The Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) was categorized as Vulnerable both nationally and internationally, due to the reduction of its populations. The main causes of its decline are hunting, loss and degradation of habitats, population fragmentation, interaction with livestock and effects of linear infrastructure (roads and canals), due to the advance of the agricultural frontier and industrial development. Currently, the tapir occupies 41% of the historical range it used to have two centuries ago.
Through this Program, the following is sought:
Carry out cooperative management of individuals with institutions that have individuals of the species under human care and are interested in participating in Ecoparque´s “Tapir Conservation Program”.
Consolidate a breeding stock for the species on Ecoparque´s property.
Contribute tapirs to both in situ and ex situ conservation programs that are currently in operation in the country.
Rescue and rehabilitate tapirs and participate in their subsequent release, whenever possible, in their natural environment throughout the national territory, where such actions are necessary.
Contribute to comprehensive research of the species in areas related to biology, ecology, genetics, reproduction, for ex situ management and in situ conservation.
Use Ecoparque as a platform to raise awareness of the problems that affect the Tapir in Argentina, its ecological and cultural importance for the country, as well as the problems and possibilities of sustainability of the ecosystems where it lives.
Contribute to the National Action Plan for the species so that it can be implemented and can function as a tool to be used by institutions with individuals of the species under human care.
Since the beginning of the Program, work has been done to identify and contact the actors involved both in the maintenance of tapirs under human care and in the conservation of the species in Argentina, in order to share information and begin to diagram a joint collaboration. In this way, cooperative management between different institutions that involves the rescue, reproductive loan, breeding under controlled conditions and release of tapirs is under development. In this way, an attempt will be made to give rise to reproductive events in order to increase the population kept under human care, thus generating an increase in the number of potential individuals to be reintroduced.
Since 2020, four tapirs have temporarily entered Ecoparque, in a joint effort with the Rewilding Argentina Foundation, in order to protect the individuals that are part of the project of released tapirs in Iberá Park (located in Corrientes, Argentina) until a suitable ecosystem where they can be released is found.
In addition, in the month of October 2020, a male Tapir was born on Ecoparque´s property, without the need for medical intervention and in perfect health. Projecting for the near future to carry out the release of the offspring in the natural environment.
Finally, in 2021 a female from Tucuman was translocated to Ecoparque as a reproductive loan to incorporate to the breeding stock of the institution, and thus being able to contribute individuals to both in situ and ex situ conservation programs that are in operation in the Argentine Republic.