Mountain tapirs face two problems that threaten their survival: hunting and habitat degradation, so we work to find solutions to those problems in the Colombian Massif.
Our strategy is mainly focused on the participation of local communities in our research work. We train environmental leaders in the use field equipment according to methods that will provide us with data that is used for mountain tapir population management. We work to secure the integrity of mountain tapir habitat and to keep the natural processes that have guaranteed the presence of the species in the region for thousands of years.
In order to reduce the impact of mountain tapir hunting, we establish new mountain tapir monitoring stations where we use infrared cameras operated by local leaders or even by former hunters, so in some way they are changing guns for cameras! As hunters frequently use salt licks to stalk tapirs and hunt them, we try to establish our monitoring stations around those places, so the regular presence of camera operators helps to scare off hunters. At the same time, as salt licks are natural attractors of tapirs, we maximize the records of mountain tapirs inhabiting around the monitoring stations.
The existence of our tapir management area in the Colombian Massif, looks to integrate the efforts of different environmental agencies with a common regional goal, so mountain tapir populations will be managed based on their natural distribution instead of administrative boundaries.