A Tapir Gallery Online Reprint

TPF News header
Vol. 4, No. 7 ~ July 2001                         A publication of the Tapir Preservation Fund ~ Astoria, Oregon, USA


We've moved!

During the early part of June, the Tapir Preservation Fund moved its headquarters from Colorado to Oregon. We're now settled and mostly back to normal in Astoria, right near the mouth of the Columbia River. Outside the window in Colorado we had the Bookcliff Formation (a huge cliff named because it has lots of vertical ridges like the spines of books on a shelf) and the 10,000-foot Grand Mesa, a mountain covered with snow in winter.

Our new view is a gorgeous outlook onto the Columbia River, the low mountains of Washington across the river, and the old piers and current shipping lanes of Astoria. We even had a curious raccoon for a welcoming committee.

Business is being carried on as usual. Some of you have already experienced a few delays and snags, but things should go smoothly from here on out, we hope. This newsletter is being mailed a few days late due to the move. We wanted to be sure that everything you sent this month has arrived at our new P.O. Box.

Our e-mail and web site addresses remain the same, and new contact info is:

Tapir Preservation Fund
P.O. Box 118
Astoria, OR 97103 USA

Phone and Fax: (503) 325-3179
Cell phone: (503) 338-8646

When Mark and Carol Reid heard of our impending move, they donated $50 to "send a tapir to summer camp." This amusing slant on our move kept us smiling through a few inevitable frustrations!


$15,000 in new Symposium donations, and more is needed

This month we received a donation of $10,000 from the Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, and the Los Angeles Zoo has pitched in with a donation of $5,000. The entire Planning Committee sends enthusiastic thank-yous to these organizations for their help. This puts both Disney and the L.A. Zoo, along with TPF, the Houston Zoo, and the North American Tapir TAG of the AZA in the “major donor” category. Major donors will have their names and/or logos included on all printed materials, banners, etc., published by the symposium. So, are we done raising money? NO!

Here’s where we stand. The total budget for the First Annual Tapir Symposium is $56,000. Of that, we have raised about $40,000, and there have been some smaller commitments that have not been finalized. About $16,000 is still needed. We hope to raise this amount from zoos, organizations, and private donors who are willing to help. A donation in any amount will help us reach the goal. Contributors of $5,000 or more will have their names on all printed material.

The budget includes payment of full expenses for 15 participants. Rick Barongi, Director of the Houston Zoo, who has done most of the fundraising for this event, says, “If we do not raise the entire $56,000 to do the Symposium, we may need to reduce the number of participants for whom we pay full expenses. Or we can offer partial funding to some participants instead of full funding.”

However, many of the key players in tapir conservation come from countries where salaries do not allow them to pay the rates needed to attend such an event. And many work only with small amounts of grant money. These people will be invaluable for a conference aimed at conserving tapir species in the field, and we hope to fund as many of them as we can.

Donations can be made through the Tapir Preservation Fund (see contact information above) or contact Rick Barongi at the Houston Zoo:

E-mail: RBarongi@aol.com
Phone: 713-284-1370

Thanks to all of you for your support through individual donations and Club Tapir. With this first-ever tapir symposium, the work of tapir conservation is taking a big step forward.


Tapir Symposium logo by Jeff Milhalyo
Our elegant Symposium logo was created by Seattle-based artist Jeff Mihalyo. It was designed especially to look good at any size from banners to t-shirts to letterhead.



One of Charles Foerster's tapir exclosures


What happens if a tapir wants in?

This is what we wanted to know when we saw photos of Charles Foerster’s 10 x 10m x 1.5m high tapir exclosures (explained last issue). Having seen first-hand and heard second-hand what feats tapirs are capable of if they want to get past a barrier, for instance, we wondered.

Charles’s exclosure barriers look other-worldly - like shimmering art pieces in the jungle. They’re also made of fairly thin plastic. What happens if, say, a tapir wants to reach a favorite food inside? Here’s what Charles told us:

“To answer your question, any tapir, big or small, could run through the exclosure with no trouble. Honestly, I figured I would need some heavy-duty iron and a welding machine to construct a truly tapir-proof exclosure. But from what I have seen so far, the tapirs are not interested in messing with the materials used. There is nothing special inside. I had not planned on excluding them from anything they really wanted (e.g. a banana patch). I want to close off some areas that are representative of the entire study area. My gut feeling is that if they can find the same stuff outside the exclosures that they would within, then they wouldn't bother with something so foreign. So far so good.”

One of Charles Foerster's tapir exclosures
Top: Charles Foerster’s tapir exclosure looks like an art piece in the jungle. Above: Here you can see how the exclosure works. It discourages the tapirs rather than excluding them forcibly. Smaller animals can crawl under the barriers while birds and tree-dwellers can get in over the top.

A Baird's tapir eats leaves in Corcovado National Park
A wild Baird’s tapir munches leaves. Our thanks to Charles Foerster for all of the photos on this page.

Charles has learned that tapirs in Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica eat about 85 pounds of vegetation per day. With this large intake and excretion, the tapir has to have an impact on the life of the forest. Charles’s study will try to quantify that effect. Once he’s quantified it, it will be easier to explain how a healthy tapir population contributes to maintaining the health of the rainforest.


Apologies . . . and thanks

Apologies to those of you whose stories we couldn’t fit into this issue (including important donations) . . . to those whose projects we said we’d include in Club Tapir this month . . . to those whose e-mail remains unanswered or was answered late . . . to those we promised to post on Tapir Talk by now. Moving and re-settling has kept us busy. We hope to get mail answered faster in the next few weeks. Space-wise, we needed to include the story about the Symposium funding in this TPF News, as fundraising is critical at this point. Thanks for being patient, and as always, thanks for your interest. Without you there would be no TPF. Very special thanks to Kate Wilson . . . you know the reason!


Tapir Symposium info/registration

You can learn more about the symposium and register through the Internet, or you can print forms from the site and register by mail. Please visit: http://www.caligo.com/tapir/

If you cannot access the site, please contact:

Sheryl Todd: tapir@tapirback.com
Patrícia Medici: epmedici@uol.com.br

To read this newsletter online and see pictures in color: www.tapirback.com/tapirgal/tpf-news [this page; note, the original was printed on paper].


Editors:
Sheryl Todd, tapir@tapirback.com
Kate Wilson, kmwilson@mindspring.com





Club Tapir winners for June 2001

1st place: First International Tapir Symposium, 2001

The total amount raised by Club Tapir this month was $525. Our first-place winner is the First Internation Tapir Symposium, 2001, to be held November 3-8 in San Jose, Costa Rica. Our Club Tapir contribution this month is $420, which brings Club Tapir’s total contribution to the symposium so far to $1243. These funds will be used to bring conference participants to Costa Rica from tapir range countries and to help pay their expenses for the symposium. Expenses include five nights hotel accommodations; opening night reception and final banquet dinner; session coffee breaks; program and Tapir Symposium Resource Guide; post conference proceedings; transportation to and from airport; a one-day mid-conference field trip (there are two to choose from); buffet breakfasts; tips for bellboys and maids; tips at the airport; taxes and service charge.

See Caligo Ventures’ Web site for details and registration: http://www.caligo.com/tapir/


2nd place: Anders Siren and his Nature Sanctuary

This month’s second-place winner is Anders Siren and his private Nature Sanctuary, located in the lower-elevation jungles of Ecuador. We apologize for a mistake last month saying that this project won second place in May. In fact, it won first place in May ($641), and is on the winner’s list again this month in second place. All dollar amounts given last month were correct.

It’s not unusual for people living in tapir habitat to raise tame or semi-tame tapirs. What is unusual is for that opportunity to be turned into a fledgling nature sanctuary. Usually the tapir ends up as somebody’s dinner. In this case, Anders worked with local people to protect the tapir, and then found land to create a sanctuary for the tapir and other animals. Hopefully the area will become a sanctuary for this tapir’s offspring, as it appears she is about to mate. The presence of a tagged, semi-tame tapir has saved other tapirs from hunters, as they will not risk killing this animal. If they’re not sure whether the animal they are hunting is the tame one, they avoid killing it. In this way a number of tapirs in the area have escaped being eaten. This month Club Tapir raised $105 for Anders and his project. One hundred and fifty dollars is about the minimum needed per month. That helps to feed the tapir and pay a keeper to guard the area. Using his own money, Anders has made some improvements such as a small hut for storage of food and for the keeper to sleep in.


Club Tapir Donor List for June, 2001

Masayuki Adachi, Japan
Christopher Anderson, USA
Gilia Angell, USA
Jo Ann and Cemil Bayrakci, USA
Rana Bayrakci, USA
Barbara Boon, USA
Karin Bronnenberg (Drewnitzki), USA
Alex Cárdenas, Panamá
Oliver Cartwright, England
Steve Cremer, USA
Sean Culpan, Scotland
Sharon Danielsen, USA
Gary Davis, USA
John Deal, USA
Nicola DeBolt, USA
Michael Dee, USA
Irma & Guenter Drewnitzki, Germany
Ellen Dwight & Ken Aron, USA
Rachel T. Emmer, USA
Michelle Farthing, USA
Kevin Flesher, USA
Bob & Karen Hall, Australia
Heidi Frohring, USA
Shannon Hiemstra, USA
Hodge & Hodge, USA
Akira Ito, Japan
Ann Iverson-Dawson, USA
Peter Jackson, USA
Audrey Jakab & Alejandro Berlin, USA
Sally & Harvey James, England
Julie Hunt, USA
Gernot Janda, Austria
Donald Janssen, USA
Kathy Knight, England
Carol Langford, USA
Dean Leverett, England
Rob Lyman & Christine Kim, USA
Chuck Mancuso, USA
Andy Markley, USA
Cindy Marzolf, USA
Patricia Medici, Brazil
Dennis Milam, USA
James Nelson, USA
James Norton, USA
Judith Norton, USA
Kieran O’Donoghue & Bob Biggs, Australia
Verena Pipper, Germany
Justine Powell, Australia
Carol Reid, Canada
Mark A. Reid, Canada
Ayéssa Rourke, USA
Andrew Schultz, USA
Peggy Shaver, USA
Toshio Shiraishi, Japan
Wendy Skriver, USA
Timothy Somers, USA
Mike Souza, USA
Tamsin Spargo, England
Michele Stancer, USA
Michele Stansbury, USA
Lauren Svitil, USA
Alex & Susan Sze, USA
Gary & Beth Todd, USA
E.V. Todd, USA
Ted and Lois Todd, USA
Eric Truelson, USA
Jenifer Van Vleck, USA
Mitch & Elizabeth Weaver, USA
Jill Wheeler, USA
Kate Wilson, USA
Sally Woodcock, England
Chantal Wright, USA


All tapirs are endangered species.
Saving tapirs helps save the rainforest.




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