con mayor presencia y por
supuesto interactu6 con los pobladores indigenas. De
acuerdo con 6stos, las dantas fueron en su tiempo una
muy buena fuente de protein animal para el consume
y en consecuencia cuando se cazaba a una hembra
parida, la cria era finalmente llevada al hogar indigena
donde se hacia adulta en medio de la familiar logrando
un nivel de amansamiento suficiente para ser apro-
vechada su gran fuerza y ser utilizada por los indigenas
como animal de trabajo.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


Figura I. Imagen tridimensional de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, ProSierra.
Imagen de Distribuci6n Hist6rica yActual de la Danta Colombiana en Dibulla, La Guajira.


La metodologia utilizada fue la busqueda direct en
campo de los rastros de las dantas. Se marcaron los
sitios en donde se encontraron rastros con GPS, para
construir el mapa de distribuci6n actual de esta danta.
Tambi6n se instalaron camaras fotograficas trampa en
la region de studio. Para los datos de la distribuci6n
hist6rica de esta sub-especie se realizaron entrevistas
a los pobladores de la region.
Se hicieron salidas a campo para buscar rastros
e instalar camaras fotograficas trampa desde marzo
hasta diciembre de 2006 y desde abril hasta septiemb-
re de 2008.


Al recorrer los territories de la danta, se pudo consta-
tar que en los lugares donde se ha cortado el bosque
para cultivar y son abandonados, nace y crece nueva
vegetaci6n siendo notoria la presencia de las dantas
para comer este rastrojo fresco; tambi6n los arboles
de aguacate (Persea americana) son visitados en la
noche en 6poca de cosecha para comer sus frutos en
los meses de Abril, Mayo, Junio y Julio. No se registra
la presencia de salados que sirvan de fuente mineral a
las dantas. En algunos sectors se observaron arbustos
descortezados de Yarumo (Cecropia sp. ), y en mayor
cantidad de uno l1amado por los lugarefios "palo de
danta" o "quiebra barrigo" (Trichantera gigantea),

Figura 2. Diferentes rastros de la danta encontrados en el area del studio.
A) huella, B) huesos del ultimo animal cazado, C) corteza comida (Cecropia sp.), D) Trichantera gigantea.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


Figura 3.
Fotografias de
dantas obtenidas
por cameras
trampa en la
Sierra Nevada de
Santa Marta.

I) danta,
2) danta,
3) danta,
4) danta,
zona campesina,
5) Danta,
PeRi6n Colorado,
6) Danta,
PeRi6n Colarado,

dejando grabados en los tallos los fuertes dientes de
estos Perisodactilos.
En diciembre 21 de 2006 se pudo obtener por
primera vez la fotografia de la danta colombiana
(Tapirus terrestris colombianus Hershkovitz 1954) en
estado silvestre de la Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta
y con esto la comprobaci6n irrefutable de la actual
presencia de este animal en La Guajira. Posteriormente
en el afio 2008 se han tomado nuevas fotografias de
cuatro dantas mis en lugares distintos.


Hoy, al poder constatar en campo la presencia de este
animal, se pudo comprobar que en la actualidad la
danta se encuentra confinada a las cuencas de los

rios Jerez, San Salvador, Naranjal, La Cristalina,
Mamaice y Palomino dentro del Municipio de Dibulla
desde los 100 hasta los 1000 metros de altitude
aproximadamente, en el Departamento de La Guajira
Colombia, sin ninguna posibilidad de conexi6n con
otras poblaciones de dantas cercanas conocidas.
Esta region ha sufrido grandes transformaciones
del bosque pristine con una creciente industrial
ganadera bovina que va desde el mar hasta los 300
metros de altitude y una tradici6n agricola muy agresiva,
primero de marihuana (Canabis sativa) y luego de
coca (Erythroxylum coca) provocando fragmentaci6n
de la selva y en consecuencia disminuci6n del habitat
para la danta. Al mismo tiempo en los tltimos 20 afios
este mismo scenario ha sido testigo del desarrollo
del conflict armado con repercusiones particulares
para la poblaci6n de dantas, sin embargo el mes de

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


diciembre de 2006 se pudo apreciar el inicio de la
erradicaci6n de los cultivos de coca y parcialmente de
la guerra por la desmovilizaci6n de los paramilitares y
el dominio del territorio por el Ejercito Nacional, estas
circunstancias hacen que inicie un nuevo ciclo en la
region de studio con caracteristicas diferentes y un
incierto future para estas ultimas dantas en La Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta.
Hoy a pesar de permanecer la guerrilla, la poca
gente campesina que qued6 esta retomando los cultivos
de pan coger y los que pueden estan ampliando la
frontera ganadera. De otra parte el progresivo dominio
del territorio por parte del Ejercito Nacional esta
generando oportunidad de desarrollo agropecuario,
forestal y recientemente minero. Este nuevo scenario
genera diversas percepciones hacia la danta por parte
de los pobladores presents: los indigenas, la perciben
como un animal sagrado que mantiene y vigila los
tesoros de la Sierra, la cazaron en el pasado y desde
hace much tiempo no la cazan; los campesinos la ven
como un animal de monte con abundante care que
fue cazado con frecuencia hasta que los paramilitares,
cuando estaban, impusieron la pena de muerte a
quien cazara una, ahora como la situaci6n cambi6 no
sabemos qu6 pueda pasar, sin embargo el liderazgo del
campesino Carlos Fernandez "Cayito" por difundir la
conservaci6n de la danta en la region ha transformado
en gran parte el interns por el animal, llegandose a decir
que es mejor para la comunidad de la region tenerla
viva que muerta; las autoridades ambientales locales
han hecho manifiesto su compromise de conservaci6n
de esta danta y su habitat, al punto de convertirse este
en un proyecto bandera para la Corporaci6n Aut6noma
Regional de La Guajira COPOGUAJIRA.


Es important destacar a esta region por la abundante
biodiversidad que entire sus territories cuenta con
el AICA (Area Importante para la Conservaci6n de
las Aves BirdLife 2005) nimero 004 lamada San
Salvador. Sin embargo la region no esta protegida
oficialmente except por la reserve privada natural
Buena Vista del grupo ecol6gico Defensores de la
Naturaleza de Palomino, Dibulla, que compare el
territorio con predios de indigenas Wiwas, Kogui,
Arhuacos, campesinos colonos y el borde norte del
Parque Natural Nacional Sierra Nevada de Santa
Marta, lo que hace necesario y urgente declarar a esta
region santuario para la danta colombiana. En tal
sentido se sugiere seguir con este modelo de monitoreo
de la biodiversidad con la participaci6n active de los
lugarefios como co-investigadores, y la metodologia
de las cdmaras fotogrficas trampa, que unido a los

studios gen6ticos, ecol6gicos y comportamentales,
mejoren el conocimiento de esta ultima poblaci6n
de dantas y su biodiversidad asociada que junto a
la educaci6n ambiental de los lugarefios se ejecuten
acciones de conservaci6n eficaces que eviten la
extinci6n de estas ultimas dantas en la Sierra Nevada
de Santa Marta Colombia.


Fernando Salazar Holguin Fundaci6n Pro Sierra, Maria
Luisa Cardenas, Debanis Fernandez, Francisco Botello,
Chema, Mingo Villafafie, Marcelino Torres, Jos6
Armenta, Corpoguajira, Tapir Preservation Found,
Beca Jos6 Ignacio Hernandez Camacho, Universidad
Aut6noma de M6xico y Fundaci6n Nativa.

Literature Citada

Constantino, E .2005. Current Distribution and Conservation
Status of the Colombian Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrest-
ris colombianus) and the Baird's or Central American
Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) in Colombia, Tapir Conservation
The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir specialist Group,
Volumen 14/1 (No. 17 June): Paginas 15 18.
Hershkovitz, P 1954. Mammals of Northern Colombia.
Preliminary report No.7: tapir (genus Tapirus), with a
systematic review of American species. In: Proceeding
of the United States National Museum. Washington. 103
(3329): pp. 465-495.
Hernandez-Camacho, J. y Sanchez, H. 1992. Biomas terrest-
res de Colombia. En Halffter G.: La Diversidad Biol6gica
de Iberoamerica, Acta Zool6gica Mexicana, Vol. Especial.
Pp 153-175 (CYTED-D. Program Iberoamericano de
Ciencia y Tecnologia para el Desarrollo.
Salazar, F. 1998. Evaluaci6n Ecol6gica Rapida, Definici6n
de areas critics para la conservaci6n en La Sierra
Nevada de Santa Marta, Fundaci6n Pro Sierra Nevada
de Santa Marta, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente,
Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques
Nacionales Naturales, The Nature Conservancy, USAID,
Embajada de Jap6n.

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008




Currently, the TSG has 120 members, including
field researchers, educators, veterinarians,
governmental agencies and NGO representatives, zoo
personnel, university professors and students, from
27 different countries worldwide (Argentina, Australia,
Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Denmark, Ecuador, France, French Guiana, Germany,
Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico,
Myanmar, Republic of Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
Thailand, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United
States, and Venezuela).

PERHILITAN Bukit Rengit, Krau Wildlife Reserve
E-mail: cobra7512081

Seccion Ecologia, Sistematica y Evolucion, Departamento Academico
de Ciencias Biologicas y Fisiologicas, Facultad de Ciencias y Filosofia,
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

D.V.M. Gerente de Operaciones, Fundaci6n Parque Zool6gico
Metropolitan del Zulia

ANGELL, GILIA (United States)
Senior Designer,

Biol6go, Researcher, Grupo de Mastozoologica-CTUA,
Institute de Biologia, Universidad de Antioquia

M.Sc. Bi6logo, Investigador de Vida Silvestre, WCS Wildlife
Conservation Society, Northern La Paz Living Landscape Program

BARONGI, RICK (United States)
Director, Houston Zoo Inc.
Former Chair/ Member,Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

BAUER, KENDRA (United States)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, University of Texas at Austin
Integrative Biology, I University Station

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

BENEDETTI,ADRIAN (Republic of Panama)
Director, Parque Municipal Summit, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA

General Curator / Jefe de Fauna, Parque Zoologico Recreacional Huachipa

D.V.M. Mountain Tapir Project Colombia (Diego Lizcano)

D.V.M. Director Tecnico, Fundaci6n Nacional de Parques Zool6gicos e
Acuirios (FUNPZA) Ministerio del Ambiente (MARN)

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

Rafiki Safari Lodge

Coordinador deVida Silvestre, Sistema Nacional de Areas de
Conservaci6n, Ministerio del Ambiente y Energia (MINAE)

Coordinator, Dry Forest Conservation and Development Initiative,
The Nature Conservancy / Fundaci6n Natura
Associate Researcher, 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 Bosque

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


M.Sc. Proyecto de Investigaci6n y Conservaci6n del Tapir Noroeste

COLBERT, MATTHEW (United States)
Ph.D. Research Associate, Jackson School of Geological Sciences,
University of Texas at Austin


M.Sc. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y Ecologia
E-mail: pimecruz59 I; ecruz59 I

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

DEE, MICHAEL (United States)

Investigadora Asociada, Instituto de Investigaciones Cientfficas
Avanzadas y Servicios de Alta Tecnologia (INDICASAT)

Assistant Director, ZooParc de Beauval
Lowland Tapir Studbook Keeper, European Association of Zoos and
Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

DINATA,YOAN (Indonesia)
Assistant Director, ZooParc de Beauval
Field Manager, Fauna & Flora International Indonesia Program

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


FLESHER, KEVIN (United States I Brazil)

Director of Washington DC Office, International Fund for Animal Welfare
E-mail: J

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

Licenciado, Investigador, Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas,
Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala

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

GEMITA, ELVA (Indonesia)
Field Manager, Fauna & Flora International /
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE)

GLATSTON,ANGELA (The Netherlands)
Ph.D. Curator of Mammals, Rotterdam Zoo
Member, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

GOFF, DON (United States)
Assistant Director, Beardsley Zoological Gardens
Lowland Tapir Studbook Keeper,Association of Zoos & Aquariums
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Unit of Biology and Physical
Geography, Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences,
University of British Columbia Okanagan

GREENE, LEWIS (United States)
Director, Fresno Chaffee Zoo

D.V.M. Manager, Clinic Laboratory, Zool6gico Regional Miguel Alvarez
del Toro (ZooMat), Instituto de Historia Natural y Ecologia

D.V.M. M.Sc.Jefe de Operaciones, UN.A.CH., Policlinica y Diagn6stico

HANDRUS, ELLIOT (United States)
E-mail: ebh

D.V.M.Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Georgia

HOLDEN, JEREMY (Indonesia)
Photographer, Flora and Fauna International
E-mail:; jeremy_holden I

HOLST, BENGT (Denmark)
M.Sc.Vice Director and Director of Conservation and Science,
Copenhagen Zoo
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
- Europe Regional Network
Chair, European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


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

Ph.D. Coordinador, Reserva Experimental Horco Molle
Universidad National de Tucumrn, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales,

Chief, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary Department of National Parks,
Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Royal Forest Department of Thailand

Wildlife Research Division Department of National Parks,Wildlife
and Plant Conservation, Royal Forestry Department of Thailand

D.V.M. 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.

LINKIE, MATTHEW (United Kingdom I Indonesia)
Ph.D. Research Associate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and
Ecology (DICE), University of Kent

D.V.M. M.Sc. Subdirector de Salud Animal, Direcci6n Tecnica y de
Investigaci6n, Direcci6n General de Zool6gicos yVida Silvestre de la
Ciudad de Mexico (DGZVSDF), Zool6gico de Chapultepec
E-mail: ilira

LIZCANO, DIEGO J. (Colombia)
Ph.D. Professor, Universidad de Pamplona

Ph.D Post-Doctoral Researcher, CIES-ISCTE
Centro de Biologia Animal, Departamento de Biologia Animal,
Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa

Ph.D.Associate Conservation Scientist & Regional Advisor,
Wildlife Conservation Society -Asia Program

D.V.M. M.Sc.Associated Researcher, Lowland Tapir Conservation
Initiative, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas (Institute for
Ecological Research)
Scientific Coordinator,Vida Livre Medicina de Animais Selvagens

Team Leader, Flora and Fauna International

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

MAY J R, JOARES A. (Brazil)
D.V.M.Wildlife Veterinarian
Associate Researcher, Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative
IPE Instituto de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological

M.Sc.Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management
Research Coordinator, Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative
IPE Instituto de Pesquisas Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological
Ph.D. Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology
(DICE), University of Kent, United Kingdom
Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
- Brazil Regional Network
E-mail:; skype: patricia.medici

MENDOZA,ALBERTO (Mexico I United States)
D.V.M. Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)

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

Ph.D. Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL)

MORALES, MIGUELA. (Paraguay I United States)
Ph.D. Protected Areas Management Advisor
People, Protected Areas and Conservation Corridors,
Conservation International (CI)

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

Institute Ecuatoriano de Propiedad Intelectual (IEPI)
Professor, Escuela de Gesti6n Ambiental de la Universidad Tecnica
Particular de Loja

Lecturer, Jurusan Biologi FMIPA, Universitas Andalas
E-mail: wilson_n

Field Team Leader / Field Researcher, Fauna & Flora International -
Indonesia Program

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


O'FARRILL, GEORGINA XoXo (Mexico I Canada)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Biology Department, McGill University
ECOSUR-Chetumal, Mexico

Coordinator, Proyecto Corredores de Conservaci6n,
Fundaci6n Ecol6gica Arcoiris

Biologist, Ph.D. Graduate Student, CONICET- LIEY,
Universidad Nacional deTucuman

Institute de Investigaci6n de Recursos Biol6gicos < Humboldt>

POOT, CELSO (Belize)
Education Director,The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center

Animal Curator,Taman Safari Indonesia
International Studbook Keeper, Malayan Tapirs

Ph.D. Ungulate Biologist, Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Conservation & Research Center,

D.V.M. Coordinator, TSG Zoo Committee

M.Sc. Fundaci6n Wii

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

Director, Zoocriadero de Dantas La Marina

ROMAN, JOSEPH (United States)
Curator,Virginia Zoological Park
Baird's Tapir Studbook Keeper, Association of Zoos & Aquariums
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

RUBIANO,ASTRITH (Colombia I United States)
University of Connecticut / Conservation and Research Center,
Smithsonian Institution, Natural Resources Department,

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

RUSSO, KELLY J. (United States)
Manager of Interactive Marketing,Web Communications Department,
Houston Zoo Inc

SALAS, LEONARDO (Venezuela I United States)
Ph.D.Animal Population Biologist, Post-Doctoral Fellow,
Redwood Sciences Laboratory

Ph.D. President, Sociedad Mastozoologica de Panama (SOMASPA)
Director, Proyecto de Biodiversidad de Mam(feros (PROBIOMA)

Vice-President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)

Program de P6s-Graduacao em Ecologia e Conservacgo,
Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul (UFMS)

M.Sc. Ciencias, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL)
Member, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)

D.V.M. M.Sc. Genetics & Animal Improvement
Departamento de Genetica e Melhoramento Animal,
Universidade Estadual de Sao Paulo (UNESP)

SCHWARTZ, KARIN (United States)
M.Sc.Animal Behavior, Ph.D. Candidate, Conservation Biology,
George Mason University, FairFAX,VA, United States
Biological Database Manager, Chicago Zoological Society Brookfield Zoo
Registrar Advisor,Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Tapir Taxon
Advisory Group (TAG)
Member, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG)
Member, IUCN/SSC Re-Introduction Specialist Group (RSG)

President, Nashville Zoo at Grassmere

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

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008


Curador General, Parque Zool6gico de Le6n
Miembro,Asociaci6n de Zool6gicos, Criaderos yAcuarios de Mexico
Coordinador, Programa de Recuperaci6n de Especies del Tapir
Centroamericano de AZCARM, MEXICO

SHEWMAN, HELEN (United States)
Collection Manager,Woodland Park Zoo

SHOEMAKER,ALAN H. (United States)
Permit Advisor,Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Tapir Taxon
Advisory Group (TAG)

SMITH, BRANDIE (United States)
Assistant Director, Conservation and Science, Association of Zoos &
Aquariums (AZA)
Advisor, Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory
Group (TAG)

SMITH, DIORENE (Republic of Panama)
D.V.M. Parque Municipal Summit

STAHL,TIM (United States)
Owner, Stahl Photographics
E-mail: tim I I

STANCER, MICHELE (United States)
Animal Care Manager, San Diego Zoological Society
Malayan Tapir Studbook Keeper,Association of Zoos &Aquariums
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG)

Jardin Botanico, Universidad Tecnol6gica de Pereira

Centro Tecnol6gico de Recursos Amaz6nicos de la Organizaci6n de
Pueblos Indigenas de Pastaza (OPIP) CENTRO FATIMA

THOISY, BENOIT DE (French Guiana)
D.V.M. Ph.D. Kwata Association

TOBLER, MATHIAS (Switzerland I Perul United States)
Ph.D.Andes to Amazon Biodiversity Program,
Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)

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

Departamento de Educaci6n, Zool6gico de Quito, Ecuador
E-mail:; naty;
naty I

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

UNDERDOWN, POLLY (United Kingdom I Costa Rica)
Rafiki Safari Lodge


VARELA, DIEGO (Argentina)
Licenciado Ciencias Biologicas, Ph.D. Graduate Student,
Universidad de Buenos Aires / Conservaci6n Argentina

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

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

Ph.D. Private Consultant

General Curator, Belize Zoo

Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP)

ZAVADA, JEANNE (United States)
Director, East Tennessee State University Natural History Museum

ZAVADA, MICHAEL (United States)
Ph.D. Professor & Chairman, Department of Biological Sciences,
EastTennessee State University

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008





Tapir Cons.



Contributions Carl Traeholt (DenmarklMalaysia)
Editor E-mail:

Layout & Stefan Seitz (Germany)
Distribution E-mail:
Kelly J. Russo (United States)

Editorial Board Patricia Medici

Mathias Tobler (SwitzerlandlPeru)

Anders Gongalves da Silva (Brazil/Canada)

Diego J. Lizcano (Colombia)

Matthew Colbert (United States)

Budhan Pukazhenthi (United States)

Benoit deThoisy (French Guiana)

Production This issue is kindly sponsored by Houston Zoo Inc.,
& Distribution Kelly Russo, 1513 North Mac Gregor, Houston,
Texas 77030, USA.

Photo Credits (Cover) Igor Pfeifer Coelho, Franz Kaston Florez

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

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 5,000 words (all text included). In
any case, an English abstract up to 250 words 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 Anders Gongalves da Silva,

Tapir Conservation a The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group a Vol. 17/2 0 No. 24 0 December 2008

Tapir Conservation

Volume 17/2 U No. 24 E December 2008

I~ Cotet

Tapir Specialist Group Structure .................... 2

From the Editorial Board ................................ 3

Letter from the Editorial Board ........................... 3

Contributions ..................................... ......... 5

The Importance of Natural Licks in Predicting
Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris, Linnaeus 1758)
Occurrence in the Brazilian Pantanal
Igor Pfeifer Coelho', Luiz Flamarion B. Oliveira2,
Maria Elaine Oliveira3 and Jos6 Luis P. Cordeiro4 ..... 5

Does Moonlight affect the Use of Natural Licks by
Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris Linnaeus, 1758)
in the Northeastern Brazilian Pantanal?
Igor Pfeifer Coelho', Luiz Flamarion B. Oliveira2,
Maria Elaine Oliveira ...................................... 10

Aportes a la Historia Natural de la Danta Colombiana
(Tapirus terrestris colombianus) Compilados en el
Norte de los Andes Centrales Colombianos
Andr6s Arias Alzate .................. ............. ......... 14

Distribuci6n Historica Y Actual de la Poblaci6n de
Danta de Tierras Bajas Tapirus terrestris colombianus
(Hershkovitz 1954) mas al Norte de Sur America
Franz Kaston Florez', Carlos Fernandez Rueda2,
William Pehalosa3, Jaime Rodriguez4,
Gustavo Torres5, Maria Mercedes Armenta6 .......... 22

Tapir Specialist Group Members ................ 26

Editorial Board ..................................... ... 31

Notes for Contributors ................................ 31

1513 North MacGregor
Houston,Texas 77030

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