Life cycle of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in the central Colombian Andes
Andes, Colombia, danta, montane forest, mountain tapir, paramo, tapir, tapir de montana, tapir de paramo, Tapirus pinchaque plant Tapir Bibliography
We studied the mountain tapir Tapirus pinchaque in the Parque Natural Regional Ucumari and Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados in the Central Cordillera of the Andes of Colombia. Direct and indirect observations as well as interviews with local people (11 families), were used to gather information. In approximately 40 km of tapir-trails in the Valle de los Venados region, foot prints of Tapirus pinchaque indicated a single family composed of a female (17 cm), male (16 cm), subadult (14 cm) and infant (6 cm). Along the tapir-trails there were three eating grounds (tree fall gaps in different succesional stages), five sleeping places (four inside the root systems of a large tree and one inside a Chusquea thicket), five scratching places and three sites with accumulation of feces. Tapirus pinchaque is a large herbivore chat eats between 23 and 46 plant species and uses salt licks. Currently there are records of 32 Tapirus pinchaque in Colombia, with 24 along the Central Cordillera, where the habitats of the mountain tapir (upper montane rain forest [2500-3200 m] and paramo vegetation [>3200 m]) are most threatened by deforestation. The effective protection of these habitats within the limits of the Parks is the first step toward the conservation of this rare and large mammal in danger of extinction.