Record Details

Wallace, Robert;Ayala, Guido;Viscarra, Maria
Lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) distribution, activity patterns and relative abundance in the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape
Integrative Zoology
Journal Article
Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Amazon;Bolivia;camera trapping;Peru;population stronghold
Lowland tapir distribution is described in northwestern Bolivia and southeastern Peru within the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape, a priority Tapir Conservation Unit, using 1255 distribution points derived from camera trapping efforts, field research and interviews with park guards from 5 national protected areas and hunters from 19 local communities. A total of 392 independent camera trapping events from 14 camera trap surveys at 11 sites demonstrated the nocturnal and crepuscular activity patterns (86%) of the lowland tapir and provide 3 indices of relative abundance for spatial and temporal comparison. Capture rates for lowland tapirs were not significantly different between camera trapping stations placed on river beaches versus those placed in the forest. Lowland tapir capture rates were significantly higher in the national protected areas of the region versus indigenous territories and unprotected portions of the landscape. Capture rates through time suggested that lowland tapir populations are recovering within the Tuichi Valley, an area currently dedicated towards ecotourism activities, following the creation (1995) and subsequent implementation (1997) of the Madidi National Park in Bolivia. Based on our distributional data and published conservative estimates of population density, we calculated that this transboundary landscape holds an overall lowland tapir population of between 14 540 and 36 351 individuals, of which at least 24.3% are under protection from national and municipal parks. As such, the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape should be considered a lowland tapir population stronghold and priority conservation efforts are discussed in order to maintain this population.