Roadkills of Lowland Tapir Tapirus terrestris (Mammalia: Perissodactyla: Tapiridae) in one of its last refuges in the Atlantic Forest
Journal of Threatened Taxa
Highways limit the movement and dispersion of wild animals and contribute to their loss due to roadkills, leading to the isolation and decline of populations, increasing the risk of local extinction. The Lowland Tapir Tapirus terrestris is the largest neotropical herbivore-frugivore, and despite its wide distribution in South America it is threatened with extinction. In this study we report six roadkill events of tapirs between 2014 and 2019 in a section of a federal highway crossing the mosaic
... of Atlantic Forest reserves called Sooretama, one of the last tapir refuges in southeastern Brazil. The traffic in this area is heavy with inadequate speed control, while exotic fruit trees growing along the highway attract wild animals. Water drainage tunnels serve as passageways for some species, including tapirs. However, the tunnels located under the highway are not continuously maintained, reducing its effectiveness. The loss of at least one tapir per year can have serious long-term consequences for one of the last viable lowland tapir populations in the entire Atlantic Forest. Emergency measures are required to avoid vehicle-tapir collisions.