TSG & Fondation Segré Latin American Tapir Program

Timeframe: 2020 – 2023
Country/Region: Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Ecuador
Partner: IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group // Copenhagen Zoo

The IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) is a global network of conservationists dedicated to conserving tapirs and their habitat. The world is facing many conservation crises and confronting them will require international teams of researchers and conservationists to jointly design and implement effective, context specific research projects and conservation solutions. This project includes four different research and conservation programs covering the three Latin American tapir species in South and Central America: Mountain Tapir in Ecuador; Baird’s Tapir in Guatemala and Nicaragua; and, Lowland Tapir in Brazil.

Populations of all four species have experienced reductions greater than 30% over the past three generations. Given the high rates of forest destruction and fragmentation of the Neotropical habitats where tapirs are found, this rate of population decline is predicted to continue, and in some cases increase, over the next three generations. Due to their individualistic lifestyle, low reproduction rate and low population density, tapirs are rarely abundant, which makes them highly susceptible to threats. Furthermore, while habitat fragmentation leads to small populations, other threats, such as hunting, road-kill, fire, and disease are even greater threats to the remaining tapir populations.

Fondation Segré has previously supported the World Tapir Conservation Programme back in 2015 (read more here) and has decided to renew its contribution to further support the efforts of TSG to protect the four species of tapirs. This second partnership aims to:

  • Use the collective experience of TSG to collaborate on guiding the development of the four programs to both ensure each project’s individual goals are achieved and help the PIs bring their projects to a certain level of stability;
  • Disseminate the results of the programme to ensure other researchers and conservationists have access to information about the collaborative model for conservation; and,
  • Publish widely in the popular press and on social media to raise the profile of tapir conservation globally.