The BTSA is a regional umbrella organization of country programs with context specific designs and country-specific partners, spanning the entire distribution range of the Baird’s tapir, and which all work on a common mission.
We create strategic partnerships with key allies, especially governments, indigenous leaders and other wildlife organisations, to achieve our goal.
Our regional and local applied conservation projects address the main threats to tapirs:
o Habitat loss and fragmentation
o Global climate change
o Road development
Addressing The Poaching Threat
Wildlife poaching is a major issue in Latin America but its impact on the Baird’s tapir population was unclear. The BTSA sought to evaluate the effects of hunting on the Baird’s tapir across its range, understand the causes underlying the problem, and develop conservation strategies together with local actors to decrease this rampant threat. Find out more here
ENLACE STORY MAP.
Raise Tapir Awareness Through Education
Educating about the key role tapirs play in the ecosystem helps increase awareness towards tapir conservation, especially in rural areas near tapir habitats. Children as well as adults develop a sense of pride when they realise they have tapirs as neighbours! Hence, we implement various education programs including Tapir Tracks, Salvadantas (‘save the tapir’ in spanish), and material created by the CECON-USAC to teach about tapirs.
Across the region, the BTSA helps indigenous and local communities to improve their capacity to patrol and defend their territories and community forests. This includes the implementation of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) in Nicaragua’s Indio Maíz Biological Reserve and Panama’s Darién National Park, in collaboration with the local competent authorities.
Towards a better coexistence with tapirs
Improving the co-existence between people and tapirs is also important, especially in Nicaragua and Costa Rica where tapirs tend to raid crops resulting in economic loss for small-scale farmers. A successful strategy includes the development of eco-tourism.
Ecology of tapirs
Conservation goes hand in hand with science. Despite being a massive animal, much needs to be uncovered about the natural history life of Baird’s tapirs. We use camera traps and GPS-telemetry to study the behaviour and ecology of tapirs. We are particularly interested in their habitat use, home range, movement pattern, interactions with other individuals, population trend, so we can ultimately monitor their conservation status throughout the region.