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World Tapir Day 2017

Posted by artworld on April 27, 2017


Tapirs are related to horses and rhinos, but have a pig like body with a prehensile snout. They are found mainly in South America and Sumatra and Malaysia.  There are four species of tapirs, Malayan, South American (or Brazilian/Lowland), Baird's and Mountain tapir. The Malayan Tapir is the most distinct, with its whitish coat, but sadly its population numbers in the wild are declining with less than 2000. They have been on the planet for over tens of millions of years and now they are threatened due to habitat loss, forests being cut for roads and palm oil plantations, logging and settlements.

Tapirs are herbivores, eating leaves and fruits; ecologically they are extremely important to the habitat they live in, as they disperse seeds with their faeces when they are moving around, helping new trees to grow, as their faeces also act like a natural fertilizer.  Tapirs are also prey for the big cats in the forests where they live, like the Sumatran Tiger and jaguars and are able to spend time in water using their snouts like a snorkel, but often fall prey to crocodiles and giant anacondas.

Tapirs are so important to supporting a biodiversity of the environments they inhabit. The species which inhabit the rainforests, play a crucial part to regenerating the life within them and healthy forests mean we can also have oxygen to survive.  Today join us in recognising  the importance of tapirs and the role they play in creating a healthy bio diverse planet.

Some useful links:

 Happy World Tapir Day