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Tapirs (extant/living species; Tapirus spp.) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

  • Populations of all species are decreasing.
  • Best estimates, as of Feb 2019

Conservation Status

IUCN Status

 CITES Status

  • T. bairdii - Baird's Tapir - Appendix I (UNEP 2019a)
  • T. indicus - Malay Tapir - Appendix I (UNEP 2019b)
  • T. pinchaque - Mountain Tapir - Appendix I (UNEP 2019c)
  • T. terrestris - Lowland Tapir - Appendix II (UNEP 2019d)

Endangered Species Act


Threats to Survival

  • Poaching—humans are chief predators (hunt with dogs)
  • Land clearing for agriculture
  • Giant anacondas and crocodiles attack and swallow whole
  • Low reproductive rate (13 month gestation with single offspring which spends 2 years with mother)
  • High infant mortality due to tigers in Asia, jaguars and pumas in Mesoamerica and South America

Unique Among Tapirs

Malayan tapir sniffing ground

Only 2,500 of the striking black-and-white Malay tapir remain—it is the only tapir species found in Asia.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

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