weblogUpdates.ping Taneak Jang, Rejang Land, Tanah Rejang http://rejang-lebong.blogspot.com Taneak Jang, Rejang land, Tanah Rejang: Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)

Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus)


Proboscis Monkey.

Photographer and copyright holder: Unknown.

The Malayan tapir is found in Southeast Asia in the following countries: southern Burma, Thailand, the Malay Peninsula, and Sumatra. The Malayan tapir occurs in the Sundaland & Eastern Indonesian Archipelago Mangroves, Sumatran-Nicobar Islands Lowland Forests, and Sumatran Montane Forests

The Malayan tapir weighs about 250 - 300 kg (550 - 660 lb). It utilizes various forested habitats, including swamp, lowland, montane and hill forest and prefers dense primary rainforest. Its diet includes grasses, aquatic plants, leaves, buds, soft twigs and fruits of low-growing shrubs. The Malayan tapir is primarily nocturnal. It travels long distances in search of food, habitually using the same paths. It climbs steep slopes well. Since it likes to bathe and wallow, it is often found around water and forms steps in river banks leading into the water. The Malayan tapir is found in lowland areas in the dry season and moves into mountainous areas with the rainy season. It is usually solitary, except for a female with young.

The Malayan tapir has historically been known from Myanmar and Thailand south through the Malay Peninsula to Sumatra. It still occurs throughout its historical range. However, it has been depleted throughout this range due to capture for the live animal trade, overhunting, and habitat loss, with remnant populations surviving in isolated habitats.

Found in tropical lowland and highland rainforest where there is a permanent supply of water. They tend to shelter in forests and thickets during the daytime, but come out at night to forage on grasslands or near water.

Malayan tapirs have a large stocky body with a prominent proboscis. Adults of this species have a dramatic color pattern, with a black front half of body, white sides, and black hind legs. As dramatic as this color pattern seems to our eyes, it camoflages them well in the shady forest, especially in nights when the moon is out. Eyes are oval and not very mobile. The forefeet have four digits, each of which ends in a hoof. The fourth toe does not touch the ground, so footprints show the imprints of three digits. Hind feet have three digits. This species does not have a mane.

Mating, which occurs in April and May, is characterized by a heated courtship ritual. When sexually excited, tapirs make wheezing and whistling sounds, and attempt to sniff each other's genital regions, often resulting in their going round in circles. They may bite at one another's ears, feet, and flanks. After a gestation period of at least 390 days, one young is born. At birth, young weigh up to 10 kg, which is the heaviest of any tapir species. The young of this species grows more quickly than those of congenerics. When born, tapirs have a spotted and striped coat rather in contrast to the dramatic black and white pattern seen in the adults. Females have offspring every other year. Sexual maturity is reached at about three years of age, and the lifespan is thought to be about 30 years.

Interesting fact:

Malaysian tapirs are nocturnal and solitary, with the exception of mother-offspring pairs. When they encounter one another in the wild, tapirs are aggressive. They communicate with whistling sounds and scent-marking urine. Tapirs are shy and crash off into the bush when humans are around, but will bite if cornered. They are also good swimmers, runners, and hill climbers.

Tapirs are among the most primitive large mammals in the world. Their closest relatives are the horses and rhinoceroses.

The Malayan tapir is a vegetarian non-ruminant. The diet consists of grasses, leaves, aquatic plants, and twigs. Salt is well liked by tapirs, which will go out of their way to find it. Foraging is often done on a repeated foraging route, often with their nose to the ground. Often tapirs forage in a zig-zag fashion. The fleshy proboscis is commonly used as a finger to grab almost out-of-reach leaves and grasses and pull them into the mouth. The stomach is simple, and the intestine has a short cecum.

Tapirs have been known to damage food crops.

Malayan tapirs are hunted for food and sport in non-Moslem regions of their distribution.

Malayan tapirs are classified as endangered by the IUCN and USDI. They are on Appendix 1 of CITES. Habitat destruction and overhunting are the two main factors contributing to their endangered status. Habitat destruction has mainly been a result of agriculture and and increase in cattle grazing.



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