Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Species Fact Profile: Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)

Malayan Tapir
Tapirus indicus (Desmarest, 1819)

Range: Southeast Asia, Indonesia
Habitat: Rainforest
Diet: Fruits, Leaves, Grasses, Tubers
Social Grouping: Solitary
Reproduction: Seasonally monogamous, courtship involves chasing and vocalizations, breed May-June, single offspring (rarely twins) produced every other year after a 390-410 day pregnancy, offspring are weaned at 6-8 months, independent by 2 years, and mature by 30 months
Lifespan: 25 Years (Wild), 35 Years (Captivity)
Conservation Status: IUCN Endangered, CITES Appendix I

  • Largest of the world's tapir species: body length 1.8-2.5 meters, height 0.9-1.1 meters, weight 250-540 kilograms; females tend to be considerably larger than the males
  • Prehensile snout formed from the combined nose and upper lip (resembles an elephant’s trunk)
  •  Short black fur with a prominent white “saddle” on the hips; newborns black with white stripes, fading by the age of six months
  •  Very good swimmers, may walk along the bottoms of deep rivers
  • Primarily active at night; have a poor sense of sight, but good senses of smell and hearing
  • Adults have few predators (occasionally tigers and leopards); thicken skin acts as a defensive mechanism, making it harder for predators to get a grip; attacked tapirs while try to crush or scrape off their assailants against a tree
  • Traditionally hunted for meat or as retribution for crop raiding, but face little direct persecution from humans (local Muslims considered their flesh unclean due to tapirs’ resemblance to pigs); primarily threat is loss of habitat due for agricultural purposes
  • The world's only tapir species found outside of the Americas

No comments:

Post a Comment