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 2002
Copyright Date: 2009
Frequency: semiannual
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Additional Physical Form: Also issued online.
Dates or Sequential Designation: Began in 1990.
General Note: Description based on: Vol. 12, no. 2 (Dec. 2003); title from cover.
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Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 56897961
lccn - 2004215875
issn - 1813-2286


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Volume 11 / Number 2

December 2002

Tapir Conservation

The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Edited by Sian S. Waters and Stefan Seitz


* Letter from the Chair
page 4

* History of the
Tapir Specialist Group
page 6

* Malay Tapir
Conservation Workshop
page 7

* Tapir Conservation
Workshop in Colombia
page 9

* Current Project Updates
page 11

* News from the Field
page 16

* News from Captivity
page 23

* Contributed Papers
page 25

* Tapir Specialist Group
Membership Directory
page 33

* Cartoon
page 39

See page 3 for details.

The Baird's Tapir Project in Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica, represents the first long-term pro-
ject to gather detailed, reliable information on the ecology of free-ranging tapirs. Initiated by Charles
Foerster eight years ago, the study is using radio telemetry and direct observation to document home
range size, activity patterns, habitat use, reproductive rate, offspring and adult sex ratios, offspring
survival, juvenile dispersal, spatial distribution, population density and mortality rates of an intact tapir
population. Up to now 27 different tapirs have been radio-collared and monitored. "Prima" in the photo
is one of 13 offspring born during the study. She has now grown enough to be collared and is provi-
ding the study with valuable data. Photo by Charles Foerster

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


Tapir Conservation 2 / 2002

Tapir Conservation

The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Abbreviation: Tapir Cons.

Volume 11, Number 2, December 2002

Editors Sian S. Waters Contributions
CEI Consultancy Ltd., 14 Lindsay Garden
Tredegar, Gwent NP22 4RP UK
& PO. Box 484 Cochrane, AB T4C 1A7 Canada
E-mail: sian s_ waters@yahoo. co. uk

Stefan Seitz Layout & Graphics
Bonndorfer Strasse 19
68239 Mannheim, Germany
Phone & Fax: ++49 (0)621 47 1428

Editorial Board Patricia Medici Chair, Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo,
Teodoro Sampaio, Sao Paulo, Brazil 19280-000
Phone: ++55 (18) 3282 4690
Fax: ++55 (18) 3282 3924
E-mail: or

Charles R. Foerster Deputy Chair, TSG
445 CR221, Orange Grove, Texas, USA 78372
Phone & Fax: ++1 (719) 228 06 28

Sheryl Todd Subscriptions & Webmaster
Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
PO. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon, USA 97103
Phone & Fax: ++(503) 325 31 79

Production This issue is kindly sponsored by Houston Zoological
& Distribution Gardens, General Manager, Rick Barongi,
1513 North Macgregor, Houston, Texas 77030 USA.

Subscriptions Members of the Tapir Specialist Group receive the
newsletter free of charge.
Subscriptions for non-members are $10.00 per year
and can be obtained from Sheryl Todd,
Tapir Preservation Fund,



The views expressed in Tapir Conservation are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect those of IUCN/SSC, the 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 photographers.

U December 2002 Vol. 11/

Notes for Contributors

Scope 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.

Please include the full name and address of the authors underneath the title of
the article.

Full-length articles on any aspect of tapir natural history should not be more
than 15 pages in length (including references). An abstract is required and
British English spelling is requested.

Figures and Maps. Articles etc can include black and white photographs, high
quality figures and high quality maps and tables.

References. Please refer to these examples when listing references:

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 8:31-37.

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 WildAnimal Medicine, pp. 562-568. W.B.
Saunders Co., Philadelphia, USA.

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

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, W.S. 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 Sian S. Waters, or
by hard copy to both the following postal addresses: 14 Lindsay Gardens,
Tredegar, Gwent NP22 4RP UK & PO Box 484, Cochrane, AB T4C 1A7

No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Conservation 2 / 2002



Newsletter Editors

Baird's Tapir Coordinator

Mountain Tapir Coordinator

Lowland Tapir Coordinator

Malay Tapir Coordinator


Banker (via TPF)

List Serve Moderator

Fundraising Coordinator

Fundraising Committee

Tapir Action Plan
Review Coordinators

Zoo Coordinator

Veterinary Support

Red List Authority

Red List Committee

Evolution Consultant

Patricia Medici, Brazil (

Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica

Sian Waters, UK (
Stefan Seitz, Germany (

Eduardo Naranjo, Mexico

Emilio Constantino, Colombia

Denis Alexander Torres, Venezuela

Nico van Strien, The Netherlands

Sheryl Todd, United States (

Sheryl Todd, United States (

Mike Chong, Malaysia (

Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica

Charles R. Foerster, United States/Costa Rica
Patricia Medici, Brazil (

Patricia Medici, Brazil (
Alfredo Cuaron, Mexico (

Sian Waters, UK (

Sonia Hernandez-Divers, United States

Alan Shoemaker, United States

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

Matthew Colbert, United States

Full contact information is given in the membership directory pp. 33 38.

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


Notes for Contributors
IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group

Letter from the Chair

IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group History

Malay Tapir Conservation Workshop
Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia, 12-16 April 2003

A Short Report from a Workshop on Tapir Conservation
in Colombia

Current Project Updates
Baird's Tapir Project, Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Wet Season Lowland Tapir Habitat Preferences and
Food Resource Use in Lowland Moist Tropical Forest
Lowland Tapir Activity Patterns and Capture Frequencies
in Lowland Moist Tropical Forest
Tapirs and Hunting in the Tacana Indigenous Territory
Tapir Ranging Behaviour and Activity Patterns in the
Tropical Dry Forests of the Gran Chaco

News from the Field
* Central America
Central American Tapir Activity in Upper Macal
and Raspaculo River Valley
Notes on Baird's Tapir ( Tapirus bairdii) from the
Southern Region of Biosfera Tawahka-Asangni, Honduras
* South America
French Guiana
Status of Lowland Tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in French Guiana:
A Preliminary Assessment
Conflict Between Mountain Tapirs (Tapirus bairdi) and
Farmers in the Colombian Central Andes
Biology of a Lowland Tapir Population and Its Potential
as a Community Involvement Agent in the Serra do Tabuleiro
State Park, Santa Catarina State, Brazil
* Asia

News from Captivity
New, Modernised Tapir House in Wuppertal Zoo, Germany
New Longevity Record in Tapirs

Contributed Article
Population Ecology and Conservation of Baird's Tapir
(Tapirus bairdi) in the Lacandon Forest, Mexico

IUCNISSC Tapir Specialist Group
Membership Directory





















From the Chair

Letter From the Chair

As reported in the last issue of this newsletter, several com-
mittees were created during the First International Tapir
Symposium and I am sure you are all curious to hear about
their progress. These committees have been working on
specific tasks related to the structure of the TSG, internal
and external communication and fundraising. Preliminary
results include the creation of guidelines for TSG mem-
bership and proposals seeking TSG endorsement/support
and the development of a list of responsibilities for each
one of the TSG officers. As you have all probably noticed,
our Tapir Conservation Newsletter editorial team Siin
Waters, Stefan Seitz and Kelly Russo restructured the
publication, increasing the number and quality of articles
and improving the country and species representation.
Financial support from the Houston Zoological Gardens
will enable us to publish two issues per year. The Houston
Zoo graphic department is also helping us to develop edu-
cational and organisational brochures about tapirs and the

Our veterinary committee, coordinated by Dr. Sonia
Hemandez-Divers, is working on protocols for tapir immo-
bilization, manipulation and collection of biological sam-
ples. They are also working to improve communication
between field researchers and veterinarians, identifying the
needs of field biologists in terms of veterinary support. All
this information will be made available on-line soon.
Another committee, leaded by Sifn Waters, is working to
improve the communication between field researchers and
zoos. As part of this work, tapir researchers have been vis-
iting zoos and making presentations about their work in the
field and about the TSG.

Our Fundraising Committee is working on the develop-
ment of strategies to raise funds for the group itself and
those tapir researchers and educators working in the field
and captivity. We are still working on the ideas generated
during the symposium but, as reported before, the main
concept is to create a TSG Conservation Fund functioning
as an additional funding source for tapir projects. We
believe that a major advantage of this strategy is that we
will be raising funds for tapir conservation in general and
not for specific projects. Since Specialist Groups are not
legal entities in themselves, we will rely on the Tapir
Preservation Fund (TPF) to collect, manage and distribute
the grants to researchers through a selection process. The
committee is currently putting together a proposal for the
TSG as a whole. Once we have this proposal, we will iden-

tify and contact poten-
tial donors such as the .
large conservation
NGOs, trusts and foun- i' .:
dations, zoos, indu- .
stories, private donors,
etc. In addition to a
standard written pro-
posal we will prepare a
multimedia presenta-
tion that can be pre-
sented in person by
TSG representatives.
We are also planning a major zoo campaign directed at
tapir holders worldwide, but particularly in the United
States and Europe, to seek contributions, as has been done
for other taxonomic groups in the past. Ideally we would
have the support of the AZA and EAZA Tapir TAGs for
organizing and conducting this campaign. Another stra-
tegy we will use to raise funds will be the development of
the "Friends of TSG" program. The idea is to create a list
of and contact potential private donors that could make
annual contributions to the TSG Conservation Fund. We
will have several different ranges of contribution and each
person will be able to choose how much she/he would like
to donate.
During the past few weeks, we had to make a few changes
in the structure of the TSG group. Our membership list
was reviewed and updated and six members were removed
from the group. Some of them requested their withdrawal
due to personal and/or professional reasons and some were
removed due to their complete lack of communication with
the group. Now, more than ever in the history of the Tapir
Specialist Group, we need the support of the membership
to reach all the objectives and goals we have set. We need
active and communicative members working with us. We
keep saying that the communication between TSG mem-
bers and tapir people in general has increased significantly
over the past few years, but we still have a long way to go
in terms of establishing really effective and productive
communication between us. We have a lot of work to do
and we need the membership to be active and working as a

Fifteen field projects are currently being conducted by TSG
members, 5 on lowland tapirs, 4 on Baird's tapirs, 4 on
mountain tapirs and 2 on Asian tapirs. I am especially glad
to communicate that a Malay Tapir Research Project has

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

From the Chair

just been established at Krau Wildlife Reserve in Malaysia.
The research is being carried out under the coordination of
our TSG member Bengt Holst from the Copenhagen Zoo in
close cooperation with the University of Copenhagen and
the Department of Wildlife and National Parks of
Malaysia. Bengt has planned to conduct a series of rese-
arch projects in Peninsular Malaysia with the purpose of
studying tapir behaviour and ecology and the first phase of
this project involves a pilot radio telemetry study in Krau
Reserve (see a brief report on this study in the news sec-

I am also especially happy to communicate that we have
been receiving a significant number of e-mail messages
from researchers in Brazil, Peru, Guatemala, French
Guyana, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Ecuador, countries
where we haven't had many contacts in the past. Two rese-
archers in Peru, one in Brazil, one in French Guiana and
one in Costa Rica are establishing tapir research projects in
several different forest habitats in their countries. It is real-
ly amazing how much the number of tapir projects has
increased over the past five or six years and it is our job to
give these professionals as much support as they need to
establish their projects.

In October 2002, the Ministry of the Environment and the
National University of Colombia hosted a workshop to dis-
cuss the current status and conservation priorities for the
three tapir species inhabiting Colombia. Our TSG mem-
ber, Olga Montenegro, was the main organiser of the
workshop. Participants included representatives from uni-
versities, zoos, NGOs, governmental agencies, parks, etc.
Our TSG members Emilio Constantino (Species
Coordinator for mountain tapirs), Olga Montenegro, Diego
Lizcano, Franz Kast6n Flores, Jaime Suarez and Sergio
Sandoval Arenas were active participants of the workshop
and shared their knowledge regarding the conservation sta-
tus of tapirs in Colombia. Our Deputy-Chair, Charles
Foerster, and myself were invited to participate in the event
and contribute to the development of a tapir action plan for
that country. I strongly believe that the action plan produ-
ced during this workshop is a very high quality document
and will be an extremely useful tool for the conservation of
tapirs in Colombia and in other countries of Latin
America. The results from this workshop can be found in
A Short Report from a Workshop on Tapir Conservation in
Colombia in this issue.

The TSG, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks
of Malaysia, the EAZA Tapir and Hippo TAG, and the
IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group are

working on the organisation of a Malay Tapir Conservation
Workshop. During the First International Tapir
Symposium it became clear that one of the biggest con-
cerns among tapir experts today is Malay tapir conserva-
tion. Based on this, the TSG decided to organise and hold
a workshop in Asia, and the selected venue was Malaysia.
The main goal of the workshop is to gather, evaluate and
discuss all available data and information on Malay tapirs
and to use this information for the revision of the Malay
tapir chapter of the 1997 Tapir Action Plan. This will then
generate research and establish management options and
conservation priorities for the species. The workshop will
be held in Krau Wildlife Reserve in April 2003 and will
have 60 invited participants representing all the tapir range
countries in Asia. For more details about this event, please
see the "Malay Tapir Conservation Workshop" article in
this issue.

I also would like to mention that the TSG is already taking
the first steps on the organisation of the II International
Tapir Symposium, which will be held in Panama City,
Panama, in November or December of 2003. In January
2003, members of the TSG will meet in Houston, in the
United States, to form the organising committee and start
working on the final planning. As always, we will keep
you updated on this and we hope you will be able to be
with us in Panama.

Finally, I would like to thank all of you who submitted con-
tributions for this issue. We hope to be able to continue
improving our Tapir Conservation Newsletter and your
contributions are fundamental for this process.

Thank you very much!

My very best wishes from Brazil,

Patricia Medici
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio
CEP: 19280-000, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4(690

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


From the Chair

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

During the past few months, several Tapir Specialist Group
(TSG) members have sent me e-mail messages asking for
information about the history of the TSG. As a result, I
decided to get in touch with the previous TSG chairs and
the President of the Tapir Preservation Fund, Sheryl Todd,
and they helped me to put together this article. So... here
is the history...

Keith Williams was appointed the founding chairperson of
the Tapir Specialist Group in 1980 following his work with
Malay tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Malaysia in 1975-1976
and continued to input information to the Red Data Book
over subsequent years. The group commenced work with
five members from Australia, Indonesia, Costa Rica and
the USA (2). Nobody was doing field research at that time
and Williams' work was the first intensive tapir field study.
He was the first researcher to immobilize, radio-collar and
track tapirs in the wild. A draft Action Plan for all the tapir
species was developed in 1980-1981 and submitted to the
IUCN/SSC. However, it was never developed further as
there was little response from the SSC secretariat.
Williams began his fieldwork on Baird's tapir (Tapirus
bairdii) in Costa Rica in January 1981 and finished in
February 1983. By that time the TSG had eight members.
Prior to that, Daniel Janzen had done some feeding prefe-
rence work with a captive tapir in Costa Rica. All other
work reported on tapirs was from incidental observations.

Williams's research work in Costa Rica, funded by the
Wildlife Conservation Society (then Wildlife
Conservation, NYZS), was the first extensive study of any
tapir species. While he was in Costa Rica, Jose Fragoso
began work on Tapirus bairdii in Belize, and Craig Downer
was developing a proposal for studying mountain tapir
(Tapirus pinchaque) in Colombia. Downer undertook at
least one initial field survey near Cali, Colombia. A review
of the status of tapirs in Indonesia (Sumatra) appeared in
Tigerpaper in about 1985-1986 written by a team of
Indonesians. Other than that some genetic work was being
done about 1982 at the San Diego Zoo. Alan Rabinowitz
made observations of tapirs along with his work on jaguars
in Central America (Belize) in the 1980s.

In September 1990, Sharon Matola took over the Chair
from Keith Williams. With funding support from Wildlife
Preservation Trust International, now Wildlife Trust, she
created the Tapir Conservation newsletter which was ano-

n December 2002 Vol. 11 /

their step toward professional status for the group. The first
six issues of the newsletter were published working from a
manual typewriter in Sharon's office at the Belize Zoo.
She tried to garner a network of communications, this was
slow going, but did grow steadily. In 1991, Sharon began
submitting regular contributions to Species, the official
magazine of the IUCN/SSC. The magazine is a valuable
forum for making SSC groups known to other members,
and Sharon made sure the tapir group was represented
regularly. Under her direction, the Tapir Action Plan was
written, and published in 1997. In 1997, a new officer was
added when Sharon appointed Sheryl Todd as Deputy
Chair and co-editor of the newsletter. Sheryl's experience
with the Internet helped generate a new level of communi-
cation, and in 1998, the Tapir Specialist Group grew in
size, with members in almost every tapir range country.
Communication expanded among tapir researchers, stu-
dents and conservationists, and a web site for the group
was developed.

By the end of 1999, the conservation struggle in Belize had
escalated, claiming most of Sharon Matola's time. In
February 2000, Sharon stepped down from the position and
I agreed to take over as chair.

I hope this satisfies your curiosity!

Patricia Medici
Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio
CEP: 19280-000, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4;690

NB: If you want further details about the history of TSG,
you can always contact Sharon, Keith or Sheryl:

Sharon Matola
Director, Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre
PO. BOX 1787, Belize City, Belize
E-mail: belizezoo@

Dr. Keith D. Williams
Chief Technical Advisor, SI gdi ,li g Protected Area
Management Project, WWF Indochina Programme
International P O. Box 151, Hanoi, Vietnam
E-mail: keithdw@

Sheyl c Todd
President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
PO. BOX118, Astoria, Oregon 97103, United States

No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


Tapir Conservation Workshops

Malay Tapir Conservation Workshop
Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia
12-16 April 2003

The IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), the
Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) of
Malaysia, the European Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (EAZA) Tapir and Hippo Taxon Advisory
Group (TAG) and the IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding
Specialist Group (CBSG) are working on the organisation
of the Malay Tapir Conservation Workshop. The workshop
will be held at Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia, from 12 to
16 April 2003. We will have 60 pre-selected and invited
participants representing all the Malay tapir range coun-
tries. The TSG membership and local supporters in Asia
will identify the potential participants and stakeholders.


During the First International Tapir Symposium held in
Costa Rica in November 2001 it became clear that one of
the biggest concerns among tapir experts today is the con-
servation of the Malay tapir. The Malay tapir is presently
listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened
Species (2002 Assessment), meaning that this species is
facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-
term future. Furthermore, the species is listed on CITES
Appendix 1, which largely bans their international trade.
According to Meijard & van Strien (in press), habitat
destruction and human disturbance have had major im-
pacts on the survival of the species. So far the legal pro-
tection of tapirs seems to have been unable to slow down
their decline. The slow reproduction rate of tapirs may
make it difficult for it to recover from low population num-
bers, especially now that their range is completely frag-
mented, leaving small remnant populations isolated from
each other. Another serious factor is that in many parts of
its range the Malay tapir occurs outside protected areas.

Additionally, the data and information currently available
on Malay tapirs is not enough to provide a clear view about
the conservation status of the species. Malay tapir distri-
bution, for example, has never been studied in depth. More
than 180 years after scientists first described the species we
are still largely at a loss about basic facts such as the esti-
mated total number of Malay tapir or the exact distribution

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN

range of the species. As stated by the IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group Tapirs: Status Survey and Conservation
Action Plan (Brooks, Bodmer & Matola 1997), the Malay
tapir is a very important flagship species and many sympa-
tric species could be placed under an umbrella of protec-
tion. The problems facing Malay tapir in every country of
occurrence have to be evaluated, with appropriate required
actions recommended for implementation.

Based on all this and on some suggestions made during the
symposium in Costa Rica, the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist
Group (TSG) decided to organize and hold a Malay Tapir
Conservation Workshop in Asia. In the past, the work of
the TSG was heavily biased towards work on the three
Latin American tapir species, mainly because each of these
species were backed by a significant group of researchers
and professional and amateur conservationists, whereas the
Malay tapir almost completely lacked such support. Today,
the TSG has 18 members who deal directly with the Malay
tapir, 25% of the membership, and the group has decided
that it is time to prioritise this species. If this species is to
survive in the wild some very serious conservation action
is needed.

Objectives and Goals

The main goal of this workshop is to gather, systematize
and discuss all the available data and information on Malay
tapirs (population demographic parameters e.g. age struc-
ture, birth rates, mortality, dispersal, and other biological
data, the species current status and distribution, threats to
survival across its range, available habitat) and use this
information to generate research and establish management
options and conservation priorities for the species. The
specific objectives are (1) to define the limits of Malay
tapir populations in remaining habitats, (2) to determine the
status of tapir sub-populations, (3) to determine the threats
to tapirs in these sub-populations, (4) to define geographic
areas where tapirs have a chance of long-term survival, (5)
to prioritise conservation and management actions neces-
sary to save Malay tapirs across these areas, and (6) to
develop a communication strategy to reach policy and

Expected Outcome

The main outcome of the workshop should be an update
and refinement of the Malay Tapir section of the 1997 Tapir

/SSC Tapir Specialist Group U


Action Plan, concentrating on recommendations for its pre-
servation in the wild, but also with attention to the captive
population, education, research priorities and funding. It is
necessary to design a clear tapir conservation strategy on
which, based on scientific information, a selection is made
of the most important required activities in each of the
countries of occurrence. On the other hand, the lack of law
enforcement in and outside protected areas is one of the
most limiting factors to tapir survival in any of the coun-
tries of occurrence, and as a consequence, ways to impro-
ve law enforcement, as well as ways to promote tapir con-
servation that will reach out to the right target audiences,
should be discussed and listed. Finally, any recommenda-
tions will remain powerless unless a real commitment can
be raised to preserve the Malay tapir. Therefore, another
outcome expected from this workshop is the creation of a
network of professionals and institutions committed to put-
ting into practice all the recommendations and necessary
actions listed as priorities.

Workshop Format

The workshop will be guided by the IUCN/SSC Tapir
Specialist Group (TSG) in the framework of updating and
development of the IUCN/SSC Status Surveys and
Conservation Action Plan for the Malay Tapir. The works-
hop will include a PHVA guided by the IUCN/SSC
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG). Our
ability to develop the Action Plan and the PHVA will be
greatly improved by an intensive population and habitat
data assembly and analysis in advance of the workshop.
Therefore, the workshop will be conducted through the fol-
lowing steps:

Step 1 Data gathering and creation of the Malay tapir
central database:
this will be conducted prior to the workshop. The idea is
to define the current range limits of Malay tapirs using
maps generated from a GIS. We already have data about
the general distribution of Malay tapir throughout the
range, records for a number of locations, and base maps for
a GIS system. Additionally, TSG members in Asia and
other professionals and institutions will be asked to contri-
bute recent information from field surveys, interviews, and
professional estimates of tapir distributions. Sources of
data will be publications (e.g. journals, books, newspa-
pers), reports (e.g. management plans, EIA's, survey
reports), photo trap data, personal observations, zoo inven-
tories, museum collections, hunting records, etc. All
records will be tagged with the original source and with the
person supplying the information to the database. For the

0 December 2002 Vol. 11 /

purpose of the workshop, all data will be transferred to a
central database incorporating the specifics provided by all
the sources. This database will ultimately be made availa-
ble to everyone that has contributed and will be used to
make detailed distribution maps for all the areas where
tapir occurs ahead of the workshop as a basis for designing
the updated action plan. One of the immediate results of
the database and the GIS should be the definition of Tapir
Conservation Units (TACU's), geographic areas that provi-
de varying levels of potential for long-term survival of the
species. Using the TACU's we will look more closely at
what is needed to save the tapir in different parts of its
range. The analysis would serve to define the priority areas
for the conservation of Malay tapirs, and the priorities for
funding tapir research and conservation in the future.

Step 2 Database presentation and discussion:
first session of the workshop. The results of the database
and GIS maps will be presented to the workshop partici-

Step 3 Population and Habitat Viability Analysis
all data and information previously gathered will be used to
facilitate the PHVA. The PHVA is a very efficient and
systematic working process with the goal of getting all
relevant stakeholders together, identifying status and pro-
blems, and based on that, generating research and establis-
hing conservation priorities for specific species. It combi-
nes a quantitative risk assessment tool with intensive dis-
cussions and deliberations on the biological and social
issues relevant to the species conservation across its range.
The PHVA will develop a large set of alternative models
that represent different hypotheses of tapir biology/ecology
and then, through comparison of model behaviours, iden-
tify those biological factors that most acutely influence
tapir population growth. With this knowledge, and with
data on the specific threats that are known to impact tapir
populations now or in the future, we will design and test
management strategies that minimize those specific threats
which act on the most influential biological factors. With
this comparative approach, significant insight can be gai-
ned with surprisingly little detailed biological data.

Step 4 -Recommendations andAction Planning:
Nico van Strien (International Rhino Foundation and TSG
Malay Tapir Coordinator) and Erik Meijaard (Australian
National University and TSG member), with the support of
Antony Lynam (Wildlife Conservation Society and TSG
member), will be in charge of gathering the data and crea-
ting the central database and the GIS. The IUCN/SSC

No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), in the
person of the Programme Officer, Dr. Philip Miller, will be
in charge of designing the format of the PHVA and produ-
cing the necessary support materials and final documents.

We will keep you posted about the results of the workshop
and future actions in terms of Malay tapir conservation.

Patricia Medici
Chair IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio
CEP: 19280-000, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Phone & Fax: +55-18-3282-46O)0

Bengt Hoist
Vice Director Copenhagen Zoo
Chair EAZA Tapir and Hippo TAG
Sdr Fasanvej 79, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

A Short Report from a Workshop on
Tapir Conservation in Colombia

By Olga L. Montenegro

A national programme for tapir conservation has been
developed under an inter-institutional agreement between
the Colombian Ministry of the Environment and the
Natural Science Institute of the National University of
Colombia. This framework of the programme is within the
Implementation of a National Strategic Plan for
Endangered Species Conservation Project by the Ministry
of the Environment. The preliminary version of the docu-
ment, the National Programme for Tapir Conservation and
Recovery in Colombia, comprises general information on
tapirs, a summary of the current conservation status of the
three tapir species found in Colombia Baird's tapir,
(Tapirus bairdii), mountain tapir (Tapirus. pinchaque) and
lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris), and a proposed conser-
vation programme. The summary includes information
gathered from many sources a national survey of regional
environmental agencies, national parks, zoos, research
institutions, several NGO's and individual researchers was
an important source of up to date information. The propo-
sed conservation and recovery programme includes short,
medium and long-term goals and strategies. The prelimi-
nary version of this document was recently discussed
during a national workshop held at the Flora and Fauna

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/

Sanctuary Otiun-Quimbaya in the central Colombian Andes
on October 29th to 31st, 2002.

""--- --

x-d -
/I ./

Fifty people attended the workshop and their main tasks
were to discuss and compile a national programme with the
national environmental system institutions and researchers.
Participants included representatives of the Ministry of the
Environment, regional autonomous environmental agen-
cies, national parks, zoos, research institutions and univer-
sities. Tapir Specialist Group Chair, Patricia Medici, and
Deputy Chair, Charles Foerster, as well as most of the TSG
Colombian members and other researchers attended the
workshop. The first day consisted of invited presentations,
which were as follows:

* Distribution records of tapir species in Colombia and
the selection of priority areas for conservation, by
Emilio Constantino, Red de Reservas de la Sociedad
* Advances in molecular genetics and projections for the
future, a short report sent by Dr. Manuel Ruiz, and pre-
sented by Franz Kast6n, Universidad Javeriana,
Fundacion APAS
* Genetic aspects of the conservation of the genus
Tapirus spp., a report by Javier Sarria Universidade
Estadual Paulista, Brazil which was presented by
Hugo L6pez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia)
* The ecology of Tapirus bairdii in Costa Rica, by
Charles Foerster Tapir Project Leader, Costa Rica.
* Tapirus bairdii in Katios Natural National Park and its
area of influence, by Hector Restrepo, Fundacin Wii.

SSC Tapir Specialist Group
Deut harCaresFertraswllasmstofte S


* Home range and habitat requirements for Tapirus ter-
restris: experiences from the Atlantic forest in Brazil,
by Patricia Medici, Institute de Pesquisas Ecologicas
* Research overview and conservation priorities for
Tapirus pinchaque, by Diego Lizcano, University of
* Conservation strategy for the woolly tapir in the region
of Tolima, by Franz Kast6n, Fundaci6n APAS
* Tapir Specialist Group action perspectives for tapir
conservation in the Neotropics, by Patricia Medici,
Institute de Pesquisas Ecologicas (IPE).
* Regional strategy and action plan for Tapirus pincha-
que conservation at the Ucumari Natural Regional Park
and Los Nevados Natural National Park, by Jaime A.
Suarez, Universidad Tecnol6gica de Pereira.
* Mountain tapir in the Colombian eastern Andes, by
Olga Montenegro. Universidad Nacional de Colombia
* An international project for mountain tapir conserva-
tion between the Cali Zoo and Los Angeles Zoo, by
Jorge Gardeazabal, S6rgio Sandoval and Carlos
Valenzuela. Zool6gico de Cali and Zool6gico de los
* The Ministry of Environment's policy framework con-
cerning wildlife conservation, by Claudia Rodriguez.
Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Colombia
* Colombian Tapir Network, by S6rgio Sandoval
Tapirs at the La Paya Natural National Park, a sponta-
neous presentation by Harley Morales. La Paya
Natural National Park.

The aim of inviting the speakers was to present a useful and
enriching background to the discussions regarding the
National Programme for Tapir Conservation and Recovery
in Colombia, a document whose preliminary version had
been sent to all the participants in advance.

The second day of the workshop started with a brief over-
view of the contents and background of the document, pre-
sented by Olga Montenegro. The rest of the day was dedi-
cated to the discussion of the proposed national program-
me. For discussions, participants gathered in four groups:
(1) for Tapirus bairdii and the subspecies Tapirus terrestris
colombianus, (2) for Tapirus pinchaque, (3) for Tapirus
terrestris terrestris, and (4) for ex situ conservation. Each
of the first three groups had representatives of the regional
autonomous environmental agencies and national parks
whose areas were within the respective species distribu-
tion. Research institutions and researchers joined the
groups which most corresponded to their field of expertise.
Zoos and Ministry of Environment representatives formed
the ex situ conservation group.

The results of these discussions were presented in a plena-
ry session on the third day and additional discussions were
held at this time. Finally, the workshop ended with a syn-
thesis of the meeting and concluding remarks. Suggestions
for the National Programme for Tapir Conservation and
Recovery in Colombia that resulted from this workshop
will be incorporated in the document. The Colombian
Ministry of the Environment will, in the following months,
publish the final version of this national programme. It is

Some of the participants in the mountain and
lowland tapir discussion groups. From left to
right: Stella Sarria, (Farallones de Cali National
Park), Charles Foerster (TSG deputy-chair),
Cesar Rey (National Parks), Roberto Yepes
(Katios National Park), Julio Cesar Perez
(Utria National Park), Juan Camilo Restrepo
(CORANTIOQUIA), Alba Morales (National
University of Colombia) and Hector Restrepo
(Wii Foundation).

Photo by Olga Montenegro

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Conservation / Project Updates

expected that the programme will be implemented as a
joint effort with the environmental institutions, some of
them through inter-institutional agreements. It was propo-
sed that a follow-up workshop to review advances in the
implementation of the programme might be held in two

The 1997 version of the Tapir Action Plan (TAP) of IUCN
is presently being revised and it was proposed that the
National Programme for Tapir Conservation and Recovery
in Colombia, once published by the Ministry of
Environment, could be incorporated into the updated versi-
on of the TAP as the chapter from Colombia

This workshop was organized by the Ministry of
Environment (Ecosystem Sub-Direction) and the Natural
Science Institute of the National University of Colombia.
Partial logistic support was provided by the Special

Administrative Unit of Natural National Parks. Besides all
those institutions mentioned earlier, attendees represented
the following institutions: regional autonomous agencies
CORPONOR, CORANTIOQUIA); national parks (Katios,
Utria, Farallones de Cali, Los Nevados, Las Hermosas,
SFF Otun Quimbaya, Pisba, La Macarena-Tinigua-
Picachos, La Paya, Amacayacu, Chiribiquete, Puinawai,
Gestion and Tecnical Units), Zoos (Fundaci6n Zool6gico
de Santa Cruz, Fundaci6n Zool6gico de Barranquilla,
Zool6gico de Matecafia) NGO's and research institutes
(Fundaci6n Natura, WWF Colombia, Instituto de
Investigaciones Alexander von Humboldt).

Olga Lucia Montenegro
Ph.D. Graduate Student, University ofFlorida
Av. 1 de Mayo, # 39 A 49 Sur, Bogota COLOMBIA

Current Project Updates

Baird's Tapir Project
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

By ( i, /, Foerster

November 2002 will mark the 8th anniversary of the
Baird's Tapir Project in Corcovado National Park, Costa
Rica. Initiated by Charles Foerster for his field study
towards a Master's degree in Wildlife Management, the
primary goal of the project is to enhance tapir conservation
programmes throughout Central and South America by
providing detailed, reliable information on the ecology of
an undisturbed, non-hunted population of Baird's tapirs.
The underlying philosophy is that through a better under-
standing of how an intact tapir population functions, we
will be better equipped to identify and correct irregularities
in those populations altered by human activities.

The study is using radio telemetry and direct observation to
document home range size, activity patterns, habitat use,
reproductive rate, offspring and adult sex ratios, offspring
survival, juvenile dispersal, spatial distribution, population
density and mortality rates of a tapir population near the
Sirena Biological Station in Corcovado. In all, 27 different
tapirs have been radio-collared and monitored during the

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN

study. Currently, Charles is collecting data on 17 animals (4
adult females, 6 adult males, 3 juvenile females, and 4
juvenile males) in a 6-km2 area.

Some of the projects results to date include the following.
Thirteen offspring have been born to 5 adult females with
a sex ratio of offspring: 46% male, 38% female and 15%
of unknown sex. The annual birth rate per female has been
0.51 offspring/year and the average interbirth interval has
been 20.9 months. Annual home range sizes for adult
males, adult females and juveniles have been 136, 122 and
113 hectares, respectively. The density of adult tapirs in the
study area has averaged approximately 1.6 indivi-
duals/km2. On average the sex ratio of adult tapirs in the
Sirena area has been 5 females (42%) to 7 males (58%).

As part of a larger project, Jim Norton, with the University
of Illinois at Chicago, has been working on a genetic eva-
luation of the Sirena tapir population. Jim's work involves
the initial assessment of genetic variability in wild and cap-
tive populations of Baird's tapirs. The results of Jim's proj-
ect indicate that the tapir population in southern Costa Rica
was most likely connected by gene flow to the population
of tapirs in the Darien in Panama prior to fragmentation of
habitat. It is most likely that the connection was indirect
gene flow via intermediate populations that had probably

/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

Adult female (Big Mama) with a newly radiocollared female
offspring (Prima). Photo by Charles Foerster

spanned across Panama. In addition, the level of overall
genetic variability detected across the entire sample was
relatively low compared to the levels reported in other spe-
cies of large mammals, although direct comparison bet-
ween different species and different microsatellite loci does
not provide really definite conclusions. Jim has also
demonstrated the use of a sex chromosome specific gene-
tic marker to identify the sex of tapirs with DNA extracted
from hair root bulbs, providing a potential technique to
collect population sex ratio data using non-invasively
collected hair and faeces.

As Jim finishes his thesis
and prepares for his
defence, we continue to
discuss plans for future
collaboration. Molecular
genetic data has been used
to investigate the mating
systems, dispersal pat-
terns, population structure
and effective population
sizes of species, like
tapirs, that are difficult to
study directly in the field.
This is the type of work
we hope to continue with
tapirs. For example, one
Biopsy dart in the rump of a tapir aspect we are particularly
(above), biopsy dart tip and the interested in is the mating
tissue sample collected (below). system of the tapirs in the
Photos by Charles Foerster Sirena area. Home range

data over the past 8 years shows that a single "territory" is
usually occupied by 1 adult male, 1 adult female and
offspring from the previous 2 or 3 years. By itself, this
could indicate a pair bonding type mating system, but that
would be extremely unusual for a large mammal. In order
to verify or discard this theory we will need to take a clo-
ser look at the parentage of the offspring. We are supplying
Jim with tissue samples from all of the study animals and
hope to determine the identity of the fathers. Analysing
samples from a mothers) and 2 or 3 of her calves may
allow us to see if the same male or more than one is siring

In the coming year we also plan to expand our genetic ana-
lysis to the entire Corcovado National Park and eventually
all of Costa Rica. Since we do not want to immobilize
every individual to collect samples, we have been testing a
biopsy dart (Palmer Cap-Chur Equipment) on our current
study animals. After a few modifications we succeeded in
taking viable samples and believe we are ready to start
collecting from non-study animals when we have the fun-
ding and logistics figured out.

New Projects

Two new projects were started this year: "Influence of
Large Herbivores on Understorey Vegetation Structure and
Diversity" and "Improving Existing Methods for Assessing
Baird's Tapir Populations." Juan de Di6s Valdez Leal, a
graduate student in the Regional Wildlife Management
Master's Programme at the National University of Costa
Rica will coordinate both projects for the first 6 months as
part of his master's thesis.

The first project will investigate the role large herbivores
play in maintaining and shaping the plant communities of
Neotropical forests. Specifically, we will examine how the
removal of the large herbivores will affect the physical
structure and floristic diversity of the understory vegetati-
on in the lowland rainforest of Corcovado National Park.
Many ecologists have documented the important roles
played by large animals in seed dispersal, seed predation,
herbivory, pollination, and predation, but until recently few
have considered what would happen if the large animals
were removed from the system. In order to simulate the
removal of these herbivores from the forests, we will con-
struct exclosures that will prevent them from foraging in
selected areas and monitor changes over the next 5 years.
The results obtained will provide additional insights into
the ecological functions of these herbivores, which will
enhance existing and future management plans.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

In the second study we are investigating the possibility of
using track counts to accurately estimate tapir population
size. Unfortunately, due to the difficulties in working in
tropical forest habitats and the secretive, nocturnal beha-
viour of the tapir, a reliable method for estimating the size
of a tapir population does not currently exist. As a result,
most management plans rely on track counts to estimate
the relative abundance of tapirs in the area. Although use-
ful, this method cannot provide an accurate measure of
population size unless it is calibrated with data from an
area of known tapir density. Similar problems and limitati-
ons apply to density estimates obtained with direct obser-
vations made along transects. Radio telemetry studies can
provide very accurate population density measurements
but are time consuming and expensive. This study will
combine the accuracy of radio telemetry density estimates
with the simplicity of transect methods to enhance the abi-
lity of wildlife managers to monitor tapir populations.

We will conduct monthly track counts and sightings along
transects in the study area, very similar to what would be
done in a conventional study. The difference in our case is
that we know the true density of tapirs in our area.
Therefore, we will be able to formulate a correlation factor
that can be applied to the transect data to estimate popula-
tion density. In addition, once a month we will radio-track
the movements of each tapir during a continuous 24-hour
period to describe the average daily movement patterns of
the tapirs inhabiting the study area. Computer simulated
transects will be applied to this telemetry data to help sup-
plement our field data and refine the correlation factor.

Project updates available via e-mail

Charles has begun to publish quarterly updates of the
activities going on in the Baird's Tapir Project and is
making them available via e-mail to those interested. The
files are in MS Word format and are between 1.5 and 2 MB
in size. Those interested in receiving the updates should e-
mail Charles at with "Project Update"
in the subject line.

('lar/les Foerster
Project Leader, Baird Tapir Project,
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
445 CR 221, Orange Grove, Texas 78372,
E-mail: CRFoerster(&,

Exclosure plot in a primary forest patch. Photo by Charles Foerster


Wet Season Lowland Tapir Habitat
Preferences and Food Resource Use
in Lowland Moist Tropical Forest

By Pamela Avila
(Wildlife Conservation Society -Bolivia)

This undergraduate thesis study was realized as part of the
Northwestern Bolivian Andes Landscape Conservation
Programme during the wet season of 2000/2001 in the
Tacana Indigenous Territory Demand and the adjacent
Madidi National Park and Natural Area of Integrated
Management. Tapir trail abundance was used as a measure
of habitat preference across four lowland habitat types; sar-
tenejal or swamp forest, seasonally humid Amazonian
forest, and recent and established forests of the Beni allu-
vial plain. Comparisons between tapir trails and randomly
established trails were used to examine tapir foraging beha-
viour and resource selectivity.

Tapir relative abundance was significantly related to
resource availability in terms of the number of fleshy fruit
patches and the number of forest clearings in a given habi-
tat. Seasonally humid Amazonian forest was the most pre-
ferred habitat and was associated with elevated levels of
fleshy fruit availability. Established Beni alluvial plain
forest was the second most preferred habitat and was also
associated with elevated levels of fleshy fruit availability
as well as a greater frequency of forest clearings.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

Turning angles along recent tapir trails were used to assess
tapir foraging behaviour, as well as a comparison of the fre-
quency of encounter for each resource between tapir trails
and randomly placed trails. Tapirs fed mainly on fleshy
fruits during the wet season in all habitats, particularly
palm fruits. Preferred fruits were mainly either palms or
from the Moraceae and Sapotaceae families.

During the wet season lowland tapirs fed mainly on abun-
dant fleshy fruits across all four habitat types. However,
this study recognizes that this pattern might shift to a more
folivorous diet during the fruit scarce dry season.

Pamela Avila

Lowland Tapir Activity Patterns
and Capture Frequencies
in Lowland Moist Tropical Forest

By Rob Wallace, Guido Ayala and Humberto Gomez
(Wildlife Conservation Society -Bolivia)

As part of the Northwestern Bolivian Andes Landscape
Conservation Programme we conducted camera-trapping
efforts in 2001 and 2002 designed for jaguar abundance
and density estimates in the Tuichi and Hondo valleys of
the Madidi National Park and Natural Area of Integrated
Management. A total of 92 lowland tapir photographic cap-
ture events were obtained across two separate campaigns.
These took place in August-October 2001 in a 47 km2
study area in the Tuichi valley and July-August in a 146
km2 study area spanning both the Tuichi and Hondo val-

We present preliminary data from camera trapping efforts
and express the results as standard capture frequencies
(number of captures per 1000 trap nights) for tapirs, com-
paring these with the other solitary ungulate in the area (see
Table 1). We formally recognize the problem that these
traps were set to target a species that might be expected to
be actively avoided by tropical ungulates. According to
these data lowland tapirs appear to be almost as common-
ly encountered as the red brocket deer (Mazama america-
na), although the fact that many camera traps were set
along the beaches of forest streams and rivers probably
leads to an inflated value for tapirs. In subsequent analyses
we will compare only forest habitats.

Table 1. Camera trap capture frequencies for tropical ungulates in
the Tuichi and Hondo valleys, Bolivia.

IffJ~o co

j~wnna 4T~lpIr(*Mfts~mf;92 7
I ftd &W* D wee Unu mitvW 130 9.


In addition, we present data on activity patterns given that
the date and time of each photographic event was recorded
by camera traps (see Figure 1).

Figure 1. Activity Patterns for Lowland Tapir in the Tuichi and
Hondo valleys, Bolivia.

Tapirs are clearly nocturnal animals in the Tuichi and
Hondo valleys, although some diural activity is evident.
Given that pre-1996 intensive hunting associated with log-
ging activities in the area and current levels of ecotourism
may still be influencing tapir activity patterns, similar stu-
dies in more remote areas may reveal more diural activi-
ty patterns. Nevertheless, these results have major implica-
tions for future population studies on lowland tapir sug-
gesting that apart from relatively low natural abundance
considerations, diurnal line transects may not be efficient at
capturing primarily nocturnal animals.

Robert B. Wallace
E-mail: wcsmadidi@(zupernet

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Project Updates

Project Updates

Tapirs and Hunting in the Tacana
Indigenous Territory

By Rob Wallace, Humberto Gomez and Maria Copa
(Wildlife Conservation Society -Bolivia)

The Northwestern Bolivian Andes Landscape
Conservation Programme is working with a number of
local communities across the landscape towards the
sustainable use of natural resources. We focus on commu-
nity investigation projects requested by the community and
much emphasis is placed on encouraging and facilitating
true community participation in the management process,
with the recognition that building a community decision
making process is a long term activity.

This community project approach includes three Tacana
indigenous communities situated along the Beni River who
are working to document their hunting activities through a
self-monitoring program. Tapirs are hunted in all three
communities and provide a significant percentage of the
wild meat consumed by the population.

Self-monitoring is considered a first step towards assessing
the sustainability of this subsistence activity, and the com-
munities have all recently decided to conduct line transect
methodologies within their hunting grounds and in imme-
diately adjacent source areas in order to assess the abun-
dance of hunted wildlife and subsequently the sustainabili-
ty of their hunting activities for different species. A major
challenge will be the estimation of density for primarily
nocturnal animals such as lowland tapirs and fixed width
strip night transects might be the only feasible methodolo-
gy available. Tapir productivity will also be examined in
the near future through the collection and subsequent
examination of reproductive tracts from hunted animals.

Robert B. Wallace
Associate Conservation Zoologist, Wildlife Conservation
Society, Madidi
Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif San Miguel Bloque
1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA

Tapir Ranging Behaviour and
Activity Patterns in the Tropical Dry
Forests of the Gran Chaco

By Guido Ayala
(Wildlife Conservation Society -Bolivia)

The Bolivian Chaco is a major ecosystem and is now pro-
tected by the immense Kaa-Iya protected area and the adja-
cent Izocefio Indigenous Territory. Indigenous communi-
ties practice subsistence based hunting of many species
including the lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris), a particu-
larly valuable target animal due to its relatively large size.
Nevertheless, little information exists for this species in the
Izozog or in the Gran Chaco in general, and this lack of
data limits the capacity for the Kaa-Iya protected area
administration and the Izocefio indigenous communities to
manage lowland tapir populations.

In this study a total of five adult tapir (2 females and 3
males) were radio-collared and monitored for approxima-
tely one year at the Cerro Cortado research camp in the
Izozog. A total of 2100 locations were collected using
radio-telemetry triangulation techniques and activity pat-
terns were assessed every 15 minutes by way of activity
sensors within the radio-collars.

Average home range size for males was 281 ha and for
females 218 ha (Minimum Convex Polygon 95%), with
home range overlap evident between males and females
but not between males. On the basis of home range data a
preliminary density estimate of 0.5 ind./km2 was calculated
for the study site. Activity levels peaked between 01:00 and
06:30 hours, with very little activity between 11:00 and
15:30 hours. Tapirs are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular
in the Bolivian Chaco.

Guido Ayala
Researcher, Wildlife Conservation Society, Madidi
Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif San Miguel Bloque
1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA
E-mail: pichocho47@hotmail. com

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field

News from the Field



Central American Tapir Activity in
Upper Macal and Raspaculo
River Valley

By Sharon Matola

During the first ten days of June 2003, while investigating
nesting activities of the Northern Central American Scarlet
Macaw (Ara macao cyanoptera) a total of twelve tapirs
(Tapirus bairdii) were observed in this remote river valley
of the Maya Mountains of Belize, Central America.

On the third of June, a pair was observed mating.
Approaching in a kayak, my field assistant, Eligorio Sho,
and I heard what I know to be an "alarm" or "stress" call
made by T bairdii. We have 2 male and 1 female T bair-
dii at The Belize Zoo and have heard this vocalisation

The pair were mating in the water, in the shallow portions
of the river, closest to the riverbank itself. The water level
reached their shoulder in depth. They were oblivious to
our quiet approach, and when finally sensing us, both left
the river, went up the riverbank and in separate directions.
We stayed for a while, but they did not return to the river.

Water appears to play a significant role in the natural
history of T bairdii. As far as I know, this is the only recor-
ding of a mating observation in the wild. However, if the
Central American tapir does prefer water as part of the
reproduction strategy, then this is an important idea to note
as far as inducing breeding within a captive situation, i.e.
providing water to encourage breeding behaviour.

It is important to note that this same river valley, the Upper
Macal and Raspaculo in the Central Maya Mountains of
Belize, would be flooded should the Chalillo Dam go for-
ward. We are still awaiting the Supreme Court to reconve-
ne in order to see what the next position will be on this.
With so little quality habitat remaining for the species, this
is critical habitat for T bairdii in this part of their range.

Sharon Matola
Director Belize Zoo & Tropical Education Centre
PO. BOX 1787, Belize City, BELIZE
E-mail: belizezoo(&)


Notes on Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii)
from the Southern Region of
Biosfera Tawahka-Asangni, Honduras

By Josiah Townsend

During July and August 2001 I took part in a herpetologi-
cal survey of the border region of Biosfera
Tawahka-Asangni in eastern Honduras. During the expedi-
tion some observations were recorded regarding the local
occurrence of Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii). Evidence of
tapir activity as well as the human exploitation of tapirs for
meat was recorded at the following sites in Departmento
Gracias a Dios: Casca Tingni, Quebrada de Dos Caras,
Cafio Awalwas, Cayrasa, Cueriadora and the mouth of
Cafio Awawas.


We surveyed the environs of the Reserva de la Biosfera
Tawahka Asangni (RBTA) in the remote region of eastern
Honduras known as La Mosquitia. Formerly an anthropo-
logical reserve, RBTA was granted "biosphere" status in
1999 by the Honduran congress. We accessed the lowland
tropical forest on the southern edge of the Biosphere via the
Rio Coco Segovia, which in that area forms the boundary
between Honduras and Nicaragua. The Nicaraguan side of
the river is heavily deforested with a number of well-esta-
blished towns made up mostly of indigenous Miskito and
Tawahka peoples. The Honduran side of the river that lies
within RBTA boundaries contains large tracts of intact pri-
mary forest, with only some minor deforestation on the
periphery of the river. This stretch of forest continues near-
ly undisturbed north to the Rio Patuca, and many of the
people living to the south report using this forest as their
primary hunting grounds. The southern area of RBTA that
we surveyed is relatively flat in comparison to the rugged

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field

topography found in the north and west. All sites visited
were less than 100m in elevation.


Evidence of tapir activity was observed at six sites, all of
which were within the department of Gracias a Dios and
five of which are within the boundaries of RBTA. The
observations reported herein were made by the author,
Larry D. Wilson and James R. McCranie.

Casca Tingni: Primary forest surrounding an isolated
homestead approximately 10 km north of the town of
Awasbila. A small river (Casca Tingni), a forest lagoon,
and two pebble-bottomed streams were located in the
immediate vicinity. The residents had in their possession
salted tapir meat that reportedly came from an animal shot
in the nearby forest.

Quebrada de dos Caras: A narrow (ca. 2-3 m) but relati-
vely deep (1-1.5 m) mud-bottomed creek that flows into
the Rio Coco Segovia. The forest immediately surrounding
the stream was highly disturbed, and contained dense
stands of banana plants and bamboo. Fresh tapir tracks
were seen in a muddy bank leading up out of the stream.

Cano Awalwas: A slow-moving muddy stream that mean-
ders through primary forest. An adult tapir was observed
fleeing our approach through the forest during the daytime.
Fresh tracks were also seen where the tapir apparently
crossed the stream prior to or whilst making its escape.

Cayrasa: An area of pristine forest in the vicinity of a
small, slow-moving river (Rio Almukwas). Tapir tracks
were seen on a trail, as well as the tracks of an adult jagu-
ar (Panthera onca), peccaries (Tayassu sp.), and an uniden-
tified small cat.

Cueriadora: A large stream with some slow moving back-
water areas flowing through primary and secondary forest
into the Cafio Awawas. Tapir tracks were seen leading up a
game trail away from the stream.

Mouth of Cano Awawas: The area surrounding the conflu-
ence of the Awawas and Coco Segovia rivers is the site of
rapid deforestation being carried out by a group of campe-
sinos hired to clear land and establish a homestead for a
rancher. They have cleared ca.100 hectares as of August
2001, and chainsaws were heard throughout our visit. This
farm lies within, and actually helps to form, the southern
boundary of RBTA. When we arrived at the farm, the resi-

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN

dents were in the process of butchering a large tapir that
had been freshly killed. Whether the tapir had been delibe-
rately hunted down and killed or was the victim of a chan-
ce encounter is not known. The added pressure of hunting
associated with the establishment of a large ranch in this
area may be more than the local T bairdii populations will
be able to withstand.


The lowlands of eastern Honduras are an area of Central
America deserving of closer study from the scientific com-
munity. The isolation of this region that has helped to pre-
serve its natural resources and has also made it difficult to
access and conduct fieldwork. There are no roads connec-
ting this region with the rest of Honduras, leaving rivers
(the Patuca and the Coco Segovia) and small aircraft as the
only methods of entry. Add to that inaccessibility, a nearly
complete lack of government or police presence as well as
the stigma associated with working so close to the
Nicaraguan border, and the result is that relatively few bio-
logists choose to work in this area. The documented occur-
rence of a number of Central America's endangered verte-
brates, including the tapir, jaguar, giant anteater
(Myrmecophaga tridactyla), American crocodile
(Crocodylus acutus), harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), great
green macaw (Ara ambigua), and scarlet macaw (Ara
macao), as well as a diverse flora and fauna that is rough-
ly comparable to north eastern Costa Rica, make this pre-
viously neglected region a prime candidate for future study.
Unfortunately, an increase in efforts to promote communi-
ty based conservation and sustainable hunting and forestry
practices is needed sooner rather than later if the forests of
Tawahka-Asangni are to have a chance at surviving the
pressure of a rapidly expanding human population.

Josiah Townsend
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation,
University of Florida
And Division of Herpetology, Florida Museum of Natural
Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
E-mail: ji',i i r, ii I ( l,,,i i il Ld,

1/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field


French Guiana
Status of Lowland Tapirs
(Tapirus terrestris) in French Guiana:
A Preliminary Assessment

By Benoit de Thoisy & I. Vogel

French Guiana is the smallest country of the Guiana shield.
It belongs to and is administered by France. The Guiana
shield is considered to be one of the largest remaining
blocks of rainforest and approximately 90% of an area of
French Guiana is still covered by moist, upland forest.
However, the country is now facing a dramatic increase in
human activity. As part of a large-scale study aiming to
assess the status of primates in the northern part of the
country, some preliminary data have been collected on the
status of lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) in French

The main threat to the tapir in French Guiana is from hun-
ting. The species is not legally protected and was classified
in 1995 as one of 12 game species. Therefore it can be har-
vested and sold without any limits on numbers taken. In the
southern part of the country, subsistence hunting occurs,
but the main hunting pressure comes from illegal gold
miners who are widespread on most of rivers and tributar-
ies. In the north, logging activities result in clearings for
hundreds of kilometres of tracks. Despite a very selective
timber harvest, such easy access for hunters into large fore-
sted areas has dramatic consequences for large species. At
the national level forested habitats are not fragmented, but
no more than 3% of the country is under protection. Four
of the 5 existing nature reserves have forested habitats, but
the tapir is present in only 3 of them. The National Park
project, which has been planned for 15 years, is now frozen
possibly due to lobbying from the gold mining industry.

We assume that the tapir is still present in large areas of
French Guiana but believe nevertheless, the direct harvest
must be urgently restricted. Although it may not resolve the
entire problem, the species must be legally protected. The
tapir is regarded as the main game species by most local
people, and as a result, the French government may be
reluctant to pass legislation to restrict tapir hunting. In the
northern belt, probably the more efficient way to reduce the
hunting threat would be an improved optimisation and
planning of logging activities. This may prevent laying

waste to suitable habitats, reduce access to pristine forest,
optimise refuges, source areas, and corridors (de Thoisy et
al., 2001). The closure of tracks after logging would also
allow population recovery in logged forests. In the south of
the country, management and auto regulation by communi-
ties should be attempted, but external and uncontrolled
pressure from gold miners may cause conflict. There may
not be an optimistic outcome to these issues and thus for
the conservation of the tapir and other game species and
aquatic wildlife (otters, fish, carnivorous birds) unless the
French government assumes its responsibilities in terms of
conserving biodiversity within its territories.


de Thoisy, B., Dewynter, M., Joubert, P., & Latreille C.
2001. Hunting and logging: GIS as a tool for forest man-
agement. V Congreso sobre el manejo de Fauna Silvestre
en Latin Amazonia y Amazonia. Cartagena, Colombia.

Benoit de Thoisy & I. Vogel
Association Kwata Study & Conservation of French
Guiana Wildlife
BP 672, F-97335 Cayenne Cedex, French Guiana


Conflict Between Mountain Tapirs
(Tapirus bairdii) and Farmers
in the Colombian Central Andes

By Jaime A. Suarez & Diego J. Lizcano

In the last century the "Antioquefia" colonisation process
transformed the Colombian Andean forest to cropland,
This was predominantly in the form of coffee plantations,
as coffee was the top Colombian export product in the 20th
century. Simultaneously, cities like Ibague, Armenia,
Pereira and Manizales were founded on an economy based
on coffee and thus dependent on the exploitation of natural
resources. In the middle of the 20th century Pereira, the
capital of Risaralda State, was the oldest coffee producer in
Colombia. Due to the highest human population in the
country, habitat fragmentation and loss increased. River
levels diminished and demands for wild meat increased.
For this reason the Ministry of Agriculture bought almost
all the farms on the Otin river basin. These lands were

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field

given to the municipality of Pereira and administered by
Pereira's aqueduct company (Murillo and Baena, 1999). At
the start of the 70's these lands and the surrounding areas
in Quindio, Tolima and Caldas states were declared to be
the "Los Nevados" (snow peaks) National Park with a total
area of 38,000 ha. This area was increased to 58,000 ha in
1973. Nowadays this park has a population of 20 families
who were living in the Risaralda area before the creation of
the park. These families work in the area, growing potatoes
and cattle ranching in the Paramo region.

"Los Nevados" National Park constitutes the northern limit
of mountain tapir distribution in the central Andes of
Colombia (Lizcano et al., 2002). The altitude within the
park varies from 2600 m in Risaralda to 5550 m at the peak
of Mt. Tolima. Other mountain peaks are the Ruiz volcano,
Santa Isabel and the Cisne. Two ecosystems predominate
in the region. These are montane forest and the Paramo,
which is the region above the tree line from 3700 m to the
snowline at 4700 m. The vegetation in the Paramo is domi-
nated by grassland with a few small trees which includes
plants of the Espeletia genus (Smith and Young, 1987). At
high altitude the forest canopy is 10-15 m and is domina-
ted by Weinmannia mariquitae, Fraziera sp., Rapaneafer-
ruginea, Sauraia scabra and Oreopanax sp. At the lower
altitude, vegetation is much higher (30-35m) and is domi-
nated by Brunellia goudotti, Miconia sp., Weinmannia
spp., Nectandra sp., and Ocotea sp. (Cleef et al., 1983).

Forest cleared
to growpota-

Photo by Jaime
A. Suarez

Potato plant eaten by tapir. Photo by Jaime A. Suarez

The forest is a mosaic of mature and secondary forests of
different ages that originate from when farms were aban-
doned in the middle of the 20th century.

The "campesinos" or small farmers living inside the park
owned their lands for many years before the creation of the
park, when the "antioquefia" colonization process brought
landless people to the region. However, because they
actually live inside a national park they live under certain
restrictions. For example, timber is restricted as building
material, they have no access to bank loans to invest in
crops, and hunting in the area is forbidden and penalized by
the Ministry of Environment. In addition, they do not have
electricity, water or sewage facilities and they are also
obliged to pay an annual tax for their lands. The families
living in this area use wood as fuel for cooking. An aver-
age family is composed of 6 people and consumes 20 kg of
wood per day. This amount is the equivalent of one hecta-
re of cleared forest per year (Verweij, 1995). The families
in the park have cultivated potatoes for a long time, main-
ly because they do not have the knowledge to grow other
crops. Each landowner owns an average of 60 cows. They
use potatoes as their main food and cash crop and they sup-
plement their diets with milk, cheese and other products
acquired in the markets of Pereira. Pereira is an 8-hour
journey by mule and another 2 hours by bus.

Conflicts between people and tapirs originates when the
campesinos need to clear more forest in order to plant more
potatoes. The tapirs, which frequent the cleared forest, eat
the sprouting potato plants. As a result the campesinos lose
their crops and consequently view the tapir as a problem.
In 2002 two tapirs were killed for this reason.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field

Each time the tapir eats a crop of potatoes, the campesinos
lose the money invested in the crop, their time spent plant-
ing and the money used to buy fertilizers and fungicides.
For example, Mr. Rivera invested US$60.00 in sowing
potatoes last year, plus $60.00 in fertilizer, plus $15.00 in
fungicides plus three months of work. But the tapir ate the
crop. When a "campesino" wants to harvest 7 sacks of
potatoes he has to invest $65.00 in fertilizer, $18.00 in fun-
gicides and three months of work. When they harvest the
potatoes they expect to collect 60 sacks each of which have
a price of $15.00 per sack. However, they also have to pay
$8.00 per sack for transportation (mule and bus) to Pereira.
Their final profit is just $337.00. Usually the price is
$15.00 per sack but sometimes the price is lower depend-
ing on the quality of potato and the abundance of potatoes
at the market. Therefore the profit for the "campesino" is
often less. Why doesn't the campesino cultivate other
crops? They only have traditional knowledge for growing
potatoes. They are unfamiliar with other products and they
are cautious about experimenting with new crops that
could fetch better prices. Additionally, the Colombian
government does not have a policy of improving crop-rais-
ing techniques or teaching farmers about growing new
crops such as quinoa (Chenopodium sp.) (Downer, 1997)
or montane pineapple (Banannas sativus), Ulluco, Habas,
which might have better success.

The campesinos have tried to resolve the problem of tapirs
eating potato plants by putting scarecrows made of plastic
materials in the fields, keeping dogs tethered in the fields
and using smoke and sulphur vapours to drive out tapirs,
without any positive results to date. They recognize that
one of the best solutions would be to build new fences aro-
und the crops, but they do not have the money to buy bar-
bed wire. Furthermore there are severe restrictions in the
park regarding the use of wood to build fences within its
boundaries. Another solution would be to build stone fen-
ces around the fields. This solution would require a lot of
work but is very cheap and would not require the use of
wood. Another possible solution to the problem is paying
compensation for loss of crops to tapirs. We think it is
important to involve the environmental and conservation
organizations like CARDER, Pereira's Aqueduct Company
and the Ministry of Environment Parks Office in the reso-
lution of this problem because conflict solution requires
strong partnerships, shared goals for both wildlife and
human communities and shared responsibility. Each soluti-
on must be worked out on a case-by-case basis, to fit a uni-
que set of ecological, cultural and economic circumstances.
There is no universal panacea, but similar principles do
apply to most problems.


We would like to thank the people of Paramo Cortaderal,
Silvia Castafio and Clemencia Gonzales for comments on
an earlier version of this manuscript.


Cleef, A. M., Rangel, O. J. & Salamanca, S. 1983.
Reconocimiento de la vegetaci6n de la parte alta del
transecto Parque los Nevados. In: Studies on
Neotropical Andean ecosystems. pp. 150-173. Vaduz:
J. Cramer.
Downer, C. 1997. Status and action plan of the mountain
tapir (Tapirus pinchaque). In: D. M. Brooks, R. E.
Bodmer & S. Matola (Eds.). Tapirs: Status, Survey and
Conservation Action Plan, pp. 10-22. IUCN-SSC Tapir
Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Lizcano D. J., Pizarro, V., Cavelier, J. & Carmona, J. 2002.
Geographic distribution and population size of the
mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in
Colombia 29:7-16
Murillo, O. & Baena, J. 1999. Plan de ordenamiento y
manejo integral de la cuenca hidrogrcfica parte alta y
media del ri6 Ottn, Municipio de Pereira y Santa Rosa
de Cabal.
Smith, A. P. &Young, T. P. 1987. Tropical alpine plant eco-
logy. Annual Review of Animal Ecology and
Sy~i ii,,i, s 18: 137-158.
Verweij, P. A. 1995. Spatial and Temporal Modelling of
Vegetation Patterns. International Institute for
Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences ITC. Enschede,
The Netherlands.

Jaime Andrds Suarez Mejia
Researcher, Enviromental Sciences, Universidad
Tecnol6gica de Pereira
AA 97, Pereira Risaralda, Carrera 4 bis #24-33, Pereira,
Risaralda, COLOMBIA

Diego Lizcano
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Kent University
A. A. 53804, Bogota 0107, DC, COLOMBIA
E-mail: dl36(

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field


Biology of a Lowland Tapir Population
and Its Potential as a Community
Involvement Agent in the Serra do
Tabuleiro State Park,
Santa Catarina State, Brazil

By Alexey Bevilacqua Tormin Borges and
Eduardo Hermes Silva


The biology and status of the lowland tapir (Tapirus terre-
stris) in the state of Santa Catarina southern Brazil -
remains unknown. The last published sighting of the spe-
cies was in 1992. Added to this, only 20% (16,541.79 km2)
of the native Atlantic Rainforest still remains in the state.
This suffers from human pressures and accelerated frag-

In this context, the Serra do Tabuleiro State Park (STSP)
can be singled out as a priority area for conservation pur-
poses, not only for its area (900 km2) representing 1% of

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/

the remaining forest area in the state but also for harbou-
ring a variety of endangered species plus other species
whose conservation status is as yet unknown. Amongst
these is the lowland tapir. These facts, added to the amount
and variety of threats, which the STSP is exposed to, were
the main reasons that led us to pursue this line of research
in the field.

First Initiative -
Fieldworker and Community Involvement

Besides biological research, the STSP lacks initiatives that
focus on community involvement in conservation strate-
gies. As such, the idea behind our first initiative regarding
the STSP was to identify potential flagship species among
the surrounding communities (there are 57 communities
situated in the area and within the STSP). The singling out
of a community plus ideas that arose in the field resulted in
the structure of the first project. This project identifies the
conflicts and potential affinities between local stakeholders
and the STSP and, more importantly, the native fauna as
indicated by them. This research consisted of collecting
oral histories from local stakeholders between July and
September 2001 and attempting to investigate and interpret
not only the local situation but also the historical process
by which this had evolved.

The results indicated that many of the conflicts originated
from the threat that is posed by certain animal species to
the agricultural processes undertaken by the local stakehol-
ders. However, when there was no identifiable threat, there
seemed to be potential affinities toward certain animal spe-
cies, of an aesthetic and historical origin. The lowland
tapir is among these potential representatives.

The conflicts and affinities were identified through the
establishment of interpersonal ties, for which informality
and compliance became the rule. This led to another
important result: the recognition and respect of popular
knowledge became fundamental in achieving compliance,
as well as an invaluable tool in applying and planning for
community involvement. The collection of oral history and
the familiarity that developed during fieldwork with the
local stakeholders constituted the first step in this direction.

Second Initiative Field Research and Ethno-biology

Evidence of tapir footprints was found during field excur-
sions directed towards zoning purposes in the years 2000
and 2001. They were located in the Conifer Tropical Forest
nucleus of STSP at altitudes between 800 1,122 meters.

/SSC Tapir Specialist Group M

Serra do Tabuleiro State Park and the study site
(circled in black)

News from the Field

This ecosystem occurs in isolation from the Conifer
Tropical Forest of Santa Catarina State Plateau (80 km
western of STSP), and represents the closest isolated for-
mation of its kind near the Atlantic Ocean.

Systematic data of occurrence, distribution and habitat use
by the lowland tapir population has been evaluated since
October 2001, through the analysis of indirect evidence
along 60 km of trails. This information is being compared
with the conservation status of the observed habitats, alti-
tude gradient and presence of seasonal components (sea-
sons; conifer seeds).

The casts of tapir tracks along with some other species are
being used to promote environmental sensibility within the
community. This is a second example of valuing popular
knowledge in the community. In family homes, the stake-
holders gather around the casts and various ethno-biologi-
cal information on lowland tapir (and other species) is
reported. This approach seems to indicate that the casts
may represent some kind of material evidence of lowland
tapir occurrence (and existence). Most of this information
will be documented by conducting questionnaire surveys
with local stakeholders, and then comparing the results
with field observations and related literature.

Other environmental education actions are being planned
in conjunction with the municipal education board for the
recognition of local needs for such initiatives.

We would like to finally emphasize that all these actions
are being continually developed with the ultimate goal of
providing sufficient local information and motivation for
the development of a conservation strategy with the low-
land tapir as a potential flagship species.

Alexey Bevildcqua Tormin Borges
Rua Jose Henrique Veras, 258, Lagoa da Conceigao,
Florianopolis, CEP: 88062-030, Santa Catarina, BRAZIL

Eduardo Hermes Silva
Avenida Rio Branco, 380, Ed Barra Sul, Sl -.03, Centro,
Florianopolis, CEP: 88015-200, Santa Catarina, BRAZIL
E-mail: eduardohermes(&



We are very pleased to report on the commencement of this
project on Malay tapir (Tapirus indicus) in Malaysia. The
report was submitted by Bengt Holst on behalf of Carl
Traeholt and relays the latest news on the project's progress
and demonstrates extremely well the difficulties of tapir

Carl reports:

We completed four pitfall traps during the 14-16th of
September. Since then we have had two near misses with
tapir captures. In one case, a pitfall construction error was
to blame since the tapir sunk into the ground 5 cm from the
pitfall wall between the plywood wall and the soil.
Obviously, he backed off again. This happened on the 27th
September 2002, at the Bukit Renggit trap A.

In the second incident, a tapir partially fell into the pit. Its
right legs broke through the trap doors whereas the left
ones were still on solid ground. Somehow it managed to
scramble out of this position, again without falling into the
pit. This happened on the 28th September at the Bukit
Renggit trap B and we repaired the trap the day after.

The last incident did not involve a tapir, but according to
the two orang aslis that checked the pit, a tiger had volun-
tarily taken refuge in the pit at Jenut Baik (Baik Saltlick)
during a rainstorm on the night of the 27th. It left the pit the
next day whilst the aslis were observing it. They repaired
the pit immediately.

According to the tracks around all four traps, it appears as
if there is a waiting period of about 12-14 days for the trap
to "settle" into the surroundings again. However, I have not
been able to differentiate between the two sets of tracks
that have been "near misses". The tracks from the incident
of the 28th are not clear, as struggling and scraping is all
that is evident, hence measurement is not possible.
Therefore, I am not sure if the two incidents can be assig-
ned to the same individual or to two different individuals.
Since then, no new tracks have been observed near the pit-
falls. I am positive that the individuals) that had this bad
experience" at Bukit Renggit trap A and B have learnt a
lesson and we cannot expect this/these individuals to make
the same mistake again. There are signs that new paths are

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from the Field / News from Captivity

being used to circumvent the old ones where the pitfall is

However, every morning there have been fresh tapir tracks
near the small stream at a site the aslis call a salt lick at
Bukit Renggit site. On Wednesday the 2nd of October, there
were two tracks of adult individuals and one from a calf or
very small adult.

If the pitfalls do not result in a positive outcome very soon
then a change of strategy will have to be made. Hopefully
success will soon come with the pitfalls.

Carl Traeholt
D3 Selangor Properties Flat, Ukay Heights,
68000 Ampang, Selangor, MALAYSIA
E-mail: c i, e h, h '/i/ i,

News from Captivity

New, Modernised Tapir House in
Wuppertal Zoo, Germany

By Stefan Seitz

Wuppertal Zoo in Germany is the only breeding centre for
Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) in Europe. The zoo began
with 2.1 individuals received from three US zoos in 1994
and 1996 (Kauffels, 1995), and a female offspring was
born in 1998 (Schuirer & Kauffels, 1999).

After hippos and elephants moved from the Pachyderm
house, the whole area of four stables and a pool became
available for tapirs. However, the listed historical building
did not fulfil the demands for optimal animal management
and wasn't attractive to the public. After one and a half
years of reconstruction, the house re-opened to the public
on 28 May 2002. Just an artificial tree trunk and rocks sur-
vived from 1927. Tiles replaced the broken concrete floor
and glass replaced the old steel bars. The public area was
supplemented with wooden benches and tropical plants.
The stables were also improved in quality. The focal point
of the new facility is the generously sized pool (6m long,
5m wide and 2m deep) with a bulletproof glass window
(4m long and 2.3m high) that opens up an underwater view
for visitors. As far as I know, this concept is a first for a
tapir exhibit.

The Baird's tapirs like swimming and resting in the 24C
water, and children as well as adult zoo goers become more
frequently attracted. When diving in the cloudy water, the
animals are hard to detect, but the tapirs themselves can see
and smell their audience and sometimes approach them at
the window. Tapirs share the pool with 1.1 capybaras that
inhabit a separate barn. Each animal gets access to the

The tapir swimming pool with underwater viewing a new
attraction at the Wuppertal Zoo. Photo by Stefan Seitz

water for about one hour per day. The zoo will soon begin
the extension and modernisation of the smaller of the two
outdoor areas, and hopes to continue breeding with two
pairs of Baird's tapirs.


Kauffels, T. 1995. Erstmals in einem deutschen
Zoologischen Garten: Der Mittelamerikanische oder
Baird's Tapir Tapirus bairdii (Gill, 1865). D. Zool.
Garten (N.F) 65: 7-10.
Schiirer, U., Kauffels, T. 1999. Erste Nachzucht des
Mittelamerikanischen Tapirs, Tapirus bairdii (Gill,
1865), im Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal. D. Zool.
Garten (N.F) 69: 188-191.

Stefan Seitz

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

News from Captivity

Hard to believe: This tapir is 36 years
old. Lilith lives in the Wilhelma Zoo &
Botanical Gardens in Stuttgart,

Photo by Volker Kruschenski

New Longevity Record
in Tapirs

By Stefan Seitz

After achieving her 36th birthday on 1 June 2002, Lilith
probably became the world's oldest tapir. The female
Malay tapir (Tapirus indicus) was born in Nuremberg,
Germany, in 1966 and was the second offspring of
Schlappi and Josephine, two wild caught individuals from
Thailand who started the captive breeding era in Europe.
She moved to the Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart on 17 April
1968. She still lives there in the Hippo and Tapir House.

Separated from another pair of Malay tapirs, Lilith usually
stays in the indoor stall which has a tiled floor and a shal-
low pool. The small outdoor area with natural earth sub-
strate and grass is only used for occasional sunbathing.
Although the female rests most of the time, she is in a sur-
prisingly good physical state. She moves about well and
her skin and hair look healthy. Her sense of smell is very
sensitive, which probably compensates for her dramatical-
ly reduced eyesight. Her head keeper, Volker Kruschenski,
reported that she has lost only a few molar teeth, so is still
able to chew whole apples. Volker feeds her a normal diet
that consists of fruits, vegetables and pellets. There are no
added supplements or medication. Lilith's only offspring,
Lydia, died at the age of 23.

There is no record of any tapir over the age of 36.
Longevity in Malay tapirs is documented at some 35 years;
a female from Bangkok, Thailand, lived for 30 years in the
San Diego Zoo, California, USA and gave birth to 15 cal-
ves (Barongi, 1998). A male lowland tapir, in Wroclaw
Zoo, Poland, reached the age of 35 (Smielowski, 1979).
The oldest known Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii), a wild-
born male from San Diego Zoo, died at some 29 years
(Sheryl Todd, pers. comm.). The Wilhelma Zoo in
Stuttgart, Germany, also holds the record for a female
mountain tapir that was imported from Ecuador and rea-
ched the age of at least 28 (Holtkotter, 1998).


Barongi, R. 1998. Malay Tapir Studbook (Tapirus indicus).
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida, USA: 37
Fontaine, P. A. 1962. Longevity of the Malayan tapir. Int.
Zoo Yb. 3: 80.
Holtkotter, M. 1998. Kleine Mitteilung. Nachrufaufunse-
ren letzten Bergtapir (Tapirus pinchaque). D. Zool.
Garten (N.F) 68: 63-64.
Smielowski, J. 1979. Births of white American tapirs.
Int.Zoo News 26: 10-15.

Stefan Seitz

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

Contributed Article

Population Ecology and Conservation
of Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) in the
Lacandon Forest, Mexico

By Eduardo J. Naranjo' and Richard E. Bodmer2

1 Departamento de Ecologia y Sistematica Terrestres, El
Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Ap. 63, San Cristobal de Las
Casas, Chiapas 29290, Mexico.

2 Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology,
University of Kent at Canterbury, CT2-7NS, UK.


Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) has an important role in the
dynamics of tropical forests through herbivory, seed
dispersal, and seed predation. This mammal has also been
a food source for rural inhabitants of Mesoamerica. Tapirs
are currently endangered due to habitat loss and over-hun-
ting. The objectives of this study were: (1) to evaluate the
status of the tapir population in Montes Azules Biosphere
Reserve (MABR) and its surroundings in the Lacandon
Forest of Chiapas, Mexico; and (2) to propose a strategy
for the conservation and management of tapirs in collabo-
ration with residents of the study area. We walked 1908
km of line transects in the study area to count tapirs and
their tracks. We interviewed 232 local hunters and had
meetings with local communities to discuss our results. We
observed 19 individuals and 438 tapir tracks between May
1998 and April 2001. Most tapir records (79.3%) were
obtained in slightly hunted sites within MABR and only
0.4% were found outside this protected area. We estimated
an overall encounter rate of 0.9 tapirs/100 km and a densi-
ty of 0.22 ind/km2. Average density estimated in slightly
hunted areas (0.24 ind/km2) was considerably higher than
density of persistently hunted areas (0.05 ind/km2). We
estimated a two-month home range of 0.67 km2 for a radio-
collared female tapir. The sex ratio based on hunting
records at persistently hunted sites did not differ from the
expected 1:1. From direct sightings, we estimated that the
tapir population was composed of 78.9% adults (n=15),
15.8% juveniles (n=3), and 5.3% young (n=l). Using the
production and the harvest models, we detected unsustain-

able hunting of tapirs at both regional and local levels in
the study area. Through the stock-recruitment model, we
estimated the status of the hunted tapir population at 21%
of K. In order to promote tapir conservation in the study
area, we recommend: (1) to protect remaining habitat with-
in and outside existing reserves; (2) to encourage self-regu-
lation of subsistence hunting by local communities; (3) to
look for alternative sources of income for local people (e.g.
tourism, and agro-forestry projects); (4) to establish envi-
ronmental education and wildlife research programmes
around MABR.


Among the numerous wildlife species used by rural inhab-
itants of Mesoamerica, Baird's tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) are
notable because of their meat yield and the usefulness of
their skins. Apart from representing food resources for
rural people, these mammals play an important function in
the dynamics of tropical forests through the processes of
herbivory and the seed dispersal of many plant species.
However, as is the case with other large tropical mammals,
Baird's tapir populations are particularly vulnerable to
local extinction triggered by habitat loss and over-hunting
(Naranjo, 2002). Baird's tapir is listed in CITES Appendix
I, and is regarded as "vulnerable" and "endangered" by
IUCN (2001) and SEMARNAP (2000), respectively. It is
very likely that both the Lacandon Forest of Chiapas and
the region of Calakmul, Campeche, shelter the largest
Mexican population of tapir. Several conservation areas
have been created in the Lacandon Forest (Figure 1).
However, little has been done to promote wildlife manage-
ment and conservation in and around such areas. Because
of its large size and the diversity of its natural and cultural
resources, Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (MABR;
3,300 km2) represents a very interesting study area for con-
servation scientists. In spite of this, quantitative informati-
on on the status of local wildlife populations is very scar-
ce. Two recent, general assessments of wildlife use in the
Lacandon Forest (March et al., 1996; Naranjo et al., 1997)
revealed that tapirs are still locally hunted even within pro-
tected areas. In this study we obtained basic information
on the status of tapir populations in the Lacandon Forest.
This information was used to design a conservation stra-
tegy incorporating the sustainable use and monitoring of
the species in collaboration with local people. The resul-
ting strategy may be useful to conserve a wider array of

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

The interior of MABR is primarily covered
by tropical rainforest (selva alta perennifo-
lia), while the community lands show a
mosaic of rainforest fragments surrounded
by secondary vegetation, pasturelands, sea-
sonal crops (corn, beans and chilli peppers),
and cacao plantations (Castillo & Narave,
1992). A complete inventory of the fauna of
the Lacandon Forest has not been underta-
ken. However, 67 fish, 23 amphibians, 54
reptiles, 341 birds and 116 mammals have
been recorded in the area (INE, 2000; March
et al., 1996). The human population of the
area is composed of several ethnic groups of
Mayan descent (Lacandon, Tzeltal,
Tojolabal, Chol), and Spanish-speaking
Mestizos. Except for the Lacandon, most of
the local residents have emigrated from ei-
ther the Chiapas highlands or from other
Mexican states within the last 30 years.


Figure 1. Study sites in the Lacandon Forest of Chiapas, Mexico.

game and non-game species with similar habitat require-
ments to those of the tapir (i.e., brocket deer, white-lipped
peccaries, primates and cracids).

Study Area

The Lacandon Forest (1605'- 17015'N, 90030'-91030'W)
is located in the northeastern portion of the state of
Chiapas, Mexico, and is delimited by the Guatemalan bor-
der on the east, north, and south and by the Chiapas
Highlands to the west. Average monthly temperatures
range from 240C to 260C with maximum and minimum
values in May (280C) and in January (180C), respectively.
Mean annual rainfall is 2500-3500 mm, with roughly 80%
of rainfall occurring between June and November. The
area was originally covered by over a million hectares of
rainforest, of which about half remains today (INE, 2000;
Naranjo, 2002). Among the protected areas extant in the
Lacandon Forest, Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve
(MABR) is the largest with over 3,300 km2, and harbours
some of the largest Mexican populations of precious hard-
wood trees and large vertebrate species which are harve-
sted by both Indian and Mestizo residents (Medellin, 1994;
Vasquez & Ramos, 1992).

Distribution and Abundance
From May 1998 through April 2001 we
recorded tapirs and their tracks along 1,908
km of line transects established at two
slightly hunted sites and two persistently hunted sites wit-
hin Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (MABR), Chiapas,
Mexico. We walked transects during the first and the last
hours of daylight, usually 7-11 AM and 4-7 PM, at a slow
pace (about 1.5 km/h). We recorded the number of indivi-
duals seen, their perpendicular distance to the centre line of
the transect and the numbers of tracks and/or faecal groups
found in all the transects (Southwell, 1996). We estimated
the encounter rate (number of individuals, groups or
tracks/100 km) for every site, year, and season (Conroy,
1996). In addition, we assessed tapir population density
(number of individuals or groups/km2) through distance
sampling (Buckland et al., 1993), using the computer soft-
ware DISTANCE 3.5 (Thomas et al., 1998).

Home Range
We captured a female tapir using a pitfall trap measuring
2.20 x 1.50 x 2.0 m (Medici & Valladares, 1997). We
covered the trap with 4 mm-thick asbestos sheets and a uni-
form layer of fallen leaves. We placed small amounts of
bananas, mangoes and native fruit in the trap. Once the
trap was set, it was checked every morning. When the tapir
was caught, it was immobilized with a mixture of butorp-
hanol hydrochloride (40 mg) and xylacine hydrochloride

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

(200 mg). Once the tapir was sedated, we fitted a radio-
collar (Telonics Inc., mod. 500) around her neck, and then
estimated her age class, weight, and reproductive conditi-
on. We also measured her total length and took tissue sam-
ples for future genetic analysis. After recovering, the tapir
was allowed to escape by digging on one of the comers of
the trap to reduce its depth. We radio-tracked this tapir
from fixed stations located along the transects established
within MABR. We assessed its home range using
Kemell's method and the Minimum Convex Polygon
(MCP) estimator with 95% of localizations (White &
Garrott, 1990).

Population Structure
We estimated age classes and sex ratios from direct
sightings and hunting records. Age categories considered
were: (1) Young (small individuals accompanied by their
mother and with white spots and stripes); (2) Juvenile (soli-
tary individuals with or without vestiges of white spots or
stripes, but clearly smaller than adults); and (3) Adult
(large animals without stripes or spots, with very little hair
on the rump; Montenegro, 1998). We additionally exami-
ned tooth wear and eruption from skulls kept by local hun-
ters (Dimmick & Pelton, 1994). All skulls donated by hun-
ters were deposited in the mammal collection of Ecosur at
San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Hunting Sustainability
We interviewed 232 residents of five localities (Bethel,
Flor del Marques, Lacanja-Chansayab, Nueva Palestina
and Play6n de la Gloria). We questioned residents of the
study area about their use of tapirs and other wildlife spe-
cies, as well as the methods, instruments, seasons and sites
where they hunted. From these data we assessed annual
harvest rates (individuals hunted/km2/year). We applied
the unified harvest model (Bodmer & Robinson, in press)
to evaluate the hunting sustainability of tapirs in the
Lacandon Forest. This model uses data on actual produc-
tivity, harvest rates, and population densities in slightly and
persistently hunted sites to construct a graph that displays
a vertical bar representing the status of hunted populations
with respect to their K (x-axis), and with respect to their
corresponding MSY (y-axis) (Bodmer, 2001; Bodmer &
Robinson, in press). We assumed that a population was
being harvested sustainably and safely if its vertical bar
was well under its corresponding curve representing MSY
(i.e. harvest did not exceed production), and on the right
side of the graph (N approached to K; Bodmer, 2001).

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN

Results and Discussion

Population Density and Abundance
We observed 19 individuals and 438 tapir tracks during the
study. Most records (79.3%, n=380) were obtained in
slightly hunted sites within MABR, and only two tracks
(0.4% of all records) were found outside this protected
area. We estimated an overall encounter rate of 0.9
tapirs/100 km and an overall population density of 0.22
ind/km2 (Table 1). Density was almost five times greater
in slightly hunted (0.24 ind/km2) than in persistently hun-
ted areas (0.05 ind/km2). Similarly, tapir track frequency
was considerably higher in persistently hunted than in
slightly hunted sites (Mann-Whitney's U=1119.5; d.f.=l;
P=0.047; Table 1). We did not detect significant variations
in densities or track frequencies among years, months or
between seasons (P>0.05).

Our estimates of Baird's tapir abundance in the Lacandon
Forest are similar to those obtained in La Sepultura,
Chiapas (Cruz, 2001; Naranjo & Cruz, 1998). However,
tapir density was lower in our study area than in Corcovado
National Park, Costa Rica (Foerster, 1998; Naranjo, 1995),
but higher than in Honduras (Flesher, 1999) and Belize
(Fragoso, 1991). Our estimates suggest that the status of
tapir populations in slightly hunted and non-hunted sites of
the Lacandon Forest is good. Yet, the situation is noticea-
bly different at persistently hunted sites inside MABR, and
especially outside this protected area. Tapirs have very low
reproductive productivity (Eisenberg, 1989) and their
populations do not recover easily from an intense or even a
moderate harvest rate (Bodmer, 1995). In addition, becau-
se of its habitat requirements, this mammal is sensitive to
habitat fragmentation and other effects of human activity
(e.g., noise, odours, dogs and cattle; Matola et al., 1997;
Naranjo & Cruz, 1998). In persistently hunted sites, habi-
tat transformation and forest fragmentation combined with
over-hunting have driven tapir populations to the point of

Population Structure
During the study we observed 78.9% adults (n=15), 15.8%
juveniles (n=3), and 5.3% young (n=l). We were able to
identify the sex of 14 of the 19 individuals observed. We
saw eight females (42.1%), six males (31.6%), and five
unidentified animals (26.3%; Table 2). The female-male
ratio did not differ from the expected 1:1 (57.1: 42.9 %,

From our hunting records, we observed that the proportion
of young tapirs was higher in persistently hunted than in

/SSC Tapir Specialist Group M

Contributed Papers

Table 1. Relative abundance (encounter rates) and densities of Baird's tapir in the Lacandon Forest, Mexico (1998-2001).

S tir s *lmgil PMaabflbhred owaM
Diarme rat4led 113,9 B52 19061
NubrNftdtahF eer 18 3 19
Ppl1odNWMslVWst5 .4tU D R1 05 OJM 0.22;kl12
EnountB ratse C W 1.22 0.50 1 A
Nuinl rdliacfl und 351 07 436
EmD unter re (traeio00 km) 27.S6 1454 2 5.

Table 2. Age structure and sex ratios of Baird's tapir estimated through three different techniques in the Lacandon Forest,
Mexico (1998-2001).

Treua 9:d Uhnwon Y'mg aienlh Ad o
n n n % n % n
o1Ir gthw 8: 5 21.1 15 71.9 19
Collectil Ils ? 3 2 1L7 1 33.3 3
Inlterisa 3: 2 0 1 20.0 4 80.0 5

slightly hunted sites (x2=13.4; df=l; P=0.0002). If hunters
were not selective towards the largest animals within each
population, then our data would reflect the actual age struc-
ture of persistently hunted populations, suggesting a proba-
bility that source-sink systems are functioning for tapirs
(Naranjo, 2002). Considering the vulnerability of tapir
populations to hunting (Bodmer et al., 1997), immigration
of individuals from slightly hunted areas of MABR would
be a key factor in maintaining the persistently hunted popu-
lations in the Lacandon Forest.

Home Range and Movements
The two-month home range of a 200-kg adult female tapir
was estimated at 0.67 and 0.22 km2 using Kemell's and the
Minimum Convex Polygon estimators with 95% of locali-
sations (n=10), respectively. The number of localisations
obtained for this female was very small, probably because
she was not a resident of the capture site. After the last
localisation, we unsuccessfully tried to locate her signal in
a radius of about 10 km for several months. Dispersing
tapirs have been observed moving over 20 km in a few
days to establish a new home range in the rainforest of
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica (Foerster, 1998).
This could have been the case with our female tapir in the
Lacandon Forest, even though she was the first radio-
tracked individual of this species in Mexico.

W December 2002 Vol. 11/

Other information on tapir movement includes the obser-
vation, made on several occasions, of fresh tapir tracks
coming out of the water in forest fragments outside
MABR. Local fishermen and riverside dwellers confirmed
this observation by describing occasional sightings of
tapirs swimming across the Lacantfin River towards com-
munity lands during the dry season, when the waters are
calm, clear, and shallow. Dispersing tapirs coming from
MABR are probably attracted by fruiting trees and forage
growing in large forest patches across the river. However,
we did not have observations or references of tapirs cros-
sing the Lacantfin River from community lands to MABR.
This might be an indicator that MABR could indeed func-
tion as the source of individuals taken by hunters from
neighboring communities.

Hunting Sustainability
Harvest/Production ratios (H/P) estimated for tapir popula-
tions in the Lacandon Forest are shown in Table 3. Under
the unified harvest model (Bodmer and Robinson, In
press), Baird's tapir appeared to be over-hunted in the
study area. However, a further analysis revealed that tapirs
were actually over-exploited in the Tzeltal community of
Nueva Palestina, one of the largest settlements in the regi-
on (Table 3, Figure 2). Tzeltal hunters took a little more
than 100% of P, while Lacandon hunters extracted only
15% of P, and Mestizo hunters did not take tapirs at all.

No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

Table 3. Sustainability of tapir hunting by three ethnic groups in the Lacandon Forest through the unified harvest
model (Bodmer and Robinson, in press).

lbT Len~ TZIl MWI ltu Qll
aMdudlta (; aMq 0.0m ouV m om amu
Hoawt R*s tlm0, UM W.07 0 O.W3
HIP 0.15 1.00 0 0A4
Sulaintl h YBm No No
Cing capin*y (KN hfm e O__________ ____ .24
Dem orflad pupioion (0; IndWfl ___ ______0.05
IK* 100 20.8
SMus. ______

a Based on actual densities estimated in the Lacandon Forest and reproductive data from R.E. Bodmer (Personal
b A sustainable harvest of tapirs should be lower than 20% of population production (H/P < 0.20; Bodmer, 1994).
c It is assumed that populations are at their carrying capacity (K) in non-hunted sites. Therefore, tapir density
estimated in non-hunted sites is used as K.

The causes of these variations may be related to the geo-
graphical, cultural, and socio-economic contexts of hunters
and their communities. Tzeltal hunters ofNueva Palestina
(n=850) by far outnumbered Lacandon and Mestizo hun-
ters combined (n=140), and used a larger catchment area
than the other two ethnic groups. This implied that Tzeltal
hunters had a higher probability of finding a tapir in their
home ranges than Lacandon and Mestizo hunters. On the
other hand, most Lacandon hunters interviewed in this
study said that they did not like to hunt tapirs because they
are too heavy and too bulky to transport back to their
homes. Mestizo hunters, on their part, did not harvest
tapirs basically because these mammals are rarely found in

Figure 2. Unified harvest model sho-
wing the sustainability of hunting and
status of Baird's tapir populations at
persistently hunted sites of the
Lacandon Forest, Mexico. Note that Production
the vertical bar representing the hunted (P)
tapir population is on the left side of the
x-axis, denoting a very low density with
respect to K. Meanwhile the bar is con-
siderably higher than the MSY curve,
which implies that hunting on this mam-
mal is far from sustainable in the study
area (Bodmer, 2001).

their community lands. In spite of this, the unified harvest
model allowed us to infer that on a regional scale, tapir
populations in hunted areas are at only 21% of K, which
means that they could have been decimated by hunting in
the study area (Table 3, Figure 2). Interestingly, the analy-
sis of interviews with local hunters showed us that hunting
pressure on tapirs has been relatively low during the last
decade in the Lacandon Forest. In fact, the tapir does not
appear within the top ten hunted species in the study area
(Naranjo, 2002). However, the status of this ungulate does
not appear hopeful on a more local scale: it has become
extremely rare in most community lands outside MABR.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


Contributed Papers

Conservation Proposal

We organized workshops on sustainable hunting in the
communities visited during the study. In addition to our
own results, we also incorporated most of the suggestions
made by residents of the Lacandon Forest in the conserva-
tion proposal presented below.

Habitat Protection
Large-sized, charismatic species requiring an extensive
mosaic of habitat types can function as "flagships" and/or
"umbrellas" for the conservation of entire communities and
even ecosystems (Entwistle & Dunstone, 2000).
Considering its size, habits and habitat requirements,
Baird's tapir could represent such a species in the
Lacandon Forest. Consequently, planned actions to con-
serve Baird's tapir populations can be beneficial for many
other wildlife species in the area.

It is essential to maintain the most important protected
areas in the Lacandon Forest (Montes Azules, Lacantun,
Chankin, Yaxchilan and Bonampak) to ensure the long-
term persistence of tapir populations. Connectivity amon-
gst those reserves is also a relevant factor to allow for
genetic flow between local populations. In this
sense, we believe that it is extremely important to
avoid further deforestation in the area known as
Sierra de la Cojolita, which connects Montes Azules-
Lacantun-Bonampak with the Yaxchilin and Chankin
reserves. The latter reserves in turn favour the even-
tual dispersal of tapirs and many other species
towards the rainforests of northern Guatemala
(Figure 3). The creation and maintenance of smaller
community reserves around MABR should be consi-
dered as valuable components for the conservation
strategy of wildlife habitat. In spite of their relative-
ly small size, these reserves may function as corri-
dors that facilitate animal transit from, and to, larger
and better areas for the survival of tapirs and many
other terrestrial vertebrates.

Perennial water bodies are crucial elements in tapir
habitat. Rivers and streams are particularly impor-
tant not only as water sources, but also as suitable
habitat for this mammal. The preservation of wide
vegetation strips along tributary streams of main
rivers (Usumacinta, Lacantun and Lacanji, among
others) will be favourable for the movement and for-
aging of tapirs and other herbivores.

Hunting Regulation
Residents of communities around MABR let us know
during the workshops that tapirs represent interesting, cha-
rismatic and rare species for them. Therefore, they them-
selves, have recently discouraged tapir hunting on their
lands, although this study did find over-hunting of this spe-
cies in that area. On the other hand, local people regarded
peccaries, deer, pacas, and other mammals as important
game species that should be managed to increase their har-
vest. After researching the viewpoint of the local people,
we deem it necessary to promote community organisation
to regulate subsistence hunting. This organisation may be
initiated through the election, by the residents themselves,
of small "wildlife committees" to establish and encourage
hunting regulation.

We propose that subsistence hunting may be regulated
through land planning in each community. Hunting of vul-
nerable species such as the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu
pecari), great curassow (Crax rubra), black guan
(Penelope purpurascens), and parrots (Amazona spp.),
may be temporarily or definitively banned (Table 4). A
complementary strategy may consist of establishing har-

Figure 3. Protected areas of the Lacandon Forest, Mexico.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

Table 4. Proposed strategies for sustainable use and protection of game mammals and birds in com-
munity lands of the Lacandon Forest, Mexico.

Pannmeny' bened Spdally ulaed m eica legidated
hmnfl huIn huftc

Amumue mom3p.

vest quotas for species more tolerant to hunting, such as the
paca (Agouti paca), nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus
novemcinctus), collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu), red-
brocket deer (Mazama americana), white-tailed deer
(Odocoileus virginianus), and tinamou (Tinamus major). In
regard to threatened species such as tapirs, primates, wild
cats and scarlet macaws, we recommend a definitive ban
on hunting in community lands (Table 4).

Environmental Education
We are convinced that local people constitute an essential
component in the conservation of natural areas. Many resi-
dents of the study area made it clear that they are not con-
cerned about maintaining protected areas and their species
because they do not perceive any tangible benefit from
such preservation. Therefore, we believe it essential to
promote awareness about the potential benefits of natural
areas and biodiversity among residents.

Economic Alternatives for Local People
As residents of areas inhabited by tapirs get more and bet-
ter sources of income, they will probably develop a better
attitude towards projects and programmes related to wild-
life sustainable use and conservation. In this sense, some
locals can be hired and trained as conservation promoters
within their own communities instead of sending employ-
ees from the city. These promoters may in turn form part
of the "wildlife committees" described above in order to
help encourage wildlife management on their own land. In
addition, several residents of communities around MABR
have been employed for several years as field assistants in
research projects conducted in the area (four people in our
own project). This alternative could be encouraged by both
the federal Wildlife Office (Direcci6n General de Vida
Silvestre-INE) and the reserve authorities when institutions
apply for research permits.

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN

The Lacandon area has great potential for alternative tou-
rism (i.e. "ecotourism") because of its wildlife and its sce-
nic and archaeological richness. Tapirs, in particular, seem
to be a very attractive species for nature-oriented tourists.
Interested persons, groups, or even communities might be
advised and trained to apply for their own credits or grants
from government agencies or NGO's to initiate ecotourism
or some other kind of environmentally sound project, such
as agroforestry, around existing reserves.

Research and Monitoring
Scientific research and monitoring are fundamental for
designing viable conservation strategies. We specifically
recommend promoting research on the hunting sustainabi-
lity and status of threatened game species in the northern
(Zona Norte) and western (Cafiadas) sectors of MABR, as
well as in its neighboring reserves: Lacantun, Chankin,
and Yaxchilan. Additional research topics relevant for
tapirs include their response to habitat fragmentation and
human activities such as selective logging, extraction of
non-timber products (i.e. Chamaedorea spp. and Aechmea
sp.), traditional agricultural practices and road construc-


This study was supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, The Mexican National Commission for
Biodiversity (CONABIO), The Mexican National Council
of Science and Technology (CONACYT), The Compton
Foundation, The US Man and Biosphere Program (MAB),
and Idea Wild. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)
facilitated infrastructure, vehicles and logistic support at all
times. The Direcci6n General de Vida Silvestre-INE and
the staff of Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve allowed us
permission to carry out this project. Conservation

1/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers

International (Chiapas Chapter), the University of Florida,
the Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas (UNI-
CACH) and the communities of Play6n de la Gloria, Flor
del Marqu6s, Reforma Agraria, Adolfo L6pez Mateos,
Nueva Palestina, Bethel and Lacanji-Chansayab collabora-
ted with us in different ways. We especially give thanks to
Jorge Bolafios, Carlos Muench, Michelle Guerra, Rausel
Sarmiento, Isidro L6pez, Romeo Jim6nez, Jose A. Jim6nez,
Celedonio Chan, Germin Hernmndez, Antonio Navarro
Chankin, Pascual P6rez, Miguel Mufiiz and Miguel
Martinez Ic6.

Literature cited

Bodmer, R.E. 1995. Managing Amazonian wildlife:
Biological correlates of game choice by detribalised
hunters. Ecological Applications 5:872-877.
Bodmer, R.E. 2001. Evaluating wildlife sustainable use in
the Amazon: the unified harvest model. In: P. Sanchez,
A. Morales & H.F L6pez (eds.), Proceedings of the
Fifth International Congress on Wildlife Management
in Amazonia and Latin America, p. 55. Fundaci6n
Natura, Bogota, Colombia.
Bodmer, R.E., Eisenberg, J.F. & Redford, K.H. 1997.
Hunting and the likelihood of extinction of Amazonian
mammals. Conservation Biology 11:460-466.
Bodmer, R.E. & Robinson, J.G. (In press). Evaluating the
sustainability of wildlife in the Neotropics. In: K.
Silvius, R.E. Bodmer & J.M. Fragoso (eds.), People in
Nature: Wildlife Conservation in the Neotropics.
Columbia University Press, New York, NY, USA.
Buckland, S.T., Anderson, D.R., Bumham, K.P. & Laake,
J.L. 1993. Distance Sampling: Eni,,,,,ig Abundance
of Biological Populations. Chapman & Hall, London.
Castillo, G. & Narave, H. 1992. Contribuci6n al conoci-
miento de la vegetaci6n de la Reserva de la Bi6sfera
Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, M6xico.
Pp. 51-85. In: M.A. Vasquez & M.A. Ramos (eds.),
Reserva de la Bidsfera Montes Azules, Selva
Lacandona: Investigacidn para su Conservacidn.
Publ. Esp. ECOSFERA no.l, San Crist6bal de Las
Casas, Chiapas, M6xico.
Conroy, M.J. 1996. Abundance indices. In: D.E. Wilson,
F.R. Cole, J.D. Nichols, R. Rudran & M. Foster (eds.),
Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity:
Standard Methods for Mammals pp. 179-192.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., USA.
Cruz, E. 2001. Hdbitos de Alimentacidn e Impacto de la
Actividad Humana sobre el Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) en
la Reserva de la Biosfera La Sepultura, Chiapas,
Mexico. M.S. Thesis, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur,

San Crist6bal de Las Casas, Chiapas, M6xico.
Dimmick, R.W. & Pelton, M.R. 1994. Criteria of sex and
age. In: T.A. Bookhout (ed.), Research and
Management Techniques for Wildlife and Habitats, pp.
169-214. Fifth edition. The Wildlife Society, Bethesda,
Maryland, USA.
Eisenberg, J.F. 1989. Mammals of the Neotropics. Vol. I,
The Northern Neotropics. University of Chicago
Press, Chicago, IL, USA.
Entwistle, A. & Dunstone, N. 2000. Priorities for the
Conservation of Mammalian Diversity. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Flesher, K. 1999. Preliminary notes on the conservation
status of Baird's tapir in north-eastern Honduras. Oryx
Fragoso, J.M. 1991. The effect of selective logging on
Baird's tapir. In: M.A. Mares & D.J. Schmidly (eds.),
Latin American, IMammalogy: History, Biodiversity and
Conservation, pp.295-304. University of Oklahoma
Press, Norman, OK, USA.
Foerster, C.R. 1998. Ambito de Hogar, Patrdn de
Movimientos y Dieta de la Danta Centroamericana
(Tapirus bairdii) en el Parque Nacional Corcovado,
Costa Rica. M.S. thesis, Universidad Nacional,
Heredia, Costa Rica.
Institute Nacional de Ecologia (INE). 2000. Program de
Manejo, Reserva de la Bidsfera Montes Azules,
Mexico. Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, Recursos
Naturales y Pesca, M6xico, D.F.
IUCN. 2002. 2000 IUCN Red list of threatened animals.
IUCN, Gland, Switzerland. (
March, I.J., Naranjo, E.J., Rodiles, R., Navarrete, D.A.,
Alba, M.P & Hemrndez, P.J. 1996. Di,,,,i;li para
la Conservation y Manejo de la Fauna Silvestre en la
Selva Lacandona, Chiapas. Informe final para la
Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y
Pesca (SEMARNAP). El Colegio de la Frontera Sur,
Division de Conservation de la Biodiversidad. San
Crist6bal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
Matola, S., Cuar6n, A.D. & Rubio-Torgler, H. 1997. Status
and action plan of Bird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii). In:
D.M. Brooks, R.E. Bodmer, and S. Matola (eds.).
Tapirs: Status, Survey and Conservation Action Plan,
pp. 29-45. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Medellin, R.A. 1994. Mammal diversity and conservation
in the Selva Lacandona, Chiapas, M6xico.
Conservation Biology 8:780-799.
Medici, P., & Valladares, C. 1997. Biologia e conservacao
danta (Tapirus terrestris) no Parque Estadual Morro do
Diablo, Sao Paulo, Brasil. Pp. 32-33 in: R.E. Bodmer
(ed.), Proc. Third International Conf of Wildlife

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Contributed Papers / Tapir Specialist Group

Management in Amazonia. Santa Cruz de la Sierra,
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,
Gainesville, FL, USA.
Naranjo, E.J. 1995. Abundancia y uso de habitat del tapir
(Tapirus bairdii) en un bosque tropical humedo de
Costa Rica. Vida Silvestre Neotropical 4:20-31.
Naranjo, E.J. 2002. Population ecology and conservation
of ungulates in the Lacandon Forest, Mexico. Doctoral
thesis. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Naranjo, E.J. & Cruz, E. 1998. Ecologia del tapir en la
Reserva de la Bi6sfera La Sepultura. Acta Zool6gica
Mexicana 73:111-125.
Naranjo, E.J., Rangel, J.L., Vasquez, I. & Hernindez, H.G.
1997. D,,, i ii;I ,, y plan de manejo para la fauna sil-
vestre de la subregidn Marques de Comillas, Chiapas,
Mexico. Report to the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente,
Recursos Naturales y Pesca (SEMARNAP). San
Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas.
Secretaria de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca
(SEMARNAP). 2000. Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-

059-ECOL-2000. Protecci6n Ambiental, species de
Flora y Fauna Silvestres de Mexico, Categorias de
Riesgo y Especificaciones para su Inclusidn, Exclusidn
o Cambio, y Lista de Especies en Riesgo. Diario
Official de la Federaci6n 488:1-61.
Southwell, C. 1996. Estimation of population size and den-
sity when counts are incomplete. Pp. In: D.E. Wilson,
F.R. Cole, J.D. Nichols, R.Rudran, & M. Foster (eds.),
Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity:
Standard Methods for Mammals, pp.193-210.
Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., USA.
Thomas, L., Laake, J.L., Derry, J.F., Buckland, S.T.,
Borchers, D.L., Anderson, D.R., Burnham, K.P.,
Strindberg, S., Hedley, S.L., Burt, M.L., Marques, F.,
Pollard, J.H. & Fewster, R.M. 1998. Distance 3.5.
Research Unit for Wildlife Population Assessment.
University of St. Andrews, UK.
Vasquez, M.A. & Ramos, M. 1992. Reserva de la Bidsfera
Montes Azules, Selva Lacandona: I, '1g, iri,;, i para
su Conservacidn. Publ. Ocas. Ecosfera no.1. San
Crist6bal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.
White, G.C. & Garrott, R.A. 1990. Analysis of Wildlife
Radio-tracking Data. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Membership Directory

Ph.D. Associate Professor, Sun Yat-Sen University
P.O. BOX 59-157, Kaohsiung, TAIWAN 80424
Phone: ++886-7525-2000 Ext. 3623 /
Fax: ++886-7525-3623

M.Sc. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y Ecologia
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, P.O. BOX 6, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, MEXICO 29000
Phone: ++961-44765; 44459; 44701 /Fax: ++961-44700
E-mail: cruz5910 prodij

M.Sc. D.V.M. Jefe de Operaciones, UN.A.CH. /
Policlinica y Diagn6stico Veterinario
Blvd. Angel Albino Corzo # 635, Zona Militar, Tuxtla

Gutierrez, Chiapas, MEXICO 29079
Phone & Fax: ++01-9-614-4214

Research Assistant, La Planada Nature Reserve
Apartado Postal 15-62, Pasto Narino, COLOMBIA or AA
9925, Bogota, COLOMBIA
Phone & Fax: ++57-1-289-1570

5. AYALA, GUIDO (Bolivia)
M.Sc. Ec6logo de Vida Silvestre, Wildlife Conservation
Society Bolivia
Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif San Miguel Bloque
1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA
Phone: ++591-2-277-2455; 2-211-7969; 2-212-6905 /
Fax: ++591-2-277-2455
E-mail: /

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, San Diego, California
92027-7017, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-760-291-5401 /Fax: ++1-760-747-3168

Chief, Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary, Royal Forest
Department of Thailand
P.O. Box 3 Amphoe Wang, Narathiwat Province,
Fax: ++0-73-336-294

Government Official, National Parks and Wildlife
Research Division, Royal Forestry Department of
Paholgothin Road, Chatujak, Bangkhen, Bangkok,
Phone: ++662-940-7159 / Fax: ++662-579-9874

33. KAWANISHI, KAE (Malaysia)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Research Biologist, UF-Malaysia
Tiger Project
34 Jalan BJ4, Taman Bukit Jaya, Ampang, Selangor,
Phone & Fax: ++603-4107-9748

34. KRANZ, KARL R. (United States)
Director of Biological Programs, Jacksonville Zoological
8605 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville, Florida 32218, UNITED
Phone: ++1-904-757-4463 Ext. 212
Fax: ++1-904-714-4441

35. LIZCANO, DIEGO (Colombia)
Researcher, UNIANDES / Ph.D. Graduate Student,
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University
of Kent
A. A. 53804, Bogota 0107, DC, COLOMBIA
Phone: ++57-1-281-4256

36. LYNAM, ANTONY (Thailand)
Ph.D. Associate Conservation Ecologist, Wildlife
Conservation Society
P.O. BOX 170, Laksi, Bangkok, THAILAND 10210

Phone & Fax: ++66-2-574-0683

D.VM. M.Sc. Wildlife Medicine and Management
Research Associate, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Assistant Professor, Pontificia Universidade Cat6lica do
Scientific Coordinator, Vida Livre Medicina de Animais
Rua Professor Alvaro Jorge, 795, Apto. 15C BL 3,
Curitiba CEP: 80320-040, Parana, BRAZIL
Phone: ++55-41-3026-1846
Mobile: ++55-41-9996-5138
E-mail: / /

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

39. MATOLA, SHARON (United States / Belize)
Director, Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center
P.O. BOX 1787, Belize City, BELIZE
Phone: ++501-813-004/ Fax: ++501-813-010

M.Sc. Research Coordinator, IPE Instituto de Pesquisas
Ecol6gicas (Institute for Ecological Research)
Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila Sao Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio
CEP: 19280-000, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Phone & Fax: ++55-18-3282-4690
Mobile: ++55-18-9711-6106
E-mail: or
OBS: Chair

41. MEIJAARD, ERIK (The Netherlands /Australia /
Post-Graduate Researcher, Department of Archaeology
and Anthropology, Australian National University
1/14 Portus Place, Bruce, 2617 ACT, Canberra, AUS-
Phone: ++61-2-6125-3557 / Fax: ++61-2-6251-0193

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

18. FLESHER, KEVIN (United States)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Rutgers University
55 Dudley Road, 2nd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey
Phone: ++1-732-932-9153 Ext. 351

President, Fundaci6n Apas, Universidad del Tolima
Oficina 19-04, Ibague, Tolima, COLOMBIA
Phone: ++033-331-9869 / Fax: ++57-1-617-0068

20. FOERSTER, CHARLES R. (United States / Costa
Project Leader, Baird's Tapir Project, Corcovado National
Park, Costa Rica
445 CR 221, Orange Grove, Texas 78372, UNITED STA-
Phone & Fax: ++1-719-228-0628
OBS: Deputy Chair; Coordinator, Proposal Endorsement;
Fundraising Coordinator

College of Environmental Science and Forestry SUNY
6 Illick Hall, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse, New York 13210-
Phone: ++1-315-470-6792 / Fax: ++1-315-470-6934

22. FRANKLIN, NEIL (Indonesia)
Technical Advisor, Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program
Prima Lingkar Asri B2/12, Jatibening, Bekasi, INDONE-
SIA 17412
Phone & Fax: ++62-21-865-0114

23. FROHRING, HEIDI (United States)
Zookeeper, Woodland Park Zoological Gardens
2649 N.W. 60th St Seattle, Washington 98117, UNITED
Phone: ++1-206-782-5964
E-mail: / heidifrohring@earth-

24. GALETTI, MAURO (Brazil)
Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Departamento de Ecologia,
UNESP Rio Claro
Avenida 24-A, 1515, CP 199, Rio Claro CEP: 13506-900,

Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Phone: ++55-19-526-4145 / Fax: ++55-19-534-0009

25. GARRELL, DELLA (United States)
D.V.M. Director of Conservation and Animal Health,
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs,
Colorado 80906, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-719-633-9925 Ext. 120
Fax: ++1-719-633-2254

26. GREENE, LEWIS (United States)
Director, Virginia Zoo / AZA Tapir TAG Coordinator for
Baird's tapirs
3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23504, UNITED
Phone: ++1-757-441-2374

Adjunct Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Georgia
Veterinary Advisor, American Zoo and Aquarium
Association (AZA) Tapir TAG
197 East Creek Bend, Athens, Georgia 30605, UNITED
Phone: ++1-706-548-3414
OBS: Veterinary Support Coordinator

28. HOLDEN, JEREMY (Indonesia)
Photographer, Flora and Fauna International
P.O. BOX 42, Kantor Pos, Sungai Penuh Kerinci, Jambi,
Sumatra INDONESIA 371000
Phone & Fax: ++0-7482-2267
E-mail: pop padani

29. HOLST, BENGT (Denmark)
M.Sc. Vice Director, Copenhagen Zoo; EAZA Tapir &
Hippo TAG
Sdr. Fasanvej 79, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, DENMARK
Phone: ++45-72-200-200; 72-200-220
Fax: ++45-72-200-219

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

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group /

6. BARONGI, RICK (United States)
Director, Houston Zoological Gardens / AZA Tapir TAG
1513 N. MacGregor, Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-713-533-6800 / Fax: ++1-713-533-6802
E-mail: /

D.V.M. INPARQUES, Parque Zool6gico Las Delicias /
Research Associate, Earthmatters.Org
Av. Las Delicias Norte, Parque Zool6gico Las Delicias,
Departamento de Veterinaria
Maracay, 2101-A, Aragua, VENEZUELA
Phone & Fax: ++58-243-241-3933

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

Biologist, Procuradoria Federal de Protecci6n al
Ambiente, Asesores en el Manejo de Recursos Naturales,
S.A. de C.V.
CarreteraAjusco, 200, 60 piso, Col. Jardines em La
Montana, Mexico DF MEXICO
Phone: ++52-5587-1293 /Fax: ++52-5587-1293
E-mail: /

Licenciado, Researcher, Fundaci6n Espiritu del Bosque
Barcelona 311 y Tolosa, Pichincha, Quito, ECUADOR
Phone: ++593-2-239-703 / Fax: ++593-2-504-452
E-mail: /

11. CHALUKIAN, SILVIA (Argentina)
M.Sc. Researcher, El Rey National Park
Rio Negro 2508, 4400 Salta, ARGENTINA
Phone: ++54-387-424-0861
E-mail: silviach(),

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

13. COLBERT, MATTHEW (United States)
Research Associate, Department of Geological Sciences,
University of Texas
Austin, Texas 78712, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-512-471-0260 / Fax: ++1-512-471-9425
OBS: Evolution Consultant

Biodiversity and Conservation Coordinator, Red de
Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil
Avenida 9 norte No. 22-07, Barrio Santa Monica, Cali,
Phone: ++57-2-660-6133; 2-653-4539
Fax: ++57-2-660-6133
OBS: Species Coordinator, Mountain Tapir; Red List

15. CUARON, ALFREDO D. (Mexico)
Departamento de Ecologia de los Recursos Naturales,
Institute de Ecologia, UNAM
Apartado Postal 27-3 (Xangari), Morelia, Michoacan
58089, MEXICO
Phone: ++52-4-322-2786; 5-623-2786; 4-322-2777 Ext.
32786 / Fax: ++52-4-322-2719; 5-623-2719

16. DEE, MICHAEL (United States)
General Curator, Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, California 90027, UNITED
Phone: ++1-323-644-4254 / Fax: ++1-323-662-9786
E-mail: /

17. DOWNER, CRAIG C. (United States)
President, Andean Tapir Fund
P.O. BOX 456, Minden, Nevada 89423-0456, UNITED
Phone: ++1-775-267-3484 / Fax: ++1-775-747-1642

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

Environmental Manager, Enviromental Sciences,
Universidad Tecnol6gica de Pereira
Carrera 4 bis #24-33, Pereira, Risaralda, COLOMBIA
Phone & Fax: ++57-6-321-2443

43. MOLLINEDO, MANUEL A. (United States)
Director, Los Angeles Zoo
5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles, California, UNITED STA-
TES 90027
Phone: ++1-323-644-4261 / Fax: ++1-323-644-4206

Ph.D. Graduate Student, University of Florida / Instituto
de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Av. 1 de Mayo, # 39 A 49 Sur, Bogota, COLOMBIA
Phone: ++57-1-203-5582

45. NARANJO, EDUARDO J. (Mexico)
Ph.D. Researcher, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
Carr. Panamericana, Ap. 63, San Cristobal de Las Casas,
Chiapas, MEXICO 29290
Phone: ++52-9678-1884 / Fax: ++52-9678-2322
OBS: Species Coordinator, Central American Tapir; Red
List Committee

46. NAVEDA, ADRIAN JOSE (Venezuela)
T.S.U. en Recursos Naturales Renovables / Research
Associate, EarthMatters.Org
Apartado Postal 4845, Maracay, Edo. Aragua,
Phone & Fax: ++58-352-378-5318

47. NOVARINO, WILSON (Indonesia)
Lecturer, Dept. Biology FMIPA, Andalas University
Jurusan Biologi FMIPA, Fakultas Matematika dan Ilmu
Pengetahuan Alam
Kampus Limau Manis, Padang, Sumatera Barat, West
Sumatra, INDONESIA 25163
Phone & Fax: ++62-0-7517-1343
E-mail: wilson n

48. NUNEZ, RUBEN (Ecuador)
President, Fundaci6n Bafios 2000, Fundaci6n Tapir y
Biodiversidad Ecuador

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/

Universidad Escuela Politecnica Ecologica Amazonica -
Barrio Ecol6gico 5 de Junio, Calle Rocafuerte 806 y Juan
Le6n Mera, P.O. BOX 1803, Bafios, Tungurahua,
Phone: ++59-303-740 447

49. OTHMAN, SAHIR (Malaysia)
Director of Research and Conservation, Jabatan
Perlindungan Hidupan Liar dan Taman Negara (PERHI-
Km. 10, Jalan Cheras, 56100 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA
Phone: ++603-9075-2872 / Fax: ++603-9075-2873

D.V.M. Gerente del Departamento de Veterinaria, Africam
11 Oriente 2407, Col. Azcarate, Puebla, MEXICO 72007
Phone: ++22-360-933 / Fax: ++22-363-049

Ph.D. Technical Forest Official, Royal Forest Department
of Thailand
61 Phaholyothin Road, Chatuchack, Bangkok, THAI-
LAND 10900
Phone: ++66-2-561-4292 Ext. 797
Fax: ++66-2-579-7048

52. SALAS, LEONARDO (Venezuela / United States)
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Holdsworth Natural Resources
Center, University of Massachusetts
Amherst, Massachusetts 01003-4210, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-413-545-1237 / Fax: ++1-413-545-4358

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


'SSC Tapir Specialist Group

Tapir Specialist Group

D.V.M. M.Sc. Candidate, Universidade do Estado de Sao
Rua Alameda Augusto Cesar Valli, No.71, Jaboticabal
CEP: 14883-350, Sao Paulo, BRAZIL
Phone: ++55-16-3209-2678

55. SEITZ, STEFAN (Germany)
Ph.D. Captive Research on Tapirs: Behavior and
Bonndorfer Strasse 19, 68239 Mannheim, GERMANY
Phone & Fax: ++49-621-471-428
OBS: Newsletter Editor

56. SHOEMAKER, ALAN H. (United States)
International Leopard Studbook Keeper
330 Shareditch Road, Columbia, South Carolina 29210,
Phone: ++1-803-772-6701
OBS: Red List Authority

Biologist, Departamento de Ecologia y Sistematica
Terrestre, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)
Calle 18 de Julio, 29, Colonia Gilberto Palacios de la
Rosa, Chapingo, Texcoco, MEXICO 56230
Phone: ++967-87-896; 595-46-976

58. TILSON, RONALD (United States)
Ph.D. Director of Conservation, Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Blvd., Apple Valley, Minnesota 55124, UNI-
Phone: ++1-952-431-9267 / Fax: ++1-952-431-9452

59. TODD, SHERYL (United States)
President, Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF)
P.O. Box 118, Astoria, Oregon 97103, UNITED STATES
Phone: ++1-503-325-3179

President, Fundaci6n AndigenA
Apartado Postal 210, Merida 5101-A, Edo. Merida,
Phone: ++58-7-421-9993
OBS: Species Coordinator, Lowland Tapirs; Red List

Committee; Tapir Talk List Manager

61. TORRES, IVAN LIRA (Mexico)
D.V.M. M.Sc. Researcher, Instituto de Historia Natural y
Calz. Cerro Hueco, s/n, P.O. BOX 6, Tuxtla Gutierrez,
Chiapas, MEXICO 29000
Phone: ++961-44765; 44459; 44701 / Fax: ++961-44700

62. VAN STRIEN, NICO (The Netherlands /
Ph.D. SE Asia Coordinator, International Rhino
Tower 3, Unit 23B, Kondominium Taman Anggrek, Lt 6
J1. Let. Jen. S. Parman Kay 21. Slipi, Jakarta, INDONE-
SIA 11470
Phone: ++62-21-560-9401 / Fax: ++62-21-560-9402
Julianaweg 2, 3941DM, Doom, THE NETHERLANDS
Phone: ++31-343-420-445 / Fax: ++31-343-420-447
OBS: Species Coordinator, Malay Tapir; Red List

63. WALLACE, ROBERT B. (Bolivia)
Ph.D. Associate Conservation Zoologist, Wildlife
Conservation Society, Madidi
Calle 21 de Calacoto No. 1100, Edif San Miguel Bloque
1100, Oficina 102, La Paz, BOLIVIA
Phone: ++591-2-277-2455; 2-211-7969; 2-212-6905 /
Fax: ++591-2-277-2455

64. WATERS, SIAN (United Kingdom)
Scientific Officer, Cochrane Ecological Institute
14 Lindsay Gardens, Tredegar, Gwent NP22 4RP, UNI-
Phone: +44-0-1495-722-117
E-mail: sian s
OBS: Newsletter Editor; Zoo Coordinator

65. WATKINS, GRAHAM (Guyana)
Ph.D. Senior Wildlife Biologist, Interim Project
Implementation Manager
Iwokrama International Centre for Rain Forest
Conservation and Development
67 Bel Air, P.O. BOX 10630, Georgetown, GUYANA
Phone: ++59-2-225-1504 / Fax: ++59-2-225-9199
E-mail: /

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


The aboriginal Jahut people at Krau Wildlife Reserve, Malaysia, tell a story about the origin of Malay tapirs that is drawn and
translated by Shamsul & Siti Khadijah Abd Ghani, E-mail:

December 2002 Vol. 11 / No. 2 Tapir Conservation Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group


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