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Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Tapir T-shirts Depict all Four Species


The four tapir species have been depicted in beautiful, colorful paintings by Sergio Sandoval of Colombia. You can also get the designs on mugs, mouse pads, and on a high-quality poster-style wall calendar

We are all about protecting tapirs and their vanishing habitats, and what better way to join the effort than by wearing tapirs to show you care? Most people you meet will ask, "What is that?" so you also get a perfect opportunity to help educate people about these important animals and let people know that tapirs help maintain the health of the rainforests and cloud forests in which they live.

Tapir lovers, these designs will make your day or bring a smile to the face of any tapir fan when you give them as a gift. Each design is purchased separately, but you will probably want to collect all four!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Cheshire Tapir at WPZ

Seattle, Washington ~ November 5, 2014
Malayan Tapir at Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle has two viewing windows so you can see both of their Malayan tapirs at one time. The glass makes it possible to get very close to the tapirs, but it also creates some havoc with photos. Here you see the amazing Cheshire Tapir (fade in, fade out like the Cheshire Cat) with raindrops, November leaves, and part of my Natural History Museum sweatshirt. Photo by Sheryl Todd.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Christina Visits the Tapirs at Noah's Ark

Christina Lönnblad with Lowland Tapirs
at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Bristol, England

See the other nine photos of Christina and the tapirs on our Facebook page. Thanks, Christina. It's nice to meet you and these friendly tapirs in photos!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Contributions are Still Coming in for the Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia

Tapir Footprint (Not Kabomani's...Yet)

We're sending out another big thank-you today to each of our generous donors because we're continuing to receive donations for the Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia. We're now up to $770, which will  be matched by TPF. Even though the funding goal was reached, new donations are always welcome because the only certainty when you're out in the field is uncertainty. It's always nice to have a bit of a financial buffer against unexpected expenses. 

We'll be posting more updates soon. Huascar and Vincent are busy out in the field right now, hopefully having many adventures. Stay tuned!
 
This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sergio and Lee Begin an Adventure!

Lee (Left), Sergio (Right) at Miami Airport

Even though Sergio is Vice President of the Tapir Preservation Fund, he is more like a friend. We have worked and planned together for more than 10 years, but have never met in person. Lee, who met Sergio once in Bogota, picked him up at the airport in Miami about noon. For more photos and the rest of the story, please visit my personal blog.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Not Quite Yet – But Happy: A Trip Report of the Search for the Pygmy Tapir in Bolivia

Text and photos by Vincent Vos, in the framework of the research: The Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia, with support of the Tapir Preservation Fund


The main differences between the recently described pygmy tapir (Tapirus kabomani) and its well known cousin (Tapirus terrestris)

The search for the pygmy tapir in Bolivia requires a lot of time dedicated to literature reviews, skull measurements, statistical analysis and the like, but once in a while we also need to travel to small peasant and indigenous communities hidden within the Bolivian Amazon, enabling us to get close to nature in the style of the great naturalists. This blog entry aims to let all our donors and others visiting this site to be part of these adventures into the pristine Amazon jungle. 

This narrative describes a visit to Enarevena, a small community on the banks of the Negro River (Rio Negro). The community used to be part of a large rubber estate, but since the bust of the rubber market in the 1980’s only a few families have remained, living on small-scale agricultural plots, hunting and gathering in the surrounding forests, and fishing in the Rio Negro. Their contact with the outside world was mostly restricted to the yearly sales of Brazil nuts.

The village of Enarevena is formed by a handful of simple cottages distributed between the football field, the bank of the Rio Negro and the surrounding forests.

About five years ago, this started to change when an international timber company opened up a new road to a timber concession near the Brazilian frontier, including an improvised bridge over the Rio Negro near the community. Since then a growing number of families have settled in the region to get access to the timber and Brazil nuts. 

I decided to visit the Enarevena community after I heard rumors about locals having hunted two tapirs a few days ago and decided to risk a trip to this community within the northern Pando Department of Bolivia to see if I could get my hands on a tapir skull. Since the publication by Cozzuol et al last year about the existence of Tapirus kabomani, I have been asking around about this small black tapir. Many locals have confirmed knowing about this second type of tapir, but for now I haven’t managed to get any scientifically acceptable proof to demonstrate its existence in Bolivia. I hoped my trip to Enarevena would change this.

Daily more than 30 trucks full of timber cross the Beni River on improvised wooden ferries.

Taking into account the distance of some 100 Km from my home in Riberalta, at about 5:00 A.M., I left with some forms for the interviews I was planning to do, several pictures of tapirs, enough tools and spare parts to be able to fix my motorbike if necessary, and my camera. I soon left the still quiet city of Riberalta behind and made my way into the rural area. In spite of the rain suit I put over my camouflaged overalls, in these early hours of the day, the cold still made its way to my skin, especially after passing the community of Warnes, where the landscape changed from cattle pastures to humid várzea forests. After about an hour, I arrived at the Beni River near Loma Alta. Together with a group of fishermen and several truck drivers from Riberalta we waited about half an hour for the fog to clear up so the ferries could start crossing the river. 

Soon after the first truckloads of timber were crossed, it wasn’t long before I could continue my trip to Enarevena, using a road recently cut through the forest by the timber company. Although numerous side roads indicated heavy timber extraction, on both sides of the dust road, tropical trees still formed a large green curtain characteristic of the Amazonian terra firme forests. Road conditions were perfect thanks to the lack of rain and recent road improvements, enabling me to make good progress towards Enarevena. But soon I decided to enter one of the side roads to check the local wildlife before the heat of the sun reduced their activity.  Despite a cacophony of sounds I only managed to catch a glimpse of a number of birds, until my attention was drawn by something moving in the canopy over my head: a tayra (Eira barbara) was speeding down a tree. I quickly moved my camera in its direction and started filming, but once again the thick vegetation blocked my view. Nonetheless I felt pleased by this little treat of nature.


  
Along the trip I made several stops to hike short distances into the forest and take pictures of animals and plants, like these 50 meter (164 foot) high Brazil nut trees (notice my motorbike for comparison) providers of the main economic product of the region.

About an hour later I found myself chasing a group of titi monkeys (Saguinus fuscicollis). Despite the forest being relatively low here, the large number of trees made filming almost impossible and once again the animals moved further into the forest without me being able to get any nice pictures. I thus continued my trip, once in awhile stopping to check out the wildlife I saw along the way, including several beautiful tropical birds like parrots and toucans

At about 11 A.M., I arrived at the Enarevena community and directly made my way to the Rio Negro. Water levels were very low, and I saw the timber company had managed to reconstruct the bridge that had been destroyed by this year’s flooding. Although some of the large Brazil nut trunks used to cross the stretch of water were still awkwardly placed I could make my way to the other side where a family from Riberalta had settled to make a living from the sale of food, drinks, and other basic products. I greeted the local family and after some small talk, Doña Elsa offered to prepare me a lunch in about an hour, which would enable me to check around the Enarevena community to see if I could find information about the pygmy tapir.

I had lunch with a local family in their house at the other end of the bridge at Enarevena

A few minutes later, I was sitting in front of the house of Don Carmelo, together with some of the other oldest inhabitants of Enarevena. All the younger men had gone off to Santa Crucito at a distance of more than 50 km (31 miles) to play an important soccer match as part of the local “mundialito” (Small World Cup). Too bad because this also meant that the hunters I was looking for weren’t present in the community, but as Don Carmelo told me, this really didn’t matter too much since the animals hunted had been skinned and cut up in the forest. The heads and skulls had been left behind along a trail more than 6 hours on foot from Enarevena and my schedule wouldn’t permit me to visit this spot. Luckily Don Carmelo said he would pass along the word and he promised the locals would try to bring the skull next time someone traveled to Riberalta.


During lunch I enjoyed the scenery and the sight of hundreds of butterflies coming to the Rio Negro to quench their thirst.

Despite this bad news, the conversation started to become interesting as Don Carmelo and his “compañeros” began sharing their knowledge on tapirs. I felt sorry to have to interrupt them to ask for answers to some specific questions. I explained I wanted the answers to show the value of this knowledge to biologists around the world. They easily agreed to contribute to my research, so I got my forms and moved through the questions designed to check local knowledge on tapir species, their habitat preferences, behavior patterns, and other ecological characteristics. Carmelo easily and confidently answered all of my questions and soon we found ourselves talking freely about the wildlife in the region, with him and his friends exchanging ideas about the different species of agoutis, river dolphins, monkeys, and peccaries they knew about in the region. 

As usual, the knowledge of these locals was astounding, with clear descriptions of physiognomic and ecological characteristics of the species described. However, things started to get confusing when we entered into the realm of mystical creatures such as the Niru-niru (a diabolic nocturnal monkey which in groups of 200 is said to come down from the trees to attack those who are not careful enough at night) and the Pata-de-coco (a bigfoot-like bipedal giant ape that leaves gigantic circular-shaped footprints and is said to be able to split up Attalea palms with its bare hands to eat the edible palm-heart). Both species are well known by locals but obviously very questionable from a scientific point of view. However, as in other similar interviews I have done in the region, don Carmelo and his friends have no doubt about the existence of these mystical creatures. 

During the interview one of Don Carmelo’s granddaughters showed of her parakeet (Brotogeris cyanoptera).

Although I was intrigued by the information shared, I had to say goodbye to my new friends to find one of the local chickens which had been converted into the lunch for me. The local family invited me to their table as if we’d have known each other for years. During lunch the conversation soon returned to the enormous variety of animals in the region and the close encounters with mysterious creatures. During dinner several other locals joined in the conversation and some even confirmed the existence of an uncontacted tribe of Pacahuaras still hidden deeper in the forest. I felt sad to have to leave this beautiful place to start my return trip to Riberalta. 

The Pakahuaras once were a very numerous people of the northeastern Bolivian, but the rubber boom led to a virtual genocide of this indigenous tribe. Recently, the last known female Pakahuara “Doña Busi” died, implying the extinction of this culture. The possibility that an uncontacted group of Pakahuaras still roams the forests of the northern Bolivian Amazon constitutes a last hope for their survival. (Foto by Rimberto Terrazas)

It was on my way home that I saw a group of parakeets near a small stream through the forest. I took some pictures of this species I hadn’t seen before and, while I was busy trying to get a better angle, I noticed something coming up behind me: another Tayra was crossing the road, apparently unaware of my presence. This time I managed to get some pictures before it vanished in the dense vegetation, together with its mate who quickly followed behind.


These parakeets (Pyrrhura amazonum) seemed to be almost as curious as I to see “a new species.” The tayra (Eira Barbara) hardly seemed to notice me.

A few hours later as I was once again crossing the Beni river, I evaluated my trip. I didn’t get my hands on any skulls yet, but I managed to do an interview, and even more, I felt very confident that it would be just a matter of time before I could my hands on the “proof” I was looking for. Moreover, I had had a great time sharing with the people of Enarevena and enjoying the beautiful scenery and incredible wildlife along the way. So, not quite yet, but happy anyway!

Black caiman (Melanosuchus niger) are still common along the Negro and Beni river.

N.B. All pictures used for this document (except those comparing T. kabomani and T. terrestris and of the Pakahuara woman) were taken by Vincent Vos during the trip described.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The New Pygmy-Tapir - Contributing to a Revaluation of Biodiversity for Sustainable Development of the Bolivian Amazon

A New Tapir Species Moves the Scientific World
by Vincent A. Vos and Huascar Bustillos Cayoja


In December 2013 a team of Brazilian researchers lead by Mario A. Cozzuol (Cozzuol et al 2013) described a new species of Tapir: Tapirus kabomani. Tapirus kabomani is the world’s fifth species of tapir, the second for the Amazon, and the first species of tapir discovered since 1865. Moreover, it is one of the largest mammals discovered in the last decade.

Fig. 1 Comparison between the new Pygmy-tapir “Tapirus kabomani” and the larger “Tapirus terrestris” (from Antelo et al 2014)

Although many other species of mammal and other vertebrates have been discovered in the last several years, the new tapir, more than any other species, has moved the scientific world by revealing that areas supposedly well-inventoried can still reveal new species of considerable size. The discovery reminds us that the time of the great explorers hasn’t finished yet, and that there are still a lot of things out there waiting to be discovered. Moreover, the new Tapir teaches us a very valuable lesson: the team of Cozzuol themselves stress that Tapirus kabomani is not new to the locals, who know the animal as “pretinha” (blackie) versus “anta-açu” (big tapir) used to describe Tapirus terrestris, thus showing the importance of local knowledge for taxonomic and cryptozoological research (see also Fernandes 2014, UNESCO 2013).

As it is, one of the specimens used by Cozzuol et al to describe T. kabomani as a new species comes from a collection made by Theodore Roosevelt as far back as 1912. Although T. Roosevelt identified the specimen as an adult specimen of a new species of tapir referring to the distinction made by local hunters, the skull he collected was later erroneously classified as a variation of T. terrestris. Many years later, Marc van Roosmalen, a Dutch Biologist known for several discoveries of new species of mammals in the Brazilian Amazon, also described a pygmy-tapir (Tapirus pygmaeus) referring to its ample local recognition (van Roosmalen 2013). Although his descriptions weren’t as complete as those of the team of Cozzuol, his T. pygmaeus may even be proof of a senior synonym and thus a more valid scientific name than T. kabomani (van Roosmalen 2014).

Our research paper, “The Search for the Pygmy-tapir in the Bolivian Amazon” (Vos & Bustillos 2014), while including physiognomic research, principally aims at recovering the local knowledge about tapirs, not only to demonstrate the existence of T. kabomani in the Bolivian Amazon, but more importantly to contribute to the scientific knowledge of this species’ ecology, behavior, distribution, and habitat preferences as the fundamental basis for conservation efforts.

The Bolivian Amazon: An Undervalued Center of Biodiversity

Bolivia is one of the 10 most biodiverse countries in the world (Ibisch & Mérida 2003). More than 18.000 superior plant species, 2.828 species of vertebrates, and approximately 1.000 species of fungus have been registered so far (Araujo et al 2010), equaling around 35 – 45% of global biodiversity, although representing only 0.2% of the Earth’s surface (Jiménez 2014).








Biodiversity of plants and animals. From Botany online 2014

From Geographic 2014
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Although these statistics already reflect an incredible biodiversity, we are sure the numbers will continue to rise in the coming years with new discoveries being made regularly, e.g. four species of Ctenomys spp (Méndez 2014b), and a Myotis mydastactus (Hinojosa 2014) are examples of mammals discovered this year). Based on personal observations and interviews with locals we strongly suspect the existence of numerous species of mammals and other vertebrates not registered in Bolivia and possibly even unknown to science.

Official checklists of Bolivian mammals only include one species of agouti, Dasyprocta punctata. However, locals also recognize the existence of other species strongly resembling D. punctata, including D. azarae, D. fuliginosa, and Myoprocta pratti (see photos below). Distribution areas estimated by locals coincide strongly with known distribution areas for Brazil (Bonvicino et al. 2008).

Dasyprocta punctata (Wikipedia Images)


D. azarae (Wikimedia)


D. fuliginosa (Wikipedia Images) 


Myoprocta pratti (Wikimedia)


In this sense, the discovery of T. kabomani constitutes an opportunity to stress the incredible biodiversity of Bolivia, the need for additional research, as well as the value of biodiversity in general. The ethical and aesthetic values of a new potential flagstone species like the new pygmy tapir thus constitute important tools for raising awareness for conservation efforts. 

The value of biodiversity


Conservation efforts have goals that greatly surpass the preservation of species out of ethical (our moral obligation to conserve our natural inheritance for future generations) or aesthetic (for the beauty of nature) factors. To try to value biodiversity we should take into account the financial value of products from biodiversity. We should not only consider the value of the medicinal properties of newly discovered plant species, but also think of products like brazil-nuts (Bertholletia excelsa) that are collected from natural forests and represent export values of $US 145,62 million (exports 2012, INE). To this we can add value of timber and many other forest products both for export and for national markets, from fish and fruits used in alimentation, to palm leaves used for thatching, and plants used in traditional medicine. Most of these products are commercialized at regional levels and through informal markets with a consequent sub-estimation of their importance in national and international statistics (van Andel 2006).

Additionally many biodiversity products are consumed locally. In many parts of Bolivia hunting and fishing are fundamental elements of daily life, and local populations use the natural vegetation in many different ways: construction materials, tools and utensils, medicine, etc. (Vos et al 2008, Pokorny et al 2010). In the peasant and indigenous communities of the rural Bolivian Amazon, the sum of these forest products frequently surpasses 50% of family budget (Vos et al 2008, Czaplicki 2013).

Biodiversity also plays a fundamental role in agricultural activities, mostly through providing natural areas for grazing and through revitalizing soils in slash and burn agriculture. Furthermore, biodiversity offers services like pollination, natural control of pests, and genetic variation (Andersen 2009). At larger scales, we can highlight environmental services like the control of erosion and the provision of water up to climate regulation and the production of oxygen or storage of carbon (Andersen & Mamani 2009). The protection of ecosystems and their services thus reflects in the quality of health conditions, food availability, and other basic aspects of human security and wellbeing (PNUD 2011).


Towards sustainable development models, more compatible with biodiversity

Considering the values mentioned above, it is very troublesome to observe actual biodiversity losses. In Bolivia, the principal threats to biodiversity are related to deforestation through the advance of the agricultural frontier and cattle ranches (Araujo et al 2010, Müller et al 2014). The conversion of forests to other land uses implies an instantaneous and complete destruction of the original ecosystem and a drastic reduction of local biodiversity (Araujo et al 2010). Climate change now constitutes an important additional pressure (Andersen & Mamani 2009, Nordgren 2011). Based on simulations combining expected effects of deforestation and climate change using the PRECIS model, it is expected that by 2100 national biodiversity will show a reduction of 40% compared with actual levels (Andersen & Mamani 2009).

The actual and expected losses of biodiversity and its aforementioned environmental services will have devastating effects for Bolivia (CDB 2007). To reduce this impact, it is necessary to secure a better realization of the true value of biodiversity with development strategies. For the last 50 years, development in the Bolivian lowlands has been based principally on the clearing of forests for the creation of agricultural lands and cattle pastures. Although this model effectively contributes to the production of food, the generation of employment, income and exports, and the alleviation of poverty, lately it has become widely criticized in relation to its inefficiency in terms of productivity and its huge social and environmental costs (Vos 2011).

References

Andersen, L.E. & R. Mamani P. 2009. Cambio Climático en Bolivia hasta 2100, Síntesis de Costos y Oportunidades. Estudio Regional de Economía de Cambio Climático en Sudamérica. CEPAL - BID. La Paz, Bolivia.
Andersen, L.E. 2009. Cambio climático en Bolivia, impactos sobre bosques y biodiversidad. CEPAL. La Paz, Bolivia.
Antelo S., V.A. Vos & H. Bustillos C. 2014. La nueva especie de tapir recién descubierta en Brasil y Colombia también habita en Pando. Sol de Pando. Pando, Bolivia. 02/02/2014.http://www.soldepando.com/la-nueva-especie-de-tapir-recien-descubierta-en-brasil-y-colombia-tambien-habita-en-pando/
Araujo, N., R. Müller, C. Nowicki & P. Ibisch. 2010. Prioridades de conservación de la biodiversidad en Bolivia. MMAyA & SERNAP. La Paz, Bolivia.
Bonvicino, C.R., J.A. de Oliveira & P.S. D’Andrea. 2008. Guia dos roedores do Brasil, com chaves para gêneros baseadas em caracteres externos. Organização Pan-Americana da Saúde. Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
CDB (Convenio Sobre la Diversidad Biológica). 2007. Cambio Climático y Diversidad Biológica. PNUMA.
Cozzuol, M.A., C.L. Clozato, E.C. Holanda, F.H.G. Rodrigues, S. Nienow, B. de Thoisy, R.A.F. Redondo & F.R. Santos: 2013. A new species of tapir from the Amazon. Journal of Mammoloy, 94(6): 1331-1345. URL: http://www.bioone.org/doi/full/10.1644/12-MAMM-A-169.1
Czaplicki Cabezas, S.T. 2013. Informe final del estudio de los ingresos familiares anuales 2010-2011.
Fernandes-Ferreira, H. 2014. Uma anta pode ensinar cientistas? Cienciahoje 316, Vol. 53. Pp. 54-55.
Hinojosa, D. 2014. El murciélago de oro boliviano, la nueva especie para la ciencia. http://www.paginasiete.bo/sociedad/2014/8/10/murcielago-boliviano-nueva-especie-para-ciencia-28993.html
Ibisch P.L. & G. Mérida Coímbra. 2003. Estado de la biodiversidad de Bolivia. Fundación Amigos de la Naturaleza. Santa Cruz. Bolivia.
INE. 2012. Datos de exportaciones de Bolivia del Instituto Nacional de Estadística para el año 2012. Consultado septiembre 2013 (http://apps.ine.gob.bo/comex/make_table.jsp?query=comex.)
Jiménez, J.I. 2014. La biodiversidad como reto a la innovación. Http://www.paginasiete.bo/inversion/2014/6/29/biodiversidad-como-reto-innovacion-25403.html
Méndez J. 2014b. Descubren 4 nuevas especies de roedores en Bolivia. El Deber: http://www.eldeber.com.bo/descubren-cuatro-nuevas-especies-de-roedores-en-bolivia/140726001034
Müller R., P. Pacheco & J.C. Montero. 2014. El contexto de la deforestación y degradación de los bosques en Bolivia:Causas, actores e instituciones. Documentos Ocasionales 100. Bogor, Indonesia : CIFOR."
Nordgren, M. 2011. Cambios climáticos, percepciones, efectos y respuestas en cuatro regiones de Bolivia. CIPCA. La Paz.
PNUD. 2011. La sostenibilidad del desarrollo a 20 años de la cumbre para la tierra, avances, brechas y lineamientos estratégicos para América Latina y el Caribe. Río +20; conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Desarrollo Sostenible. Santiago de Chile.
Pokorny, B., J. Godar, L. Hoch, J. Johnson, J. de Koning, G. Medina, R. Steinbrenner, V. Vos & J. Weigelt. 2010. A produção familiar como alternativa de um desenvolvimento sustentável para a Amazônia. Lições aprendidas de iniciativas de uso florestal por produtores familiares na Amazônia boliviana, brasileira, equatoriana e peruana. CIFOR. Brasil. http://books.google.com.bo/books?hl=es&lr=&id=j4s6MrwYAIUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA18&dq=vos+llanque+manejo+forestal&ots=ski3szJcCi&sig=-250FpBSMHl4fTzf0LUcylPMCxQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=vos%20llanque%20manejo%20forestal&f=false
UNESCO. 2013. The contribution of Indigenous and Local Knowledge Systems to IPBES: Building Synergies with Science. IPBES Expert Meeting Report - Tokyo. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
van Andel, T. 2006. Non-timber forest products, the value of wild plants. Agrodok 39. Agromisa Foundation and CTA. Wageningen, The Netherlands.
van Roosmalen, M.G.M. 2013. A new species of living lowland tapir (Mamalia: Tapiridae) from the Brazilian Amazon. Description of Tapirus pygmaeus presented in the personal blog of Marc van Roosmalen.
van Roosmalen, M.G.M. 2014. Case 3650. Tapirus pygmaeus Van Roosmalen & Van Hooft in Van Roosmalen 2013 (Mammalia, Perissodactyla, TAPIRIDAE): proposed confirmation of availability of the specific name and of the book in which this nominal species was proposed. Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 71(2), Pp. 84-87.
Vos, V.A. & H. Bustillos. 2014. Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia: Proposal for a physiological and ethnozoological research to determine the presence of Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia, while generating additional scientific knowledge on the species' ecology and taxonomic status. Proposal directed to the Tapir Preservation Fund.
Vos. V.A., A. Zonta & O. Llanque. 2008. Medios de vida y manejo forestal de pequeños productores en la Amazonía. IV Reunión Nacional sobre Investigación Forestal: Hacia un manejo Forestal Comunitario. Cobija, Pando, Bolivia. P. 150.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Funding Goal Reached!!


We are so excited and delighted to announce that we have reached our funding goal of $750 for the Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia a full eleven days before the deadline of August 31st. A tremendous thank-you and a big, slobbery tapir kiss to each and every one of our very generous donors!

Now the adventure begins!! We like to think of Vincent and Huascar as the Indiana Joneses of the tapir world since they are going in search of the holy grail of biologists: a new animal species. Tomorrow, we'll be posting a blog entry written by Vincent. Stay tuned for frequent updates! 

Indiana Jones is jealous. We can tell.
Image copyrighted by Paramount Pictures

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

We're More than Halfway to Our Funding Goal for the Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia!


As of today, we've raised $442 toward helping Vincent Vos and Huascar Bustillos Cayoja find Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia! We're more than halfway to our goal of $750! We're so excited to be part of this adventure. If you'd like to be part of it too, please donate. Every dollar helps! Thanks. 
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Thursday, August 07, 2014

Meet Vincent Vos and Huáscar Bustillos Cayoja

Meet Vincent Vos and Huáscar Bustillos Cayoja as we prepare for the adventure of discovering Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia! CVs and information for both principal investigators are linked from our donation page. Scroll down to the end of the first section of text and click on each name to read about Vincent and Huascar. Don't forget to share the adventure by donating and telling your friends! Thanks!!!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Search for Tapirus kabomani in Bolivia


comparison-between-tapirs.jpg

We live in age when it feels like everything has been discovered. Humans have walked on the moon, poked around the deepest ocean floor, and tramped all over Earth's deserts, rainforests, caves, mountains, rivers, and plains. In a time when nothing seems new, it is extremely exciting to learn of a previously unknown species, especially one as big as a tapir. Such discoveries nudge the door to possibility back open and remind us that the universe is still full of mystery and beauty waiting to be found. 

Tapirus kabomani, the newly discovered dwarf tapir, was made famous by Cozzuol et al. in December 2013. It was introduced by a Brazilian research team led by Mario A. Cozzuol. Despite some solid evidence of the new species, the scientific community isn't entirely sold on T. kabomani's existence yet. This is where researchers Vincent A. Vos and Huascar Bustillos Cayoja Riberalta come in.

We are very excited to be sponsoring Vos and Riberalta's search for the dark dwarf tapir in Bolivia. It's not every day we get to be part of a quest to verify an entirely new species. The research journey will take Vos and Riberalta into Amazon rainforests where they will use modern scientific methods and ancient local knowledge to find proof of the dwarf tapir in Bolivia. 

If you'd like to be part of this quest, please donate. Your contribution helps make it all possible. All donations up to a total of $750.00 will be matched by TPF using donations from The Heidi Frohring Memorial Fund (see the project budget below). Thanks so much for being part of this exciting venture!

Click here to learn more about Vincent Vos and Huascar Bustillos Cayoja.

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Monday, August 04, 2014

Building TPF's New Web Site


Thanks to your generous donations amounting to a total of $1,745, we were able to start our brand new website, and we've been working on it nonstop since donations closed at the end of December 2013. 

Our new website combines the fundraising potential and programming capabilities of our store with the ability to create pages dedicated to tapirs. Of course, we had to get the store running first so we could support our organization. We are now beginning to expand our tapir pages, and we are very excited about the changes you will see in the near future. 

Here is our new donor wall and the new project we are supporting!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Help Save TPF - Only 5 Days Left!



Save TPF Update

In order to fit our new budget of $4,000 to $5,000, we have abandoned plans for having our old web site re-designed by a professional. 

However, by adapting a Big Commerce shopping cart we can accomplish the following. I have provided links so you can see the work in progress. PLEASE NOTE! I have only been messing with the existing template. The site has not been designed yet. The whole "face" will have a new look. Yes, that brandy bottle and the funky type have to be changed.

On the new site, we will be able to connect the store and the tapir information more intimately, allowing donors to buy items, and shoppers to donate to tapir conservation.

The store supports our overhead costs and, in better economic times also contributes to tapir conservation in the field. Our new store will generate more revenue than the old one, and we believe that once again sales will help raise money for field donations.

As you can see, we will still need a paid professional to adapt the store template to fit our needs. We estimate the cost at about $2,000-$4,000 for the adaptation. There is still a lot of work to do, although I have already spent many hours on the transition.

We will be able to showcase multiple tapir projects for funding using the same menu system the shopping cart uses. Each project will have plenty of space for description, photos, videos, updates, and interactivity with donors via reviews. 

We can promote greater education through easier-to-produce, more easily-readable content (including images) and organization of animals by classification, geologic time period, etc. This goes not only for tapirs, but for every animal in the store. 

A free downloadable tapir library is one of my goals. It may or may not work the way I've shown it here. The cart provides an incredibly good search and organizing feature, although the database will have to be separated from the store one way or another (template design or a separate-but-attached site).

We can create galleries of tapir images using the webpage feature of Big Commerce. Here are two examples of tapir photos and tapir art.

We will be able to showcase the artists who make some of our unique products. This link will tell you about Corinna Bechko. I would like to pursue my dream of selling more hand-made products in general, and more from tapir countries made by local people. This showcase feature will become very important in supporting the work of artists as well as conservationists.

We will have better connectivity through newsletter sign-up. 

Some of the standard templates give a better look with bigger images than the one I am showing you, but worse functionality. Part of the job of a designer will be to give us the best of both worlds.

There are many more features and ways this new site can help us reach our goals.

Our campaign is nearly over. Any amount will help! And thank you so much to those of you who have already made generous donations.

Thanks for your support, thoughts and suggestions.

All the best,

Sheryl

Our Indiegogo donation page:


Please help if you can. There are only 5 days left!


This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store
and The Tapir Preservation Fund
.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

The Tapir Preservation Fund Needs Your Help


Please visit our Indiegogo fundraising campaign at


The Tapir Preservation Fund has been helping tapir projects for 17 years. This time we need your help to upgrde our web site so we can continue our important work of helping those tapir projects that are historically underfunded.

Even if you can't help with funding, please enjoy our entertaining and informative video.

Sheryl Todd
President
Tapir Preservation Fund

.

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