Baird’s Tapir Tapirus bairdii
Extant (resident): Belize; Colombia; Costa Rica; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama
Extinct: El Salvador
Presence Uncertain: Ecuador
Baird’s tapirs may look like they are relatives of elephants, but they’re actually closer kin to horses, donkeys, zebras, and rhinoceroses.
Although they look like elephants, Baird’s Tapirs are more closely related to #horses and #rhinos. They are #endangered in #SouthAmerica from #palmoil #cocoa #meat #deforestation. #Boycottpalmoil and #Boycott4Wildlife to help save themTweet
The Baird’s Tapir is found in forested areas with ponds and streams (wet tropical rainforest, tropical subdeciduous forest and montane cloud forests), palm swamps, paramo, mangrove, riparian forest, and successional vegetation (caused by natural disturbances), as well as in narrow oak- forest strips covering the top of medium-altitude mountains; from sea level to 3,620 m (Brooks et al. 1997, Naranjo and Vaughan 2000).
Like all tapirs, this species has a prominent nose. This is made of soft and flexible tissues, allowing them to snatch leaves and stems that would otherwise be out of reach. This species eats more than 200 kinds of plants, including twigs, stems, leaves, and even aquatic vegetation.
Baird’s Tapirs are solitary animals that usually only come together when they mate. Females have a gestation period of 13 months and then the baby remains with mum for 1-2 years. Juvenile Baird’s Tapirs have a coat covered in spots and tripes, that is thought to disguise them from predators such as Jaguars and Pumas in the understory of the rainforest.
The main factors of Baird’s population decline remain habitat destruction and localized hunting (Castellanos et al. 2008, Brooks et al. 1997). The species low reproductive rate makes it more vulnerable to these threats (Brooks et al. 1997).
Between 2001 and 2010, Mexico and Central America experienced a net loss of 179,405 km2 of forested habitats, correlated with the gain of mixed woody/plantation and agriculture/herbaceous vegetation; the Maya Forest in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala, and the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua had the greatest deforestation rates during this period (Aide et al. 2012). Deforestation not only reduces forest extensions but also changes their spatial patterns, resulting in fragmented habitat and genetically isolated tapir populations. The Nicaragua population is highly threatened by continued high rates of deforestation in its Biosphere Reserves and other protected areas (C. Jordan pers. comm.).
You can support this beautiful animal
There are no known conservation activities for this animal. Make art to raise awareness and join the #Boycott4Wildlife.
Garcìa, M., Jordan, C., O’Farril, G., Poot, C., Meyer, N., Estrada, N., Leonardo, R., Naranjo, E., Simons, Á., Herrera, A., Urgilés, C., Schank, C., Boshoff, L. & Ruiz-Galeano, M. 2016. Tapirus bairdii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T21471A45173340. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-1.RLTS.T21471A45173340.en. Downloaded on 06 June 2021.
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