Lowland Tapir

The lowland tapir (Tapirus terrestris) is of the Tapiridae family, it has a large stiff mane or crest that goes from the shoulder to the forehead. The main habitat of this species are the areas of temporary flooding and frequently visit the salting grounds. The tapir has large teeth, ideal for crushing plants and seeds. It has a prehensile trunk or snout, which they use to reach the leaves and fruits. It is one of the most important seed dispersers of the Amazonian forests. His vision is generally poor, while his sense of smell is acute. The tapir is mainly nocturnal, but is often active during the day (Tirira, 2017). It is a solitary animal, except for females with offspring or during the mating season. Lowland tapirs can be aggressive in defense of their babies or when captured in the wild.


The tapir is classified as Endangered (EN), according to the Red List of Ecuador, and as a Vulnerable species (VU) within the IUCN Red List. It faces many threats, of which the largest are illegal hunting for human consumption, loss of habitat, and competition with livestock.

Ref: Tirira, D. G. 2017. Guía de campo de los mamíferos del Ecuador2a. edición. Asociación Ecuatoriana de Mastozoología y Editorial Murciélago Blanco. Publicación especial sobre los mamíferos del Ecuador 11. Quito.