MNS Celebrates World Tapir Day

This information was gathered and published by MESYM from this source.

World Tapir Day was established to raise awareness about the four species of tapir that inhabit Central and South America and South-East Asia. Each of the four species is in decline, with the Mountain Tapir facing extinction within the next twenty years, should conservation efforts not be introduced in its ever-shrinking natural range in Colombia and Ecuador. The Baird’s Tapir, the largest mammal of the Americas, is facing a similar threat in its home range in Central America. Across the Pacific Ocean, the Malayan Tapir faces severe threats in Indonesia and other countries due to habitat destruction. Even the Brazilian Tapir, the most numerous species of tapir, is vulnerable because of the increasing rate of destruction of the Amazon. There may even be a fifth, distinct subspecies of Brazilian Tapir, but there is little research in this area to date.

As large herbivores, tapirs are invariably the first species affected by human encroachment into their territory, and amongst the last to return to regrowth forest. They require substantial tracts of undisturbed land to maintain a genetically-diverse population. Tapirs inhabit jungles, grasslands, swamps and cloud forests, yet each is threatened by human activity – be that mining, palm oil plantations, roads or settlements. They form an important part of the ecosystem as seed dispersers, and form one of the oldest surviving genera in the animal kingdom.

Despite their size, history and ecological importance, tapirs remain one of the least recognised species of animals. In comparison with other animals, tapirs feature little in the collective consciousness and are frequently misidentified by zoo visitors. Even in their home ranges, tapirs receive little attention, with exotic species featuring more prominently in zoos, children’s books and the media.

The plight of tapirs is symbolic for the wider threat to their habitats specifically, and the world’s ecology in general. The decline of tapir populations is indicative of the general health of their ranges; their disappearance from their home ranges often marks a point of ‘no return’ for the natural environment. The destruction of forests into small, isolated enclaves and the encroachment of human activity into pristine forests affects all native species. However, as the largest – yet perhaps the quietest – of animals in their ranges, tapirs disappear without trace with countless other species.

For Malaysia, for the first time ever, MNS has taken the lead in celebrating the Tapir as a public event. WTD will be organised on 27th April 2013 at Taman Negara -Kuala Tahan. This event will be led by Malaysia Nature Society (MNS), in collaboration with Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), PERHILITAN, Universiti Putra Malaysia and Mutiara Resort Taman Negara.

WTD will be targeting to have over 150 participants that come from four schools over Malaysia and public. This event’s main objective is to raise the awareness and conservation to our Malayan Tapir as an important Malaysia icon especially in Peninsula Malaysia.

The main activities of WTD is a day-long public event (27th April) filled with talks, guided walks, exhibition, coloring competition, musical performance and even an astronomy session for the public and another day is an overnight camp for local students. For public event, it will be conducted on that 27th April 2013 and the overnight camp will be on 27th & 28th April for 50 local students, taking part in an education camp conducted by UPM.

Request More Information

1) Email:    Tel: 603-22879422 (Communications).
Click here to go to the event page on Facebook for more updated information.

2) For accommodation information and booking:
Mutiara Taman Negara Resort:
Kuala Tahan, 27000 Jerantut, Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia
T: +6092663500 / +609 266 2200      F: +609 266 1500 / +609 266 2501
Click here to go to the resort’s official website

3) Information on how to get to Taman Negara, please click here

4) For Android phone users, download the GCode app and search for Tapir*MNS@TamanNegara to automatically connect your phone GPS to guide you to Taman Negara. For help, watch the GCode Tutorial Video here


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