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TAPIR: One of Endangered Species of Fauna

April 27th : World Tapir Day 

Tapir is been categorized under kingdom of Animalia, phylum of Chordata, class of Mammalia, order of Perissodactyla, superfamily of Tapiroidea, family of Tapiridea and genus of Tapirus.

In fact, there are nine species of Tapir which is five of them have been extinct for a long time ago. 

The four genus remain exist:
1) Tapirus indicus (Malayan tapir)
2) Tapirus bairdii (Baurd's tapir)
3) Tapirus terrestris (Brazilian tapir) 
4) Tapirus pinchaque (Mountain tapir)

The genus that extinct are:
1) Tapirus californicus 
2) Tapirus copei 
3) Tapirus merriami 
4) Tapirus polkensis 
5) Tapirus veroensis

1.  Tapirus bairdii (Baird’s tapir)

The size of this species can up to 1.5m (±5ft) long and weight of 250kg (±550 pounds). It has thick and tough skin, particularly on its hindquarters. The species eats the twigs and growing tips of vegetation, a large number of fruits, and aquatic vegetation. Its coat is dark red-brown to black and have white ear fringes. Its calve has coat of brown with white-striped on its body. Baird’s tapir is classified as endangered species. They are also known as danta (Spanish), mountain cow (Belize) and macho del monte (Columbia and Costa Rica).


2.  Tapirus terrestris (Brazilian tapir or Lowland tapir)

Brazilian tapir can grow up to 1.8m (±6ft) long and weight of 225kg (±550 pounds). They are in size of pony and produce galloping sound when running. The special appearance is the large stiff mane from its shoulder to forehead. They have large teeth that help to grinding seeds and plants. This species is active during night and being passive during day to rest. Its coat is dark to black on its back and lighter on the underside. Its calve has coat of lighter color with white-striped pattern on its body. Brazilian tapir is listed as vulnerable species. They also knew as danta (Spanish), anta (Brazil), maypouri (Quichua), danta de tierras bajas o amazónica (Spanish), sachavaca and huagra (Peru), and gran bestia (Columbia and Ecuador).

3.  Tapirus indicus (Malayan tapir)

Malayan tapir can grow up to 1.8m (±6ft) long and weight of 350kg (±720 pounds). They are the biggest and oldest species of Tapir that remain exist. As the Baird’s tapir, it also has thick and tough skin, particularly on its hindquarters. It has a vicious bite. Malayan tapir are has dark-black coat with a white and saddle-marking on its back. It calve has coat of dark-black color with white-striped pattern on its body. This species is classified as endangered species. They also knew as Asian tapir, badak (Malaysia and Indonesia) and som-set (Thailand).


4 . Tapirus pinchaque (Mountain tapir)

Mountain tapir can grow up to 1.8m (±6ft) long and weight of between 150kg to 250kg (±450 pound to ±550 pounds). They are the smallest and furriest from other species of tapir. They are eating a large quantity of fruits and plants; which most preferred the plants from the genus Lupinus, Gynoxys, Gunnera sp., Oreopanax and Chusques sp. They are nocturnal and active during low temperature. This species is classified as endangered species. Mountain tapir has brownish to black coat with long hair, and a white line around the lips. Their calve has brown coat with white-striped pattern on its body. They also knew as Tapir de montaña, danta conga, danta de páramo and danta lanuda.

General Appearances and Characteristics
In general, Tapir is similar in shape to a pig; with have a short and prehensile snout or trunk. It is uses to grab any branches, to clean them from leaves and help to pluck the fruits.

Size of tapir is depends on the type of species. Most of the tapirs are 2m (±7ft) long and can stand about 1m (±3ft) at the shoulder. Their weight can reach between 130kg to 300 kg (±330-700 lb).

They have a short coat, an oval and white tipped-ears, rounded and protruding rumps with a stubby tail. They have hooves toes, which four toes on front feet, and three toes on the hind feet.

They are range in reddish-brown to nearly black in color. Notes that, Malayan tapir are has a white and saddle-marking on its back. Mountain tapir have special future which is longer and wooly fur on its back.  They are communicating by a range of whistle of different pitch and duration.

       Even though they are densely built, tapirs spend most of their time in water; submerge and cool off. They are also wallow in mud to cool off and being free insects.

Tapir are herbivore. Their diet’s consist of fruits, berries and leaves; particularly young and tender ones. Tapir are largely nocturnal, which is active during night. Yet, Mountain tapir is active during day.

Tapir can reach maturity at ages between three to five years. Females are reach maturity early than male. A healthy female tapir can reproduce every two years, which an offspring is born after 13 month of gestation. The average lifespan of tapir is between 25 to 30 years.

Every species of tapir can be found in different region. Most of the tapir can be found in Western, especially in America’s forest and in Asia.

*Collect from my assigment with tittle Endangered Species of Fauna: Tapir for FHP 3111 (Forest Ecology) in 2013.