Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paradise found for Latin America's largest land mammal

23.01.2013
Wildlife Conservation Society scientists have documented a thriving population of lowland tapirs – the strange forest and grassland-dwelling herbivore with the trunk-like snout – living in a network of remote national parks spanning the Peru-Bolivia border.

Using a combination of camera traps, along with interviews with park guards and subsistence hunters, WCS estimates at least 14,500 lowland tapirs in the region. The population bridges five connected national parks in northwest Bolivia and southeastern Peru.


Wildlife Conservation Society scientists have documented a thriving population of lowland tapirs -- the strange forest and grassland-dwelling herbivore with the trunk-like snout -- living in a network of remote national parks spanning the Peru-Bolivia border.
Credit: Mileniusz Spanowics/WCS

The WCS findings were described in the December issue of the journal Integrative Zoology. Authors include Robert Wallace, Guido Ayala, and Maria Viscara of WCS's Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Program.

The study synthesizes 12 years of research on lowland tapirs in the region. Together with WCS studies on jaguars, the results underscore the importance of this protected area complex for the conservation of Latin America's most charismatic terrestrial wildlife species.

"The Madidi-Tambopata landscape is estimated to hold a population of at least 14,500 lowland tapirs making it one of the most important strongholds for lowland tapir conservation in the continent," said the study's lead author Robert Wallace. "These results underline the fundamental importance of protected areas for the conservation of larger species of wildlife threatened by hunting and habitat loss."

The lowland tapir is the largest terrestrial mammal in South America, weighing up to 300 kg (661 pounds). Its unusual prehensile proboscis or snout is used to reach leaves and fruit. Tapirs are found throughout tropical forests and grasslands in South America. However, they are threatened by habitat loss and especially unsustainable hunting due to their large size, low reproductive rate (1 birth every 2-3 years), and ease of detection at mineral licks in the rainforest. Lowland tapirs are considered Vulnerable by the IUCN.

WCS collected and systematized 1,255 lowland tapir distribution records in the region. These records came from research observations and camera trap photographs as well as interviews with park guards of Madidi, Pilón Lajas and Apolobamba National Parks in Bolivia, and Bahuaja Sonene and Tambopata National Parks in neighboring Peru, and subsistence hunters from 19 Takana and Tsimane' communities.

Camera trap data revealed that lowland tapir abundance was higher at sites under protection than sites outside protected areas. At one site sampled over time, the Tuichi River, camera trapping has revealed that lowland tapir populations have been recovering following the creation of Madidi National Park in 1995. Prior to the creation of the park, loggers had hunted heavily in this area.

Madidi National Park contains 11 percent of the world's birds, more than 200 species of mammals, 300 types of fish, and 12,000 plant varieties. The 19,000 square-kilometer (7,335 square mile) park is known for its array of altitudinal gradients and habitats from lowland tropical forests of the Amazon to snow-capped peaks of the High Andes.

Working with government partners in Bolivia and Peru, the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Conservation Program aims to develop local capacity to conserve the landscape and mitigate a variety of threats to biodiversity and wildlife including lowland tapirs, including road construction, logging, unsustainable natural resource use, and agricultural expansion.

Julie Kunen, WCS Director of Latin America and Caribbean Programs said: "WCS commends our government and indigenous partners for their commitment to the Madidi-Tambopata Landscape. Their dedication is clearly paying off with well-managed protected areas and more wildlife."

WCS's conservation research in the Madidi-Tambopata Landscape has been made possible by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the blue moon fund, USAID, the Beneficia Foundation, the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, Woodland Park Zoo, and other generous supporters.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit www.wcs.org.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation, patient care and scientific research. The goal of the Foundation's Andes-Amazon Initiative is to maintain the climatic function and biodiversity of the Amazon Basin by promoting forest conservation and addressing the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. For more information, please visit www.moore.org.

The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. In addition to selecting the MacArthur Fellows, the Foundation works to defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society. More information is at www.macfound.org.

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wcs.org
http://www.macfound.org
http://www.moore.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target

22.05.2018 | Earth Sciences

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>