Tapirs: Keystone Species for Conservation
The four living tapir species occur in the tropics of Central America (Baird’s tapir, Tapirus bairdii), South America lowland tapir, T. terrestris,and mountain tapir, T. pinchaque), and Southeast Asia (Malayan tapir, T. indicus). The lowland tapir has the broadest range of the four species extending from north-central Colombia and east of the Andes throughout most of tropical South America down to north-eastern Argentina and Paraguay at elevations up to 2,000 masl. The species occurs in 11 countries and 21 different biomes.
Environmental journalist Liana John and Patrícia Medici are currently working on a Tapir Book!!! The idea is to publish a very well illustrated coffee table book, both in English and Portuguese, exploring the lowland tapir’s natural history, evolution, anatomical characteristics, ecological roles in the ecosystems they inhabit, conservation status in the wild, past and current research and conservation efforts, as well as legends and myths about this animal and the different ways in which human beings have pictured and profiled tapirs since ancient eras. Wonderful photos have been selected for the book, an editor has been chosen and Liana and Patrícia are now working on the text !
The staff members of the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative team have dedicated most of their adult lives to tapir conservation! This wealth of experience and knowledge as well as the good relationships and partnerships forged throughout the years with different stakeholders in the Atlantic Forest and Pantanal sites are the major strengths of this project. The project also counts on the support of consultants who participate in project´s activities when needed. Throughout the years, the project has provided training to hundreds of students and professionals from Brazil as well as several other parts of the world.