The Malayan Tapir

Help protect the Tapirs

Basic information

The Tapirus indicus more commonly known as the Malayan Tapir or the Asian Tapir, is an endangered animal found in certain parts of Asia. This animal wasn't discovered until 1819 and ever since has been in a drastic decline. The Malayan Tapir can reach 720 pounds and can get as long as 6 feet.

Causes and Solutions for Decline

The tapir is in decline because of several reasons. The main one is deforestation. People have been cutting down the lush jungles these animals live in for lumber. A side from deforestation, hunting and fragmentation are serious issues. Though hunting for the Malayan Tapir is illegal, and their meat doesn't taste that good, people still hunt them for sport. One obvious way we can solve tis is by making the forests where the Malayan Tapir lives live a protected area. This will prevent any hunting or deforestation in the forests, and will hopefully allow the population to bounce back.


The Malayan Tapir is found for only in the moist tropical jungles of Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Unfortunately due to the limited area they live in and all the problems they have faced in the pasted decades, there are currently only around 1500-2000 tapirs found in the wild.


The Malayan Tapir is a strange animal, and not just in how it looks, but as well as how it behaves. The Tapir is know as being a nocturnal animal, but over the past years more and more day time sightings of this animal have surfaced. Tapirs are also quite solitary, but during the mating seasons they tend to group together, then disband once the mating season is over. With the heat and humidity of the jungle, Malayan Tapirs tend to enjoy swimming in the cool waters.

Why should we save the Malayan Tapir?

Umbrella species

The tapir is considered an umbrella species. This is a species that protects the organisms to co-occupy the same areas. Many animals in the forest are protected by this. Without the Malayan Tapir many other species that rely on it for protection might face extinction.

Seed Dispersal

The Malayan Tapir is a major animal in seed dispersal. For these reasons, they are called "ecological engineers" and "gardeners of the forest". The Tapir's diet consists of mostly leaves, twigs, and fruit, but have been known to eat brush. With this specific diet, seed dispersal is very common for the Malayan Tapir.

Will you save the Tapir?

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For more information about these creatures and what people are doing to help, please visit these sites.

Endangered Tapir's First Words
For this video, the noises start around 0:26.