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A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Geographic Location

In situ projects in South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia; Ex situ projects involving zoos throughout the world.

Focal Species


IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species

Lowland tapir (vulnerable); mountain tapir (endangered); Baird’s tapir (endangered); Malayan tapir (endangered).

About the Project

The IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group is a scientific organization founded in 1980 as one of the 140 Specialist Groups of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC). The SSC serves as the main source of advice to the IUCN and its members on the technical aspects of species conservation. The SSC is responsible for the publication of the IUCN Red List, action plans, newsletters, and policy guidelines. The TSG is a global group dedicated to conserving tapirs and their habitat through strategic action-planning in countries where tapirs live, information sharing, and educational outreach that shows the importance of the tapir to local ecosystems and to the world at large. 

The TSG strives to achieve these goals through the following strategies: 

  1. Frequent review, status determination and publicizing of tapirs and their needs.

  2. Promoting and supporting research.

  3. Promoting the implementation of conservation and management programs by appropriate organizations and governments.

  4. Establishing strong and effective relationships among tapir conservationists to stimulate communication and cooperation.

Currently, the TSG has 140 members from 27 countries worldwide, including field researchers, educators, veterinarians, governmental agencies and NGO representatives, zoo personnel, university professors and students. All members are directly or indirectly involved in tapir field research and/or captive breeding in their respective regions.


Tapirs at Woodland Park Zoo

Look for endangered Malayan tapirs in the zoo’s Tropical Asia zone, where visitors can learn about the conservation challenges in Asia’s forests and discover the wildlife that depend on these habitats.

To learn more:

Read the tapir fact sheet