Malayan tapir (otherwise known as Asian tapir) is the only living species of Old World tapir. There are only 4 tapir species around the globe, and this animal is the largest of them. Meanwhile, the Asian tapir is the most evolutionarily distinct tapir in the world. This mammal is very shy by nature, hiding from human disturbance in interior areas of its forest habitat. Hence, the animal is difficult to come across in the wild. Along with other tapir species, it exhibits an elongated, fleshy, and prehensile nose, which is able to grasp objects such as leaves and "handle" them into the mouth. The Malayan tapir has a highly-developed sense of smell. This animal is an odd-toed ungulate (the latter word literally means "having hooves"), displaying three toes on each of its hind feet. The Malayan Tapir has distinctive black and white coloration.
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
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...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching. Precocial species are normall...
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...
Zoochory animals are those that can disperse plant seeds in several ways. Seeds can be transported on the outside of vertebrate animals (mostly mam...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
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...
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.
BlBlack And White Animals
The natural range of this species is now heavily fragmented, occupying parts of south-eastern Asia, from southern Myanmar to south-western Thailand, Malaysia as well as from the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra. Within this territory, Malayan tapirs occur in a wide range of habitats from lowland and hill forests and montane cloud forests to alpine scrubland and grassy openings. They inhabit primary and secondary degraded forests with a constant source of water.
Malayan tapirs are commonly considered nocturnal creatures, resting by day and being active by night. However, those in undisturbed forests tend to lead a crepuscular lifestyle. Tapirs in the wild generally prefer living solitarily but may gather in groups when food supplies are scarce. Asian tapirs are very agile creatures. They are fast runners and accomplished climbers, easily getting over steep terrains. These unique animals display amazing swimming and diving abilities, walking deep along the bottom of rivers. They are capable of remaining submerged for up to 90 seconds. The communication system of tapirs includes vocalizations such as whistles, clicks, and hiccup-like calls. They typically use these sounds when mating, threatened, or in pain as well as to settle down conflicts. In addition, certain calls serve as warning signals, addressed to community members.
Malayan tapirs have a herbivorous (frugivorous (fruit-based), folivorous (leaf-based), and lignivorous (wood-based)) diet. Typical types of food are leaves, buds, growing twigs, tree bark, herbs, low-growing succulents, shrubs, fruits, club moss, grass, tubers as well as aquatic vegetation.
Malayan tapirs exhibit a monogamous mating system, where each individual has only one mate during the reproductive season, which occurs in May-June. Females yield a single calf (rarely twins) every 2 years, after 390 - 410 days of gestation. Malayan tapirs grow very quickly! Thus, if the newborn baby is healthy, it will be able to stand during the first 1-2 hours of its life. The mother begins to suckle its young within 2-5 hours at birth. At about 2 weeks old, the calf starts taking solid food. By 3 weeks old, the young tapir is ready to swim. Weaning occurs at 6-8 months old, although calves continue living near their mothers until 1 year old. Young tapirs are able to reproduce at about 3 years old.
Asian tapirs currently suffer from large-scale habitat loss, as a result of various human activities, including agricultural development, cattle grazing, and logging. On the other hand, hydroelectric projects often cause flooding within the natural range of this species. Malayan tapirs attract hunters for their meat as well as for sport. The thick and rough skin of these mammals serves as material for bridles and whips. Further, Malayan tapirs are sometimes captured in steel wire snares, intended to catch wild pigs. And finally, all the above-mentioned factors are compounded by a very low birth rate and heavily fragmented range. As a result, isolated populations are unable to recover losses and are exposed to hunting.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Malayan tapirs’ total population. According to the IUCN Red List, there are less than 400-500 adult individuals in Sumatra; less than 250 adult individuals in Thailand/Myanmar (around 50-100 of which occur in Thailand); approximately 1,300-1,700 individuals in Malaysia. Overall, Malayan tapirs are currently classified as Endangered (EN) and their numbers continue to decrease.
Due to their frugivorous diet, Malayan tapirs act as important seed dispersers of numerous fruit-bearing plants they consume. Additionally, they disperse certain plant communities.