Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In the Field: Lowland tapir captured for study by Patrici Medici and her team in Brazil

A note from Patricia Medici:

Dear Friends,

Just a brief message to share a little piece of good news! We are carrying out a small tapir capture round here in the field. Our main objective is to collect biological samples for epidemiological and genetics studies. As you all know, our long-term lowland tapir research project here in the Atlantic Forests of the Pontal do Paranapanema Region in São Paulo State, Brazil, has always included very strong epidemiological and genetics components. Over the past 10 years, we have been able to collect a huge amount of biological samples and all our results will be coming out very soon, in the form of Ph.D. dissertations and papers. From now on, the main idea for our work in the Pontal region is to establish a long-term tapir monitoring program that we will carry out over the next many years. One of the components of this program is to monitor tapir health and genetics, so we will be conducting capture rounds twice a year in order to collect biological materials. We are not installing radio-collars.

We started this first capture round as part of the monitoring program a couple of days ago, and will continue for 10 more days. We are using four traps (corrals), three in the park and one in a forest fragment. Yesterday we captured our first tapir, an adult female, with an estimated weight of about 200kg. It wasn't a very large tapir. The manipulation went really well and we were able to collect everything we needed to collect, including blood, tissue, swabs, ectoparasites etc.

There are other tapirs walking right next or in front of our traps, so we should have more captures to report over the next days!

Keep your fingers crossed and wish us luck!!!! Enjoy the pictures!

You all take care,


Note: The tapir, of course, was unharmed and soon went back to its normal activities. . . . ________________________________________________________

Patrícia Medici

M.Sc. in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and ManagementPhD Candidate, Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of KentLowland Tapir Project, IPÊ - Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research)Chair, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG)Convener, IUCN/SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) - Brasil Regional Network

Avenida Perdizes, 285, Vila São Paulo, Teodoro Sampaio, CEP: 19280-000, São Paulo, BRAZILPhone & Fax: +55-18-3282-4690 / Cell Phone: +55-18-8119-3839

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