Tapirs in trouble

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1995:

“The insatiable human appetite for meat and
animal products is devouring the mountain tapir’s pre-
cious Andean home,” writes wildlife ecologist Craig
Downer, “even within Sangay National Park,
Ecuador, a UNESCO World Heritage area. In my six
years there, my study area has gone from lightly to
grievously invaded by cattle. Fires set by vaqueros
have substantially reduced the cloud forests, the
tapirs’ most essential habitat. Hunters have killed at
least 50 tapirs within the park, including four of the
seven I have radio-collared. As a member of the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Species survival commission, I am presently prepar-
ing an action plan for the rescue of this species.”
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