July 20, 2018 – Born in the Samuel Klabin Ecological Park, located in Telêmaco Borba, Petrúquio, Flora and Ronaldo are three tapirs who now live in the wild.Thanks to a joint effort with the Refauna Project, after a period of adaptation, the animals started living in a reserve in the city of Cachoeiras de Macacu in the state of Rio de Janeiro.In their new home, they are known as Valente, Flora and Júpter – the males were rechristened by the local community – and joined another couple, Eva and Floquinho, who were reintroduced into the wild in December 2017.The five tapirs are the first in their species to inhabit the region after at least a century of extinction.
The three tapirs travelled over one thousand kilometers to reach their new home.According to the vet at the Ecological Park, Dr. Pedro Chaves Camargo, the animals were born in Klabin’s scientific incubator in 2000, 2006 and 2008, respectively, and belong to the second generation of the tapir reproduction project launched by the Park in the late 1990s.
According to him, tapirs are large animals, weigh between 200 and 300 kg and are essential for the preservation of biodiversity.“It is one of the endangered species in Brazil.They are herbivores and are known as gardeners of the nature because, by eating fruits from trees and bushes, they spread the seed along the way, thereby making an important contribution to biodiversity,” highlights Dr. Camargo.
According to Maron Galliez, coordinator of the Refauna Project and professor at the Federal Institute of Rio de Janeiro, the animals will be monitored through telemetry collars and camera traps.The tapirs were reintroduced through a soft release technique, that is, they went through a period of adaptation, encircled by a fence inside the forest, with food supplementation. After 30 days, the fence was opened and the tapirs were set off, but the food supplementation continues,” said Maron.
Klabin’s Sustainability and Environment manager, Júlio César Batista Nogueira, affirms that contributing to the repopulation of this species is an action of tremendous value for the company.“Investing in the preservation of biodiversity is part of our contribution to a renewable future and strengthens our commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” he adds.
The three animals were in the adaptation process since June and were released into the wild recently.The purpose of the project is to relocate the animals raised in captivity into the wildlife.For this, we seek partnerships with conservationist and zoological incubators and, in this scenario, Klabin stands out for its structure and quality in animal treatment,” adds Maron.
About the Ecological Park.
Created in the 1980s, the Samuel Klabin Ecological Park is located in the Monte Alegre Farm in Telêmaco Borba. It is spread on an area of approximately 11,000 hectares, of which 71% is covered by natural forests. Its activities include biodiversity conservation, wildlife rehabilitation, preservation of endangered species, scientific research and support to environmental education projects. Since 1989, it has dedicated itself to scientific breeding, combining conservation and the study of the behavior of endangered wildlife species, promoting their reproduction and reintroduction into the environment, all in accordance with environmental regulations.About 200 animals of 50 different species, including the puma, the pigmy brocket deer and the South American tapir, live in the park.
The park was restructured in recent previous years and is closed for visitors in order to facilitate the readaptation of animals to the new facilities.In addition to the scientific incubator, the park also has the nature interpretation center and ecological trails for environmental education actions and for direct contact with local biodiversity.