The survival and conservation of the world’s four species of tapir has received a major boost with the recent completion of an updated Tapir Action Plan by the IUCN/SSC Tapir Action Plan. The Plan was completed in Brazil in early 2007 and is comprised of four Population and Habitat Viability Assessments (PHVA), one for each of the world’s four surviving Tapir species.
The tapir is a large mammal found in several South American and South East Asian countries. A herbivore, the tapir plays an important role in many forest ecosystems by acting as a seed disperser, which helps its forest habitats to regenerate.
Currently, the destruction of the tapir’s habitat and poaching pose considerable threats to this important animal with two species currently listed as Endangered and the other two as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. The updated Action Plan will play a critical role in the survival of these species by listing and prioritizing conservation actions for tapirs and their habitats.
The second edition Tapir Action Plan is designed to promote conservation action on numerous levels by providing vital information for a range of players from government decision makers to individuals implementing conservation actions on the ground. In addition, the Action Plan will provide a baseline set of data against which to measure change and monitor progress. It also identifies gaps in species research and policy, thus giving direction for future research.
An Action Plan Implementation Taskforce has been set up to promote the Action Plan throughout all tapir range states. The task force will also be responsible for reviewing and updating the action plan.
Patricia Medici Chair of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group commented ‘ We want this Tapir Action Plan to be a living document which will constantly be reviewed, updated and adapted according to tapir conservation needs identified throughout the years to come’.
As well as the Action Plan itself, a major positive outcome of the work involved in the action plan process has been the creation of a network of professionals and organizations committed to putting the recommendations in to practice. Progress made in implementing the Tapir Action Plan will be evaluated every two years at the International Tapir Symposium.
For more information:
Full report: Tapir Action Plan and individual PHVAs
Tapir Specialist Group website: www.tapirs.org
Chair profile: Paticia Medici