Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI)
The Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative (LTCI) is a nation-wide, long-term research and conservation effort led by Brazilian conservationist Dr. Patrícia Medici. The major goal of the LTCI is to have tapir research and conservation programs being carried out in all four Brazilian biomes where lowland tapirs are found – Atlantic Forest, Pantanal, Cerrado and Amazon – and biome-based Tapir Action Plans developed and implemented. The LTCI uses tapirs as ambassadors for the conservation of the biomes where the species occurs, catalyzing habitat conservation, environmental education, communication, training and capacity-building, and scientific tourism initiatives.
The LTCI Brazil is a nation-wide conservation effort that uses tapirs as ambassadors for
the conservation of the biomes where they occur, catalyzing habitat conservation, education, communication, training, and scientific tourism initiatives. High-quality scientific data is used to substantiate the development/implementation of biome-based action plans for tapirs and their habitat in Brazil. The LTCI was first established in the Atlantic Forest (1996) and later expanded to the Pantanal (2008). In September 2014, a third program was established in the Brazilian Cerrado.
The most extensive woodland/savannah region in South America, the Cerrado is the epicenter of economic development in Brazil, where most of the expansion of Brazil’s agricultural and cattle-ranching frontier takes place. The main goal of the Cerrado Program is to evaluate the impact of threats (deforestation, road-kill, poaching, fire, agriculture etc.) on small tapir populations, designing strategies to mitigate those threats, while identifying ways to conserve the remaining habitat. The LTCI Amazon Program will be established in the near future. Tapirs are recognized as gardeners of the forest, playing a critical role in shaping the structure and maintaining the functioning of ecosystems. Conserving tapirs will contribute to the conservation of these important biomes where the species is still found.
The study area is a Cerrado landscape located along the BR267 highway in between the municipalities of Nova Alvorada do Sul and Casa Verde, Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil, South America. It is situated in between the study sites of the LTCI Atlantic Forest Program (Morro do Diabo State Park, São Paulo) and the LTCI Pantanal Program (Baía Pedras Ranch, Mato Grosso do Sul), which are ca. 500 km apart. The idea is to have a continuum of studied/sampled areas. The study area is ca. 2,200km² in size and includes natural habitat (12% of the study area including Cerrado fragments, gallery forests, and marshland), pasture land, agriculture, Eucalyptus plantations, highways etc. The LTCI Cerrado Tapir Program will evaluate the impact of threats on tapir populations; therefore, the study area includes several threats to tapirs: road-kill, poaching, habitat destruction and fragmentation, agri-business (soy bean, sugar cane), Eucalyptus plantations, forest fires, pollution of water bodies by pesticides etc
The project is a development of an existing, ongoing work. The LTCI is a long-term research and conservation program, which was first established in the Atlantic Forest (1996) and later expanded to the Pantanal (2008). In September 2014, the Cerrado Tapir Program was established. The Cerrado is the epicenter of economic development in Brazil and the LTCI Cerrado Program will completely shift gears from the previous programs and focus on evaluating the effects of different threats on small tapir populations including road-kill, poaching, habitat destruction and fragmentation, agri-business (soy bean, sugar cane), Eucalyptus plantations, forest fires, and pollution of water bodies by pesticides among others. The final step of the LTCI will be the establishment of the Amazon Tapir Program in a few more years.
Patrícia Medici, PhD: Coordinator / Principal Investigator;
Renata C. F. Santos, MSc: Senior Veterinarian
Caroline Testa: Veterinarian: Trainee of the LTCI veterinarian/health component
José Maria Aragão: Field Assistant
Gabriela M. Pinho, MSc: Biologist/Geneticist
Rafael Ruas: GIS Expert (data analyses and mapping)
Patrícia Medici, PhD, Coordinator / Principal Investigator // E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org // Organisation name: IPÊ – Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research), Brazil & IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) Organisation // Organisation full mailing address: Rua Licuala, 622, Damha 1, CEP: 79046-150, Campo Grande, MS, Brazil // Telephone: +55-67-3344-0240; +55-67-9965-6960 // Website: http://www.ipe.org.br; http://www.tapirconservation.org.br; http://www.facebook.com/LTCIBrazil; http://www.tapirs.org