Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The Asian tapir is primarily, although not exclusively, nocturnal. Habitually using the same paths, which males mark with urine, this tapir travels long distances during the night in search of food (10) (6). The diet consists of fruits from a variety of trees and shrubs in substantial amounts, as well as aquatic plants, leaves, buds and soft twigs (10) (6). Blurred vision means that tapirs rely on their acute sense of hearing and smell for communication, to locate food and detect predators (4) (7). This tapir is mostly solitary, but occasionally seen in pairs (10) (6). The average range of the male is 13 square km which overlaps the ranges of several females (4). Mating is characterized by a noisy courtship display (5). Females breed every other year and, after a gestation period of 13 months, give birth to a single calf, which remains with its mother for six to eight months (10). Sexual maturity is reached at around three years, and Asian tapirs have been known to live for up to 30 years (5).
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Description

Its unmistakable two-tone pattern distinguishes the Asian tapir, the only Old World tapir, from the other three tapir species of Central and South America (4). The largest of the tapirs, adults possess a stocky black body with a prominent white 'saddle' over the back, which extends down the sides, around the belly and over the rump (4) (5) (6). Although seemingly conspicuous, this 'disruptive colouration' (7) helps break up the body outline in shady and moonlit forests (4) (8). In contrast to adults, infants are born with a reddish-brown coat patterned with white stripes and spots, developing the adult colouration after four to seven months (8). Like other tapirs, the nose and upper lip are extended to form a prominent prehensile proboscis, which is used to grab leaves (8) (9).
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Distribution

Range Description

Tapirus indicus occurs in southern and central parts of Sumatra (Indonesia), and on the Asian mainland in Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand (along the western border and on the Peninsula south to the Malaysian border, and in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in the north), and Myanmar (south of latitude 18°N). Its populations are now highly fragmented within its former range. It was listed as occurring in southern Cambodia and possibly southern Viet Nam by Brooks et al. (1997). It was reported from Hongquan district, eastern Cochin China, Viet Nam, in 1944 (Harper, 1945), and there was an authentic-sounding record from Lao PDR in 1902 (Duckworth et al., 1999). It is presumed to be extinct in all three countries. However, further investigation of these historical records and of other indications from Lao, Viet Nam, Cambodia, northern Thailand and even southern China have found none that has any compelling evidence in its support. In some cases (e.g. the 1902 Lao PDR record; Cheminaud 1939), review of the statement in the context of the same author?s wider work means that records sounding, on the face of it, strong need to be dismissed (Duckworth and Hedges 1998, Duckworth et al. 1999, in prep., J. W. Duckworth pers. comm. 2008, G. J. Galbreath pers. comm. 2008). In sum, there is no credible historical-era record from north of the Thai?Malay peninsula, although fossil remains do come from Viet Nam and China and indicate a much wider range under different climatic scenarios. The species?s habitat distribution at the northern edge of its Thai range, where the climate develops a more marked dry season, and the tapir occupancy changes from altitudinally wide-ranging to being restricted to the most humid altitudes, strongly supports a climatic limitation (Steinmetz et al. in press), thereby casting further empirical doubt on the 20th century reports from Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia: these reports showed no association with where, climatically, they ?ought? to have been (Annamite wet areas supporting other Sundaic species like Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi and crested Argus Rheinardia ocellata, and in fact some came from the driest parts of Indochina, least plausible to support tapirs.
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Geographic Range

Tapirus indicus is found in southeast Asia from southern Burma to Thailand and on the Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.

Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )

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Historic Range:
Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand

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Range

Fragmented populations survive throughout the historical range of the Asian tapir in Southeast Asia (10), from southern Myanmar, south-west Thailand, Malaysia, and the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra (1). This species was also found in southern parts of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos (11), but these populations are possibly extinct, with no recent confirmed sightings (6).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Malayan tapirs have a large stocky body with a prominent proboscis. Adults of this species have a dramatic color pattern, with a black front half of body, white sides, and black hind legs. As dramatic as this color pattern seems to our eyes, it camoflages them well in the shady forest, especially in nights when the moon is out. Eyes are oval and not very mobile. The forefeet have four digits, each of which ends in a hoof. The fourth toe does not touch the ground, so footprints show the imprints of three digits. Hind feet have three digits. This species does not have a mane.

Range mass: 250 to 320 kg.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
T. indicus is restricted to tropical moist forest areas and occurs in both primary and secondary forest. The more seasonal climate in northern Myanmar, northern (= most of non-peninsula)_Thailand, Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia and the harsher dry season of the forest (even in evergreen areas, excepting the eastern flanks and adjacent Viet Namese lowlands of the Annamite chain) there is likely to be the main reason this species is not found there. The Malayan tapir is also predominantly found in the lowlands and the lower montane zone in some parts of the range, although it remains common to the highest peaks in its Thai range (Steinmetz et al. in press). Because the lowland forests are disappearing at a faster rate than the montane forests, an accelerated reduction in range and population is suspected (N. van Strien pers. comm.)

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Found in tropical lowland and highland rainforest where there is a permanent supply of water. They tend to shelter in forests and thickets during the daytime, but come out at night to forage on grasslands or near water.

Terrestrial Biomes: rainforest

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The Asian tapir occupies a variety of forest habitats, including lowland and hill forest, montane cloud forest, alpine scrub and grassy openings, often near a permanent supply of water (10) (11) (12). Both primary and secondary degraded forests are occupied (12) (13).
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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

The Malayan tapir is a vegetarian non-ruminant. The diet consists of grasses, leaves, aquatic plants, and twigs. Salt is well liked by tapirs, which will go out of their way to find it. Foraging is often done on a repeated foraging route, often with their nose to the ground. Often tapirs forage in a zig-zag fashion. The fleshy proboscis is commonly used as a finger to grab almost out-of-reach leaves and grasses and pull them into the mouth. The stomach is simple, and the intestine has a short cecum.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
30.0 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 36.5 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived for 36.5 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

Mating, which occurs in April and May, is characterized by a heated courtship ritual. When sexually excited, tapirs make wheezing and whistling sounds, and attempt to sniff each other's genital regions, often resulting in their going round in circles. They may bite at one anothers ears, feet, and flanks. After a gestation period of at least 390 days, one young is born. At birth, young weigh up to 10 kg, which is the heaviest of any tapir species. The young of this species grows more quickly than those of congenerics. When born, tapirs have a spotted and striped coat rather in contrast to the dramatic black and white pattern seen in the adults. Females have offspring every other year. Sexual maturity is reached at about three years of age, and the lifespan is thought to be about 30 years.

Average birth mass: 6500 g.

Average gestation period: 392 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)

Sex: male:
1095 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
1095 days.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tapirus indicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
A2cd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Lynam, A., Traeholt, C., Martyr, D., Holden, J., Kawanishi, K., van Strien, N.J. & Novarino, W.

Reviewer/s
Shoemaker, A. & Medici, P. (Tapir Specialist Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Endangered due to an ongoing decline estimated from loss of available habitat, fragmentation of remaining habitat and increasingly hunting pressure. Population declines are estimated to be greater than 50% in the past 3 generation (36 years) driven primarily by large scale conversion of lowland tapir habitat to palm oil plantations and other human dominated land-use. The rate of reduction in population is inferred to be proportional to the reduction of the tropical rainforest area in southeast Asia over the same period ? but may be more due to indirect threats. Remaining populations are isolated in existing protected areas and forest fragments, which are discontinuous and offer little ability for genetic exchange for these forest dependant species. This situation is expected to continue at a slightly diminishing rate in the future as non-protected areas, which are available as logging concessions, become less available. Because hunting seems to be increasing for tapir throughout the range ? this could be cause for concern in the future as already reduced and isolated subpopulations would be at great risk for extirpation.

History
  • 2003
    Vulnerable
  • 2003
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 2003)
  • 2002
    Endangered
  • 1996
    Vulnerable
  • 1994
    Endangered
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Endangered
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Endangered
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
  • 1986
    Endangered
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
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Current Listing Status Summary

Status: Endangered
Date Listed: 06/14/1976
Lead Region: Foreign (Region 10) 
Where Listed: Entire


Population detail:

Population location: Entire
Listing status: E

For most current information and documents related to the conservation status and management of Tapirus indicus , see its USFWS Species Profile

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Malayan tapirs are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN and endangered by U.S. Endangered Species Act. They are on Appendix 1 of CITES. Habitat destruction and overhunting are the two main factors contributing to their endangered status. Habitat destruction has mainly been a result of agriculture and and increase in cattle grazing.

US Federal List: endangered

CITES: appendix i

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: endangered

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Status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1), and listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).
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Population

Population
Tapirus indicus occurs in two disjunct and isolated populations - one occurring on mainland Southeast Asia and the other occupying on the island of Sumatra. The species is more widespread and common on the mainland, and it is declining rapidly in Sumatra due to extensive loss of habitat, accidental and deliberate trapping for meat and removal of animals for zoos in Indonesia.

In Malaysia there are approximately 1,500-2,000 individuals (C. Traeholt pers. comm.). Further research efforts are needed to determine the total population size. In Thailand it is one of the least-affected large mammals by recent heavy levels of hunting that have caused severe cross-country declines in many large mammal species (Steinmetz et al. in press).

The situation in Thailand is similar, although with much less habitat available, and the Thai populations are is likely to be quite fragile since it is severely fragmented, and most subpopulations are unlikely to reach more than 50-100 individuals at the most. In many places there are only 10-15 individuals left with no chance of linking up to other protected areas and suitable habitats.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Tapirus indicus is threatened throughout most of its range. The primary threats to the species are large scale deforestation and increasingly, hunting. Tapir population have declined by well over 50% in Thailand and Malaysia, whereas it is suspected to be slightly less than 50% in Sumatra. The main reason for declines in the past is habitat conversion, with large tracts land being converted into palm oil plantations. However, increasingly as other large 'prey" species decline in the area hunters are beginning to look towards tapir as a food source.

Destruction of habitat is the main threat to the species: in central Sumatra much of the remaining habitat is outside of any protected area and uncontrolled illegal logging continues; in Thailand, almost all remaining intact forest now lies within protected areas, with mostly degraded lands outside; in contrast, Myanmar?s protected areas make up 3.2% of land area (data provided by Myanmar Forest Department) and most tapir habitat lies outside these protected areas. In Malaysia forest loss is extremely severe, especially for expanding oil palm plantations.

Tapirus indicus are shy animals and appear to be highly sensitive to forest fragmentation. In Halabala Wildlife Sanctuary on the Thai-Malaysia border, Kaewsirisuk (2001) found that the species does not venture within a few hundred meters of forest-plantation edges. At Khao Sok National Park, tapirs are interior forest species that avoid forest edges (Lynam 1996). Kawanishi (2002), however, found in Taman Negara, the largest national park in Malaysia, that although the human traffic level was heavier in area closer to the park boundary, tapirs showed no edge effects. While forest loss continues in Thailand, forests in protected areas remain relatively stable in size and composition to other countries because of a ban on commercial logging that has been in place since 1989. For this reason, while tapirs may indeed be threatened in general by forest loss, populations in Thailand and Malaysia are probably more stable.

Large-scale habitat destruction has continued in Sumatra, historically the species? main stronghold, and most remaining habitat in central Sumatra is outside protected areas. In Sumatra, populations have declined by slightly less than 50% simply because the onslaught of habitat only started to be serious in the late 1980s. However, the rate of decline is continuing to escalate in this region. In fact Sumatra has only 60% of the forest cover that it had 15 years ago, so things are developing fast there and future declines of the species are likely well over 50% in the next 30 years. Given the uncontrolled illegal logging situation in Sumatra, they are becoming increasingly threatened island-wide. Localized hunting also occurs and is suspected elsewhere in its distribution range. Unless serious efforts to stem illegal logging and forest encroachment are made, all Sumatran forests outside conservation areas will be lost over the next few decades.

In Malaysia the current forestry trend seems to be stabilized at approx. 43% remaining forest cover (57% lost), of which at least half can be considered tapir habitat. In Thailand, 40% of the remaining forest is outside protected areas and only 5% of Myanmar?s land area is protected forest (Lynam pers. comm.).

The species has uncertain status and future in Myanmar due to security issues and forest clearance for rubber and oil palm plantations. However, two new protected areas have been designated in the Tenasserims: Taninthayi National Park and Lenya River Wildlife Sanctuary. If these areas can be protected, they will preserve valuable tapir habitat in the future.

In the past, several Indonesian zoos, especially Pekanbaru, traded in live tapirs for sale to other Indonesian zoos or private collections, or for sale as meat in local markets. Fifty tapirs are reported passing through the Pekanbaru Zoo since 1993. Some of these animals are suspected of having originated from protected areas. Elsewhere, extraction may not be very high but it is uncertain how many individuals are actually hunted every year. Hunting is specifically known to be comparatively (by comparison with other mammals of similar size) very low in Thailand and at least parts of Sumatra (Holden et al. 2003, Stienmetz et al. in press)

There are indications that live tapirs have been traded through several Indonesian zoos, with some destined for private collections or for sale as meat in local markets to the non-Muslim community. Some of these animals are suspected to have originated from protected areas.

Hunting has been a minor threat to Tapirus indicus in the past, but is has been increasingly a cause of concern as more and more hunting of the species is discovered. Some localized hunting has been reported in Sumatra, however, and historically tapirs are not hunted for subsistence or commercial trade in Thailand or Myanmar, since their flesh is considered distasteful. Some hill tribes believe that killing a tapir brings bad luck, so they are not hunted.
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Widely abundant in Southern Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in the early 1930s, Asian tapir populations have since rapidly declined and now survive only as isolated populations in remote or protected areas. Habitat destruction poses the predominant threat, as a result of land being cleared for human settlement and agriculture, and rivers being dammed and land flooded for hydroelectric development (11). In Sumatra, uncontrolled illegal logging still occurs. The tapir population is strongest in Malaysia, where deforestation has greatly declined (1). The Asian tapir is hunted for food and sport (5). Although the flesh of tapirs was previously haram (forbidden) in Muslim areas due to the species' resemblance to pigs (9), very recent reports indicate that Muslims no longer equate the two and thus hunt them for subsistence food (6). In Thailand and Myanmar the meat is considered distasteful and some tribes believe killing a tapir brings bad luck (1). However, a flourishing Asian zoo trade has put a tempting price on the tapir's head, with a single animal fetching up to 6,000 US dollars (9). Tapirs also occasionally get caught in steel wire snares which are set for wild pigs (2). The low reproductive rate and fragmented distribution of this species mean that populations have a low rebound potential, and this makes it particularly vulnerable to hunting (14).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
The species is legally protected in all range states and the habitat of large parts of the range is protected, including several National Parks in Thailand, Myanmar, Peninsula Malaysia and Sumatra. The impact of habitat reduction/destruction on the tapir is not fully understood and needs further investigation. It is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Thailand supports one of the most comprehensive systems of protected areas in Southeast Asia. Over 200 National Parks, Marine National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries and Non-hunting areas cover 17% of land area (Prayurasiddhi et al. 1999). Since most existing Tapirus indicus habitat is already protected, the future for conservation of the species in Thailand is quite positive. In contrast, Myanmar?s protected areas make up 5% of land area (Lynam 2003) and most tapir habitat lies outside these protected areas. In Myanmar, Malayan tapirs are entirely restricted to rainforests in the Tenasserim Ranges along the Thai-Myanmar border (Yin, 1993). The tenure of these lands on the Myanmar side of the border is disputed and due to civil unrest, has been inaccessible for wildlife survey until now. A team of Myanmar Forest Department staff working the Tenasserim border during 2001 detected tapirs from camera-traps, track and scat at two sites: the Minmoletka Taung area and the Hitaung Pru Reserve Forest (Lynam 2003).

In Thailand, Tapirus indicus is recorded from forest areas in the west and south of the country (Lekagul and McNeely 1988), including transboundary forest areas in border areas, and large isolated forest remnants. The transboundary forests represent the most extensive, contiguous habitats for large mammals left in the country (Prayurasiddhi et al. 1999). They include the Western Forest Complex (Thai-Myanmar border), which includes 12 protected areas, and covers over 18,730 sq km including both dry and wet forests, and the Kaeng Krachan/Chumpol complex which covers 4,373 sq km, mostly wet evergreen forest on the Thai-Myanmar border. The Balahala Forest is an expanse of 1,850 sq km of tropical rainforest on the Thai-Malaysia border. All areas are contiguous with larger forest areas on opposite sides of the country border. Recent survey efforts (Lynam 1999; Lynam 2000; WCS 2001; Kaewsirisuk 2001; A. Pattanavibool pers. comm.) suggest that tapirs are present though uncommon in each of these transboundary forest areas.
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Conservation

Protective game laws exist in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia, with varying success (11). In Malaysia the Asian tapir has been given total protection since 1955, under the Wild Animals and Birds Ordinance, and law enforcement has generally been effective. The use of steel wire snares has been banned here, with stiff penalties if caught. However, ongoing monitoring of the illegal tapir trade across the range of this species is crucial (2). Asian tapirs can be found in a number of protected areas, including the Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary and the Khao Sok National Park in Thailand, 12 protected areas in the Western Forest Complex along the Thai-Myanmar border (1), and the Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, which contains around 200 individuals (11). However, much of the suitable habitat that remains in Sumatra does not lie within protected areas and a large proportion of the tapir population occurs outside of reserves. Conservation efforts should not, therefore, be restricted to national parks, but should endeavour to involve the cooperation of local people across the species' range (11).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

Tapirs have been known to damage food crops.

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Malayan tapirs are hunted for food and sport in non-Moslem regions of their distribution.

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Wikipedia

Malayan tapir

The Malayan tapir (Tapirus indicus), also called the Asian tapir, is the largest of the five species of tapir and the only one native to Asia.[2] The scientific name refers to the East Indies, the species' natural habitat. In the Malay language, the tapir is commonly referred to as cipan, tenuk or badak tampung.[3]

General appearance and characteristics[edit]

The animal is easily identified by its markings, most notably the light-colored patch which extends from its shoulders to its rear end. The rest of its hair is black, except for the tips of its ears, which, as with other tapirs, are rimmed with white. This pattern is for camouflage; the disrupted coloration makes it more difficult to recognize it as a tapir, and other animals may mistake it for a large rock rather than prey when it is lying down to sleep.[4]

Skeleton
Photo of a Malayan Tapir Skull, on display at the Museum of Osteology

Malayan tapirs grow to between 1.8 and 2.4 m (5 ft 11 in and 7 ft 10 in) in length, not counting a stubby tail of only 5 to 10 cm (2.0 to 3.9 in) in length, and stand 90 to 107 cm (2 ft 11 in to 3 ft 6 in) tall. They typically weigh between 250 and 320 kg (550 and 710 lb), although some adults can weigh up to 540 kg (1,190 lb).[5] The females are usually larger than the males. Like the other types of tapirs, they have small, stubby tails and long, flexible proboscises. They have four toes on each front foot and three toes on each back foot. The Malayan tapir has rather poor eyesight, but excellent hearing and sense of smell.

They have a large sagittal crest, a bone running along the middle of the skull that is necessary for muscle attachment. They also have unusually positioned orbits, an unusually shaped cranium with the frontal bones elevated, and a retracted nasal incision. All of these modifications to the normal mammal skull are, of course, to make room for the proboscis. This proboscis caused retraction of bones and cartilage in the face during the evolution of the tapir, and even caused the loss of some cartilages, facial muscles, and the bony wall of the nasal chamber.

Visual[edit]

Malayan tapirs have very poor eyesight, making them rely greatly on their excellent sense of smell and hearing to go about in their everyday lives. They have small, beady eyes with brown irises on either side of their faces. Their eyes are often covered in a blue haze, which is corneal cloudiness thought to be caused by repetitive exposure to light. Corneal cloudiness is when the cornea starts to lose its transparency. The cornea is necessary for the transmitting and focusing of outside light as it enters the eye, and cloudiness can cause vision loss. This causes the Malayan tapir to have very inadequate vision, both on land and in water, where they spend the majority of their time. Also, as these tapirs are most active at night and since they have poor eyesight, it is harder for them to search for food and avoid predators in the dark.[6] [7]

Brevetianus variation[edit]

A small number of melanistic (all-black) Malayan tapirs have been observed. In 1924, an all-black tapir was sent to Rotterdam Zoo and was classified as a subspecies called Tapirus indicus brevetianus after its discoverer, Captain K. Brevet.[8] In 2000, two melanistic tapirs were observed during a study of tigers in the Jerangau Forest Reserve in Malaysia.[9] The cause of this variation may be a genetic abnormality similar to that of black panthers that appear in populations of spotted jaguars. However, unless and until more T. i. brevetianus individuals can be studied, the precise explanation for the trait will remain unknown.

Lifecycle[edit]

A juvenile tapir, still with dappled markings, asleep

The gestation period of the Malayan tapir is about 390–395 days, after which a single offspring, weighing around 15 pounds (6.8 kg), is born. Malayan tapirs are the largest of the four tapir species at birth and grow more quickly than their congeners.[10] Young tapirs of all species have brown hair with white stripes and spots, a pattern which enables them to hide effectively in the dappled light of the forest. This baby coat fades into adult coloration between four and seven months after birth. Weaning occurs between six and eight months of age, at which time the babies are nearly full-grown, and the animals reach sexual maturity around age three. Breeding typically occurs in April, May or June, and females generally produce one calf every two years. Malayan tapirs can live up to 30 years, both in the wild and in captivity.

Behavior[edit]

Malayan tapirs are primarily solitary creatures, marking out large tracts of land as their territory, though these areas usually overlap with those of other individuals. Tapirs mark out their territories by spraying urine on plants, and they often follow distinct paths which they have bulldozed through the undergrowth.

Exclusively herbivorous, the animal forages for the tender shoots and leaves of more than 115 species of plants (around 30 are particularly preferred), moving slowly through the forest and pausing often to eat and note the scents left behind by other tapirs in the area.[3] However, when threatened or frightened, the tapir can run quickly, despite its considerable bulk, and can also defend itself with its strong jaws and sharp teeth. Malayan tapirs communicate with high-pitched squeaks and whistles. They usually prefer to live near water and often bathe and swim, and they are also able to climb steep slopes. Tapirs are mainly active at night, though they are not exclusively nocturnal. They tend to eat soon after sunset or before sunrise, and they will often nap in the middle of the night. This behavior characterizes them as crepuscular animals.

Habitat, predation, and vulnerability[edit]

Map of Malayan tapir distribution in the wild, data circa 2003

The Malayan tapir was once found throughout the tropical lowland rainforests of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, and Vietnam. However, its numbers have decreased in recent years, and today, like all tapirs, it is in danger of extinction.[1] Because of their size, tapirs have few natural predators, and even reports of killings by tigers are scarce.[11] The main threat to the Malayan tapirs is human activity, including deforestation for agricultural purposes, flooding caused by the damming of rivers for hydroelectric projects, and illegal trade.[12] In Thailand, for instance, capture and sale of a young tapir may be worth US$5500.00.[11] In areas such as Sumatra, where the population is predominantly Muslim, tapirs are seldom hunted for food, as their physical similarity to pigs has made tapir meat a taboo, but in some regions they are hunted for sport or shot accidentally when mistaken for other animals.[13] Protected status in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand, which seeks to curb deliberate killing of tapirs but does not address the issue of habitat loss, has had limited effect in reviving or maintaining the population.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lynam, A., Traeholt, C., Martyr, D., Holden, J., Kawanishi, K., van Strien, N.J. & Novarino, W. (2008). Tapirus indicus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 10 April 2009. Database entry includes justification for why this species is vulnerable
  2. ^ Grubb, P. (2005). "Order Perissodactyla". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 633. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ a b bin Momin Khan, Mohd Khan. "Status and Action Plan of the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)" Tapirs: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan published by IUCN Tapir Specialist Group, 1997, page 1
  4. ^ Woodland Park Zoo Animal Fact Sheet: Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)
  5. ^ Wilson & Burnie, Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK ADULT (2001), ISBN 978-0-7894-7764-4
  6. ^ "Cambridge Journals Online - Abstract". Journals.cambridge.org. 2001-02-27. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  7. ^ "Tapirus terrestris (lowland tapir)". Digimorph. 2002-02-08. Retrieved 2011-01-15. 
  8. ^ Shuker, Dr. Karl P. N. Mysteries of Planet Earth, pages 11-12
  9. ^ Mohd, Azlan J. "Recent Observations of Melanistic Tapirs in Peninsular Malaysia". Tapir Conservation: The Newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group, June 2002, Volume 11, Number 1, pages 27-28
  10. ^ Fahey, B. 1999. "Tapirus indicus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved June 16, 2006.
  11. ^ a b bin Momin Khan, Mohd Khan. "Status and Action Plan of the Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)" Tapirs: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan published by IUCN Tapir Specialist Group, 1997, page 2
  12. ^ Fact sheet on Malayan Tapir - Tapirus indicus, UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, in association with the World Wildlife Foundation
  13. ^ Simon, Tamar. “The Tapir: A Big Unknown” article from Discovery Channel Canadian website, July 22, 1999.
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