About the Tapir Specialist
The Tapir Specialist Group,
a unit of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, strives to conserve
biological diversity by stimulating, developing, and executing practical
programs to study, save, restore, and manage the four species of tapir
and their remaining habitats in Central and South America and Southeast
Asia. Our strategies:
a.) Frequent review, status
determination, and publicizing of tapirs and their needs;
b.) Promoting and supporting research, and distributing
c.) Promoting the implementation of conservation
and management programs by appropriate organizations and governments;
d.) Establishing strong and
effective relationships among tapir conservationists to stimulate
communication and cooperation.
Tapir Specialist Group and Its
The IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) is a scientific organization
founded in 1980 as one of the 120 Specialist Groups of the International
Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission
(SSC). See more about
the SSC and IUCN.
The TSG and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums
(AZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), the main organizers of the
Second International Tapir Symposium, together with the European
Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) Tapir Taxon Advisory Group
(TAG) and the Tapir Preservation Fund (TPF), are the key groups
working on developing and implementing tapir research, conservation
and management programs. An important aspect of the mission of these
four groups is to contribute to the development of a coordinated
international conservation strategy for tapirs.
Tapir Specialist Group
members at 2005 Bairds Tapir Population Viabilitiy Assessment
in Belize, August 2005
Who Is TSG?
TSG has over 140 members, including field researchers,
educators, veterinarians, governmental agencies and NGO representatives,
zoo personnel, university professors and students, from 28 countries
worldwide (Argentina, Australia, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada,
Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana,
Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Taiwan, Thailand,
The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States, and Venezuela).
All members are directly or indirectly involved in tapir field research
and/or captive breeding in their respective regions. Over fifty
percent of our members hail from developing countries. Download
our complete membership directory.
TSG operates on a 100% volunteer basis. None of our members are
paid by TSG for their tireless work on behalf of tapirs. In 2003
we established the Tapir Specialist
Group Conservation Fund to raise funds to support the implementation
of the recommendations of the IUCN/SSC Tapir
Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan. The fund supports
such activities such as creating educational and marketing materials
for in-situ and ex-situ education initiatives, giving small grants
to tapir researchers to sustain their projects, and supporting vital
meetings such as the International Tapir Symposiums where tapir
researchers can come together in person to share information, strategize
and plan for tapir conservation.
Where is TSG Located?
TSG’s world headquarters are located in Brazil.
Almost all our communication is conducted via e-mail. E-mails may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to help fund TSG’s work go to our US institutional sponsor, the Houston Zoo. We are grateful to the Houston Zoo, Inc, a 501(c)3 organization, for sponsoring our non-profit fund.
Find out more about donating to the Tapir Specialist Group
Symposium--a Vital Connection Among Tapir Researchers
The First International Tapir Symposium was held in November 2001,
in Costa Rica, and attracted 95 participants from 22 countries,
proving to be a major boost for tapir conservation. Never before
has there been so many tapir experts and conservationists, key players
in the development of tapir conservation programs, assembled under
one roof to share knowledge and address the challenges ahead for
tapir species. Specific topics discussed during the First Symposium
were field research, veterinary issues, population management, husbandry,
fundraising, marketing, education, and tapir bio-politics.
Tapir Specialist Group
Members at 2004 International Tapir Symposium in Panama
In all, 48 papers and 9 posters were presented.
The last session of the First Symposium consisted of an action-planning
workshop and participants developed a list of goals and actions for
the future, most of them related to the structure of the TSG, internal
and external group communication, fundraising, and the urgent need
to review the first edition of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Status Survey and
Conservation Action Plan (1997). Several different task forces were
formed and assigned specific responsibilities, and since then, the
TSG has been growing stronger and improving its structure and effectiveness
in many different ways. See reports from the International Tapir Symposia.