Species IUCN Status
The Baird’s tapir lives in small family groups and spends large portions of time in and around streams and rivers. While maintaining regular walking paths through its habitat, the Baird’s tapir primarily eats leaves, seeds, and young plants. Tapirs are noted for their long, 13-month gestation periods. Once born, a young tapir will stay with its mother for up to two years. The historical habitat of the Baird’s tapir extended through southern Meixco, Belize (where the tapir is the national animal), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and north-western Colombia. Currently an endangered species, it is now missing from large areas of the region due to habitat loss and fragmentation, and has been lost in significant numbers due to hunting and poaching. A docile creature, it is also a key prey species for many apex predators including the jaguar.