Central American tapir, Danta, Anteburro (regions around Oaxaca & Veracruz), Macho de Monte (Costa Rica, Panama & Columbia), Mountain cow (Belize), Central american tapir
The Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii ), also known as the Central American tapir, is a species of tapir native to Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America. It is the largest of the three species of tapir native to the Americas, as well as the largest native land mammal in both Central and South America.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
In zoology, a folivore is a herbivore that specializes in eating leaves. Mature leaves contain a high proportion of hard-to-digest cellulose, less ...
A frugivore is an animal that thrives mostly on raw fruits or succulent fruit-like produce of plants such as roots, shoots, nuts, and seeds. Approx...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
Generally solitary animals are those animals that spend their time separately but will gather at foraging areas or sleep in the same location or sh...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Baird’s tapir is a primitive species, looking like the ancestor of rhinos and horses. The conspicuously long, fleshy and trunk-like nose is one of the most distinguishing characteristics of this animal. The hind feet of this tapir have 3 spread-out toes, while the front feet display 4 toes. It is the largest mammal, native to Central America, where it inhabits tropical forests and grasslands. Baird’s tapirs almost haven't changed during the last 35 million years. This mammal is extremely shy and quiet by nature and is thus difficult to come across in the wild.
The original range of this animal used to cover a large territory across Central America, stretching from south-eastern Mexico to Panama and north-western parts of Colombia. The current range of Baird’s tapirs is very small and fragmented. Ideal habitat for this species is dense tropical jungle, where these animals are typically found near areas with constant water source.
These animals are hard to see in the wild due to their cautious and quiet behavior. Baird’s tapirs can live either solitarily or in social units. Groups of this species are typically small family units. These animals often have overlapping territories. Baird’s tapirs can be active during both day and night. However, they usually prefer spending their daytime hours in forests or thickets, coming out of their shelters only by night, when they browse in forest clearings. These mammals are known to be extremely agile creatures. They are well-adapted to moving through both dense and open environment. Additionally, they are excellent climbers and swimmers, easily getting over steep slopes and bathing diurnally in nearby streams and rivers. When feeling danger, Baird’s tapirs often hide under water. They have specific routes within their home ranges, which they use every day. These tracks are usually scent marked with urine. Communication occurs through scent marks as well as vocalizations such as shrill whistles.
Baird’s tapirs are likely to be monogamous, considering the seasonal stability of their habitat. A male and a female form a lifelong pair. Each of these pairs has its own home range, which is fiercely defended against outsiders. Breeding may occur throughout the year with a peak period, which takes place just before the rainy season. A single calf is born after 390 - 400 days of gestation. The newborn tapir weighs about 9.4 kg on average. During the first 1 - 2 years of its life, the baby lives with its family, members of which travel and sleep together. Hence, the calf is cared for by both parents.
The biggest threat to the population of this endangered species is habitat loss. In fact, Baird's tapirs have already lost much of their original range. Further, these mammals exhibit an extremely low reproductive rate, which is compounded by hunting. They heavily suffer from forest clearing due to various types of development, including cattle ranching. For example, Baird's tapirs have lost nearly all of their forest range in El Salvador. Moreover, it's currently unknown whether these animals still exist in this country.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Baird’s tapir population estimate for mature individuals is thought to be close to 3,000. This includes: 500-600 mature individuals in the Mosquitia area of Honduras and Nicaragua; approximately 600-800 mature individuals in the forest of Indio-Maiz of Costa Rica and Panama; about 1,000-1,500 individuals in the Maya Forest of Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Currently, Baird’s tapirs are classified as Endangered (EN) and their numbers continue to decrease.
In certain parts of their range, Baird’s tapirs serve as key seed dispersers of the plants they consume. Meanwhile, since populations in different habitats use different amounts of fruit, their role varies greatly among specific regions. Additionally, their small overall population and sensitivity to disturbance help to determine the health of Neotropical rainforests.