Endangered animal Tapir A tapir is a large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short, prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. There are four species of Tapirs: the Brazilian Tapir, the Malayan Tapir, Baird’s Tapir and the Mountain Tapir. All four species of tapir are classified as endangered or vulnerable. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulates, including horses and rhinoceroses. English name:Malayan Tapir Perissodactyla, Tapiridae Tapirus Indicus
The Malayan Tapir has a special black and white pattern. They are good swimmers, and live in forests where there is water. But the forests have become smaller and smaller, and the Malayan tapirs are in trouble. Size and weight Body length: 180-250cm Tail length: 5-10cm Weight: 250-540kg Where they live They live around water in forests in South-East Asia. What they eat Malayan tapir eat grass and nuts, water plants, and fruits. They put food in their mouths using their noses, just like an elephant. Young Malayan tapirs have length-wise stripes.
The pattern looks the same as young wild boars. It makes them very hard to see in the dark, or around trees. A black and white pattern that hides them from enemies Malayan Tapirs have black and white sections like the Giant Panda. You’d think it would make them stand out, but tigers and other predators have a hard time finding them. Malayan Tapirs go out at night, so predators can only see the white parts of them. Predators can’t see their shape. They look relaxed, but can run away very quickly if in trouble. If they see a redator, they quickly hide under water. The forests are disappearing… Malayan Tapirs are skilled swimmers that live in forests where there is water. The forests are disappearing. Living in small numbers in small forests, it’s hard to find food. They’re also have trouble on finding mates. Their numbers are becoming smaller. Out of all tapirs, Malayan Tapirs are the closest to extinction. Tapirs are related to horses and rhinos, not to pigs. There are four species, three of which are found in Central and South America. Tapirs can weigh up to 300 kg.
The Malayan tapir is the largest of the species and is distinguished by its unusual coloration. The rear half of the body above the legs is white. All young tapirs are born, however, with a pattern of dots and stripes on their body which makes them appear, in the words of one zoologist, like “watermelons with legs. ” As they get older, these markings gradually fade away to be replaced by the permanent colours. Shy and solitary by nature, tapirs are often hunted in their native countries for their hide, which is tough and leathery.
In some parts of Asia, tapir meat is sold in the shops, although it is said to be less than tasty, with a high fat content. The New World species seem to be headed toward extinction as the advance of civilization destroys their environment and as native people hunt them, sometimes just for sport. The Malayan species does not, for the time being at least, appear to be endangered. Now legally protected, the species nevertheless continues to be the target of poachers due to lax enforcement. Tapirs are found in small groups in the tropical rain forests of Malaysia and Central America.
They are short-legged and heavy-bodied with small eyes, rounded ears and small trunks protruding over their mouths. Their body hair are often short and usually sparse. The main source of food is grass and shrubs as well as certain roots. The central American tapirs are plain grey or brown in colour, but the Malaysian tapirs have a distinct black and white pattern. The heads, shoulders and legs are black while the rumps, backs and bellies are white. The young are completely different from their parents, with a dark brown colour and streaked as well as spotted with yellowish white.
Tapirs are shy and often travel near water. When they are disturbed, they will crash wildly through the undergrowth and hide in the water. Tapirs are easy prey as they do not run fast and do not have special defences, therefore easily become victims to carnivorous animals and hunters. Their habitat, the rain forests are also depleting quickly destroyed by human activities, leading even more to their decline. Conservation-There are a number of conservation projects around the world.
The Tapir Specialist Group, a unit of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, strives to conserve biological diversity by stimulating, developing, and executing practical programs to study, save, restore, and manage the four species of tapir and their remaining habitats in Central and South America and Southeast Asia. 27 April 2008, was World Tapir Day. The day has been established to raise awareness about the four species of tapir that inhabit Central and South America and South-East Asia. Lack of genetic diversity in tapir populations has become a major source of concern for conservationists.
Habitat loss has isolated already small populations of wild tapirs, putting each group in greater danger of dying out completely. Even in zoos, genetic diversity is limited; all captive mountain tapirs, for example, are descended from only two founder individuals Attacks on humans-Tapirs are generally shy, but when they are scared they can defend themselves with their very powerful jaws. In 1998, a zookeeper in Oklahoma City was mauled and had an arm severed after opening the door to a female tapir’s enclosure to push food inside. (The tapir’s 2-month-old baby also occupied the cage at the time.