Protected by the following WLT project areas:
- The Ecuador Rainforests
- Misiones Rainforest, Argentina;
- Chaco/Pantanal Project, Paraguay;
- Programme for Belize.
Tapirs are huge, dark brown land mammals, with young that are stripy. They prefer to live in woodlands and grasslands with plenty of water and are very good swimmers and divers. They emerge at night to graze and browse on a variety of plants and they particularly like fruits.
Tapirs are very important to the indigenous people and feature in their myths, legends and religions. The Piaroas Indians of South America for example do not kill the tapir, because they believe it to be "a sacred animal in which their ancestors are reincarnated".
Threats and Conservation
Tapirs are found from Venezuela to northern Argentina. They have been hunted for meat and, despite legal protection, this continues in many parts of its range today. Habitat destruction has also lead to local extinctions.