Tapir health and conservation medicine

Authors

  • Paulo Rogerio MANGINI,

    1. Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, IPÊ–Institute for Ecological Research, Nazaré Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Brazilian Institute for Conservation Medicine–TRÍADE, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
    3. UCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), Gland, Switzerland
    4. IUCN/SSC Wildlife Health Specialist Group (WHSG), New York, NY, USA
    5. IUCN/SSC Peccary Specialist Group (PSG), Gland, Switzerland
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  • Emilia Patrícia MEDICI,

    1. Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, IPÊ–Institute for Ecological Research, Nazaré Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. UCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), Gland, Switzerland
    3. Escola Superior de Conservação Ambiental e Sustentabilidade (ESCAS/IPÊ), Nazaré Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
    4. IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG), Brazil Network, Campo Grande, Brazil
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  • Renata Carolina FERNANDES-SANTOS

    1. Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, IPÊ–Institute for Ecological Research, Nazaré Paulista, São Paulo, Brazil
    2. Brazilian Institute for Conservation Medicine–TRÍADE, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
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Correspondence: Paulo Rogerio Mangini, IPÊ–Institute for Ecological Research, Caixa Postal 47, Nazaré Paulista, São Paulo CEP: 12960-000, Brazil. Email: pmangini@ipe.org.br; paulomangini@triade.org.br

Abstract

Tapirs have unique nutritional needs, as well as anatomical, physiological, behavioral and ecological adaptations that must be considered when managing their health, both in the wild and in captivity. Information about how tapirs live in their natural habitats can provide crucial knowledge to prevent many of the health problems found in captivity such as infectious and parasitic diseases, reproductive issues and nutritional and behavioral disorders. Likewise, proper management in captivity can significantly contribute to in situ conservation programs. Conservation medicine is a science created to address the global health crisis that jeopardizes biodiversity causing imbalances among ecosystem, human, animal and vegetal health. In this context, common threats to tapir health and conservation, such as isolated and small populations surrounded by human activity, chemical pollution, domestic animals and their pathogenic agents, need to be better understood. This manuscript provides information about the health of tapirs both in captivity and in the wild and aims to encourage tapir conservationists worldwide to gather information about pathogen and disease dynamics and manifestation, as well as implications for tapir conservation.

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