Since 1996, the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI) team has been fighting to mitigate threats to tapirs on several different fronts including: research, environmental education, outreach, capacity building, and the development and implementation of conservation strategies for tapirs and their habitats in Brazil and elsewhere.
They are bringing you some updates on the progress of their project “Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI): Tapirs And The City,” which they have been running since 2021, in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil.
Last year, LTCI focused on gathering information about tapir sightings in the urban perimeter of the city, to start planning and thinking about the logistics needed to capture and monitor the animals. They compiled all the media articles we could find about tapir sightings in the city and established a social media campaign to publicize the project and request information from the local population. They also created a WhatsApp group with more than 65 participants (still growing) and these people have been sending them reports about tapir sightings in different locations. In addition, they had great exposure in the local media, which was extremely useful for publicizing their activities in the city.
They have already participated in some meetings with different stakeholders to align our objectives and strengthen possible partnerships, including managers and employees of Conservation Units, municipal parks, animal rehabilitation centers, and environmental military police. Now, they are organizing some actions in the city, such as lectures and environmental education activities, focused on different audiences, to disseminate the importance of tapir conservation.
So far, they have recorded more than 200 sightings of tapirs in Campo Grande. Based on this information, they mapped tapir records and selected the main hotspots. Their team also visited these sites to explore the area and they found many tapir's signs. At the same time, they started monitoring three regions of the city with camera-traps, to carry out an initial assessment of the number of individuals. So far, they have already obtained 70 events of different individuals, including reproductive pairs and females with calves.
Their first capture expedition is scheduled for this month, between the 18th and 25th of July (eight days of fieldwork). They are optimistic and confident.