The use of highlands by the Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) in the southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest

Marcos Ricardo Bornschein, Leandro Corrêa, Ricardo Belmonte-Lopes, Louri Klemann Júnior, Nilton Carlos Caceres, Marcio Roberto Pie

Abstract


The Lowland Tapir (Tapirus terrestris), out of the four living tapir species, has the broadest distribution. Although it naturally occurs in a variety of habitats in the Neotropics, including rainforest lowlands, gallery forests, dry chaco forests, and open grassy habitats it is currently classified as vulnerable to extinction. The Lowland Tapir is usually found near water, but there have been a few occurrence records in highland habitats. Here we report on seven records of the Lowland Tapir using highland habitats in four localities in the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. Records included tracks and feces in cloud forests (1,150-1,800 m a.s.l.) and tracks in grasslands (“campos de altitude”; 1,515-1,760 m a.s.l.). Six records were obtained between spring and summer, and one during winter. Although the use of high altitude locations by the Lowland Tapir offers an additional area for population maintenance, the occurrence of the species in these areas could have been driven by increased anthropic pressures in the Atlantic Forest lowlands.

Key words: Campos de altitude, cloud forest, conservation, Serra do Mar.


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