The 27th April is World Tapir Day! So here are 12 facts about tapirs…
They are related to horses and rhinos!
You’ll find tapirs in Central and South America and also in South East Asia, in the forests.
Like so many animals, tapirs are becoming rarer as their habitat is destroyed. Our demand for roads and farming are dividing up their habitats so that they are fragmented. So they are vulnerable or endangered, depending on where they are.
Tapirs are also poached too.
Tapirs are umbrella species – protect the tapir, and you’ll also protect lots of other animals as well!
Tapirs are important because they disperse seeds from the fruit they eat as they poo – the seeds are scattered when they head off to a new location to deposit scat. The seeds sprout and grow new trees. The tapirs are thus called “the gardeners of the forest!”
There are several species of Tapir: The mountain tapir, the Malayan tapir, the Lowland Tapir and the Baird’s tapir and the kabomani tapir.
Tapirs have been around for millions of years. It is important to protect them.
They have long snouts.
Tapirs are great swimmers and divers and they can walk at the bottom of the water!
Tapirs are pregnant for 13-14 months. They only produce 1 baby tapir at a time (who looks nothing like an adult!)
Find out about the conservation charities helping tapirs and see how you can help: