Lowland Tapirs

A secretive animal in need of help
Number of Lowland tapirs left in the wild
Population reduction
Areas where they are extinct
The Lowland tapir is also known as the South American tapir because they live in – yes, you guessed it – South America. You’d know a Lowland tapir if you saw one, from their mohican-like mane, and their short trunk which they actually use like a snorkel when swimming!

They are very gentle, docile creatures, who hide in water when threatened. They’re so shy that we actually have no idea how many of them there are in the wild. Not even an estimate! We know that they are rare in some places and may actually be extinct in certain areas. We also know that they are threatened – the species is definitely decreasing in numbers, and they are currently classed as “Vulnerable”. This gentle creature needs our help before population numbers become drastically low.

That’s why we’re working with our partner organisation WildCare Institute to create a perfect home for the Lowland tapir and give them a much needed helping hand.


Habitat loss:

The Lowland tapir can be found across much of South America, but its range is decreasing. They prefer lowland rainforests, but these are disappearing due to deforestation. They can’t really survive in small areas of forest, as they’re quite big, so as forests disappear it’s becoming hard for them to find an ideal habitat.


Lowland tapir are hunted for their meat and hide. Sadly, they are creatures of habit and make paths when walking, which makes it easier for hunters to find them.

Competition with livestock:

Lowland tapir compete with domestic livestock for food and water.

Working with

Lowland Tapirs

Wild Care Institute Atlantic Forest Project

WildLife Foundation has provided funding for a project run by WildCare Institute. We are helping to strengthen a ‘green corridor’ sanctuary to create ‘a safe haven’ for Lowland tapirs in the Misiones province of northern Argentina. The funding will be used to support a series of 18 educational and interactive workshops led by some of Argentina’s leading environmental professionals, including veterinarians, professors, beekeepers, and the Argentinian secretary of family agriculture. As part of the project, the workshops will provide local communities with the skills and knowledge to improve their livelihoods as well as helping local communities treasure wildlife by providing education and alternatives to hunting as well as increasing enforcement measures to improve species survival. The funding will allow the area, of almost 4,000 hectares of land, to be protected, helping to conserve Lowland Tapirs.


Baby Lowland tapirs are very cute. They are born dark brown with pale stripes and spots that provide good camouflage.

Lowland tapir actually belong to the same family as the rhino! They are called odd-toed ungulates as they have four toes on their front feet, and three on their back feet.

Seven Worlds, One Planet

We work with WildCare Institute in the Atlantic Forest in Misiones, Argentina.

Keep up to date with WildLife Foundation

Sign up to keep up to date with us, and our partner organisations. Find out how you can help through fundraising, events and more. You can unsubscribe at any time.
* indicates required