Record Details

Flesher, K.
Preliminary notes on the conservation status of Baird's tapir Tapirus bairdii in north-eastern Honduras
Journal Article
Baird's tapir colonization front conservation habitat fragmentation Honduras Tapirus bairdii viable populations Tapir Bibliography
Between April and August 1994, three steps were taken to assess the status of Baird's tapir Tapirus bairdii in north-eastern Honduras: (i) forest cover was mapped to estimate the amount of habitat available; (ii) interviews with local people were conducted to determine where the species occurs; and (iii) searches were made for tapir signs in several mountain ranges to corroborate interview information. Local reports and searches indicated that the species occurred in forests throughout the area. Using density estimates of 0.05-0.24 tapirs per sq km, there may be 520-2760 tapirs in the 10,400-11,500 sq km of contiguous rain forest that remains in north-eastern Honduras-a population large enough to have a good chance of long-term; persistence. The main threat to the population is human colonization, which is destroying the forest along the rivers and major streams. This is fragmenting the tapir population into isolated units, which will be increasingly subject to the stochastic events that drive small populations to extinction. Hunting, which along with habitat destruction, is a major contributor to the rapid decline of tapir populations in areas of human colonization, does not appear to pose an immediate threat in the study area. However, population trend data are lacking and the impact of hunting on tapirs remains unassessed.
Article 0030-6053