How many lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) are needed in Atlantic Forest fragments to ensure long-term persistence?
Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment
Taylor & Francis
Tapirus terrestris populations are declining due to habitat loss and hunting. Our objective is to estimate the minimum viable population size for tapirs in the Atlantic Forest. A Population Viability Analysis was conducted using VORTEX. Demographic parameters were based on data published in the scientific literature. Demographically and genetically viable populations should have more than 30 and 200 individuals, respectively. Sensitivity analysis suggests that mortality rate, sex ratio and inbreeding depression are important for population persistence. Preserving tapir populations is important to avoid local extinction, preserve intra-specific diversity, maintain evolutionary potential and ensure tapirs play their ecological roles within ecosystems.