Three of the four species of tapir are endangered. The threats facing tapirs include hunting for meat and skin, fragmentation of habitat, and encroachment into protected areas by farmers and illegal logging [Statement from EcoLocalizer]
PLEASE DONATE TO THE NEWLY FORMED TAPIR CONSERVATION EFFORT (TCE).
Help raise awareness of these special herbivores, our friends, the Tapirs! We hope to inform citizens of the scarcity of these friendly creatures, and dedicate sections of conservational committees in high Tapir Endangerment Zones (TEZ’s) to helping the once diverse tapir population flourish.
THE BAIRDS TAPIR – Tapirus bairdii
This species is listed as Endangered due to an ongoing and inferred future decline estimated from loss of habitat, fragmentation and hunting pressure. Population declines are estimated to be greater than 50% in the past 3 generation (33 years) and suspected to be greater than 50% decline in the next 3 generations (33 years).The current overall population estimate for this species is < 5,000 mature individuals. Range-wide habitat change is severely impacting and fragmenting populations of T. bairdii, which do not generally occupy human dominated or modified habitat types and suffers from persecution near human settlements. It is estimated that around 70% of Central American forest areas have been lost through deforestation and alteration over the last 40 years (Primack et al. 1997) – thus we infer that at least 50% of the habitat has been lost on the past 3 generations.
Tapirus bairdii is known to occur in Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, southern Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Republic of Panama, north-western Colombia, and historically (now regionally extinct) in El Salvador.
ANDEAN/MOUNTAIN/WOOLLY TAPIR – Tapirus pinchaque
This species is listed as Endangered due to an ongoing and suspected future decline inferred from loss of habitat, fragmentation and hunting pressure. Population declines are estimated to be greater than 50% in the past 3 generations (33 years) and inferred to be greater than 50% decline in the next 3 generations (33 years). In addition there are estimated to be less than 2,500 mature individuals remaining, with an estimated continuing decline of at least 20% in the next 2 generations (22 years). There has been and remains significant hunting pressure on this species. It is extremely rare to encounter an area with mountain tapirs where they are not being over-hunted. Furthermore, a mining project in northern Peru threatens to destroy the headwater cloud forests and paramos of the scant population of mountain tapirs there. The mountain tapir population is fragmented as a result of human activities.
Tapirus pinchaque is known from the Andean area of Columbia, Ecuador, and northernmost Peru.
ASIAN/INDIAN/MALAYAN/MALAY TAPIR – Tapirus indicus
This species is listed as Endangered due to an ongoing decline estimated from loss of available habitat, fragmentation of remaining habitat and increasingly hunting pressure. Population declines are estimated to be greater than 50% in the past 3 generation (36 years) driven primarily by large scale conversion of lowland tapir habitat to palm oil plantations and other human dominated land-use.
Tapirus indicus occurs in southern and central parts of Sumatra (Indonesia), and on the Asian mainland in Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand (along the western border and on the Peninsula south to the Malaysian border, and in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in the north), and Myanmar (south of latitude 18°N). Its populations are now highly fragmented within its former range.
BRAZILIAN/LOWLAND/S. AMERICAN TAPIR – Tapirus terrrestris
This species is considered to be Vulnerable due to an ongoing populations reduction estimated to be slightly greater than a 30% in the past 3 generations (33 years) due to habitat loss, illegal hunting and competition with livestock, and estimated on current rates of decline this rate of decline is inferred to continue for the next 3 generations (33 years).
Tapirus terrestris is found in lowland regions of northern and central South America, from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
[Data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature]