Baird's tapir density in high elevation forests of the Talamanca region of Costa Rica

José F. González-Maya, Jan Schipper, Beth Polidoro, Annelie Hoepker, Diego Zárrate-Charry, Jerrold L. Belant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is currently endangered throughout its neotropical range with an expected populalished in Valle del Silencio within Parque Internacional La Amistad (PILA). Seventy-seven tapir pictures of 15 individuals comprising 25 capture-recapture events were analyzed using mark-recapture techniques. The 100% minimum convex polygon of the sampled area was 5.7 km2 and the effective sampled area using half mean maximum distances moved by tapirs was 7.16 km2. We estimated a tapir density of 2.93 individuals/km2 which represents the highest density reported for this species. Intermountain valleys can represent unique and important habitats for large mammal species. However, the extent of isolation of this population, potentially constrained by steep slopes of the cordillera, remains unknown. Further genetic and movement studies are required to understand meta-population dynamics and connectivity between lowland and highland areas for Baird's tapir conservation in Costa Rica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-388
Number of pages8
JournalIntegrative Zoology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Camera trap
  • Capture
  • Central America
  • Populations
  • Tapir

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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