Ecology and Conservation of Baird's tapir in Mexico

Naranjo, Eduardo J.
May 2009
Tropical Conservation Science;2009, Vol. 2 Issue 2, p140
Academic Journal
Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is endangered primarily because of habitat loss and fragmentation, and overhunting throughout its distribution range (ca. 21,000 km²) in the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Oaxaca, Veracruz, and possibly Yucatan and Tabasco. The number of tapirs occurring in Mexico is estimated around 2,600 individuals, which are also threatened by factors such as forest fires, large-scale infrastructure projects (building of dams and highways), disease transmission from domestic animals, pollution of water bodies, and global climatic change effects. A strategy for tapir conservation in Mexico should include: 1) protection and management of extant habitat; 2) creation and maintaining of corridors among isolated forest fragments containing tapirs; 3) community-based control of poaching; 4) development of economic alternatives for people living near tapir habitat; 5) captive breeding programs with educational, scientific, and conservationist purposes; 6) environmental education and communication programs in rural and urban areas near tapir habitat; and 7) research on distribution, abundance, habitat use and availability, population status, movement patterns, feeding habits, genetic variability, interactions with domestic species, diseases, and responses to habitat fragmentation, hunting, and global climatic change.


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