Colombia Tapir Conservation (CTC)
|Mountain Tapir are classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the Red List of Threatened Species™ (version 2021-3)|
Mountain Tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) – Endangered *
- The Mountain Tapir has an estimated wild population of only 2,500 individuals living in the cloud forests and sub-tropical regions of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
- The smallest of four tapir species, mountain tapirs are uniquely covered in thick woolly fur.
- They are known for having a generally docile and gentle personality.
- Colombia is the country that has the privilege of having 3 of the 4 species of tapirs that exist in the world.
- Though it is the smallest (and furriest!) of tapir species, the Mountain tapir is the largest mammal in the tropical Andes Mountain range.
- Their long hair is brownish to black, and their lips are lined in a white colour.
- Adults have two characteristic hair-free patches on their rump.
- Mountain tapirs are 1.8 meters long, 0.8 meters high, and weigh between 150 and 250 Kilos.
- As with all tapir species, their young have a “watermelon” patterned camouflage coat.
- The primary threats to the mountain tapir are warfare and habitat loss due to poppy farming and growth of ranching and agriculture, driven by human population growth in the Andean region.
- Hunting is no longer a major threat due to local regulations and increased awareness of this species’ rarity and conservation status.
Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative (CTC) is an effort led by organizations, researchers, state entities and local communities to conserve the three species of tapirs that inhabit Colombia, in addition to conserving and restoring their natural habitats.
This initiative is supported by the Conservación de Ungulados Tropicales, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), Orinoquia Biodiversa Foundation (FOB), The Nature Conservancy, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, University of Minnesota, and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
[* current IUCN Red List Category]
(photos by Colombia Tapir Conservation, Camilo Mantilla, Diego Lizcano, Diego Monsalve, Gustavo Pisso)
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