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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Distribution and Body Condition Scores in Wild Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) of Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica

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AUTHORS: Brooke A. Niermann, Northland College; Parker J. Matzinger (deceased), Northland College; Guido S. Rodriguez, Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacion; Erik R. Olson, Northland College

ABSTRACT: Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is an endangered tapir species native to Mexico, and Central and northern South America.  Baird’s tapir numbers are estimated to have declined by 50% over the past 30 years, in part due to habitat loss and hunting throughout its range. Assessing the distribution, density, and health of this species is fundamental to the development of successful conservation strategies. In this study, we assess the distribution, density, and health (body condition) of wild Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) within Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica. We collected data from twenty-one camera stations spaced 1.6 to 3.4 kilometers apart in two arrays for average of 28 days per camera between March and June in 2015. We recorded direct and indirect (track and scat) observations for roughly 470 kilometers and also noted tapir presence during monthly track surveys. We assessed tapir body condition from camera trap images using a previously published protocol. We determined individuals using physical features, distinct scars, and known spacing between camera stations. We compared camera trap data to historical data to assess trends over time and we assessed spatial distribution using both camera trap data and track survey data. Our data suggests that Bairds tapir has likely increased in abundance since 2003. We estimated a minimum known alive of 18 within our ~150 km2 study area. Tapirs overall appeared to be relatively good physical health. This status assessment is be critical for assessing long-term trends in Tapirus bairdii status and the conservation and monitoring efforts necessary for the future. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer

Attendees (4)