Lowland tapir species protection project

Working hard for the lowland tapir

Cooperation since:2010
Conservation status on the Red List:vulnerable
Location of the project:Brazil

The lowland tapir needs our help!
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The lowland tapir plays an important role in shaping the landscape. By distributing plant seeds via its droppings it contributes to preserving biodiversity and helps structure the habitat.

These tapirs are threatened by poaching, habitat destruction, and cattle ranching along with the threat it poses by transmitting diseases. A low reproductive rate aggravates the problem.


The Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI) is a long-term, nationwide conservation initiative. The LTCI was first established in the Atlantic Forest in 1996 and has since expanded its efforts to the Pantanal (2008), Cerrado (2015), and the Amazon (2021). Schönbrunn Zoo supports the Amazon Program, which focuses on assessing the impacts of large-scale agriculture, mining and palm oil on tapir populations, and also funds the “Tapirs in the City” project, which pays particular attention to research on lowland tapirs in urban areas.

LTCI collects and analyzes scientific data to inform biome-based conservation strategies for tapirs and their habitat in Brazil. In addition, it runs educational projects, public relations and ecotourism to raise awareness and promote habitat protection.


The overall goal of LTCI is to ensure the survival of lowland tapirs in all four Brazilian biomes where the species occurs – Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Pantanal.

This is how the zoo is supporting the project:

  • Financial support

This is what our partners have to say:

Patrícia Medici, Flachland-Tapir Initiative, IPÊ - Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas, IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG): "Zoo grants comprise approximately 80% of the funding of the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative in Brazil. This incredible support has allowed us to establish the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative as a nation-wide effort that operates in all biomes where the species occurs. I strongly believe that zoos play a major role in species conservation worldwide."