The Houston Zoo loves its tapirs and is committed to doing everything we can to save them in wild.
The Houston Zoo supports tapir protection efforts in Panama: Protecting Tapirs in the Wild
There are four living species of tapir; three in Latin America: Baird’s, Lowland, and Mountain and the Malayan Tapir of Southeast Asia. All of these are classified as either vulnerable or endangered. These animals play a critical role in shaping and maintaining the biological diversity of tropical ecosystems. Because of their size and sensitivity to changes in their environment, they are among the first species in a habitat to be affected by human disturbance.
The Houston Zoo has partnered with the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group in supporting field research on the ecology of the world’s threatened tapir species, genus Tapirus. We work closely with Patricia Medici, this group’s Chair, in supporting a Lowland Tapir Project in Brazil’s Morro de Diabo State Park. The goal is to help researchers determine the influence of large herbivores on neotropical forests. This data will allow biologists to quantify the influence that large herbivores like tapirs have on forest structure and species diversity, and ultimately help them develop management plans that are designed to prevent the disappearance of these animals.How the Zoo is helping tapirs in the wild:
- We assist with research and protection efforts to save tapirs in the wild.
- We provide funding for much needed equipment for monitoring tapirs in the wild.
- We have staff travel to Panama to assist with field research
- We assist with tapir awareness events in Panama
- We assist with the Tapir Specialist group webpage
- Learn more about the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group and the plight of tapirs in the wild
- Donate to support the purchase of equipment to save tapirs in the wild
- Friend the Tapir Specialist Group on Facebook for updates on tapirs in the wild
- Friend the Houston Zoo Wildlife Conservation Facebook Page for updates