The mountain tapir is unique among its fellow tapir species in that it inhabits high-altitude cloud forests in the Andes instead of tropical rainforests. They have a thick wooly coat to adapt to freezing temperatures and can be easily distinguished by a white band around their lips.
These herbivores are most active during dawn and dusk, spending the remaining hours resting in dense vegetation, water, or mud. They live in pairs or small family units, with a higher density of such units found near salt licks. They are a keystone species in their habitat due to their significant role as seed dispersers of some plants found in the Andes.
Less than 2,500 individuals are estimated to live in the wild, threatened by significant habitat destruction, poaching for meat and medicinal purposes, and the introduction of various diseases carried by livestock.
Did you know?
- Their natural predators are only the jaguars.
- Footprints were found up to 4,700 m (15,700 ft).
- Unlike other tapirs, they have a long coat, keeping them warn in cold climate.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No