The lowland tapir has the broadest range of all four tapir species extending from north-central Colombia and east of the Andes throughout most of tropical South America down to north eastern Argentina and Paraguay. Tapirs play a critical role in shaping and maintaining biological diversity, and function as an indicator species of the health of various tropical biomes, and are critical species to key ecological processes, for example, seed dispersal, as well as nutrient recycling. However, tapirs are threatened by habitat destruction and hunting.
This program includes scientific research on basic tapir ecology, demography, epidemiology, genetics, as well as environmental education and habitat restoration efforts. With Regional Action Plans for the conservation of tapirs and their remaining habitats within the Atlantic Forest and the Pantanal, we aim to assess tapir status in the region and, once again, design a specific set of conservation strategies that will benefit tapirs, other wildlife, as well as the Pantanal biome itself. The project uses tapirs as flagship species, catalyzing education, awareness, training and capacity-building, and scientific tourism initiatives.
The Institute for Ecological Research (IPE) in Brazil is dedicated to the conservation of the country’s biodiversity and to providing sustainable development for local communities. Its Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI) was instigated in 1996 and includes scientific research on basic tapir ecology, demography, epidemiology, genetics, as well as environmental education and habitat restoration efforts.
What can you do?
Think then ask before you buy: Our consumption places pressure on resources all over the world – whether you are travelling or buying here in Australia, think, then ask before you buy – will what I am buying affect wildlife?