In 2002 the Malay Tapir Conservation Project (MTCP) began its activities in Krau Wildlife Reserve as collaboration between Copenhagen Zoo and Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP). The project’s overall objective is to develop a tapir conservation plan but a critical prerequisite for a conservation plan is thorough ecological information of the Malay tapir, which is currently almost completely lacking. In Krau, the MTCP team and DWNP are engaged in behavioural ecology research of the Malay tapir, which includes camera trapping at strategic sites and extensive radio-telemetry studies in order to estimate the tapir population in Krau Wildlife Reserve and assess the home-range and habitat needs of the species. Furthermore, the MTCP is engaged in tapir micro-habitat studies, which is led by research officer Ms. Nor Zalipah from DWNP and looks into possible reasons for why Malay tapirs are not homogenously distributed in a seemingly homogenous habitat. Finally, the MTCP is involved in a DNA-study that looks into tapir’s genetic makeup through DNA fingerprinting. This study is led by DWNP research officer, Mr. Jeffrine Rovie Ryan, and will look into the relationship between Peninsular Malaysia and Sumatran tapir populations. MORE
Tapirs in the wild are extremely shy. Behavioural observation is difficult and
only on few occasions the team has managed to capture wild tapirs on film.
© Carl Traeholt / Malay Tapir Conservation Project