Apr 272012

Yes, World Tapir Day is a real thing. No, you don’t get the day off work.

As consolation, enjoy this photo of a juvenile South American Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) from Ecuador.

South American Tapir Tapirus terrestris


All four species of tapir (3 spp. in South America, 1 in southeast Asia) are currently listed as vulnerable or endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. The South American Tapir has the largest range of all tapirs, spanning the majority of the Amazon river basin, yet is still under threat from habitat destruction and poaching.

Tapir’s are usually difficult to see in the jungle, preferring to go about their business through the night. So how did I get a close up photo in the middle of the day? The research station I was working at had adopted her1 after her mother was killed by the local Huaorani tribe2, and thus she was quite friendly, coming right up to greet our group when we arrived. Later in our visit, she nearly gave me a heart attack when she came thundering out of the jungle looking for attention while I was looking at a fly. Needless to say, I nearly spread some extra fly bait that day…



1 – While my tapir-sex-identification-skills are a little rusty, I recall being told by the staff that this was indeed a young female.

2 – While the station is situated within Yasuni National Park, the indigenous Huaorani people are allowed to continue their traditional way of life. Unfortunately, the Huaorani have found an easier way to go about life; by selling bushmeat and live animals destined for the pet trade at market in the nearest cities. The research staff went so far as to paint their rescued tapir with bright white paint to try and deter the locals from killing it, though the tribe made no promises about it’s potential fate.

Mar 162010

One of my goals for this blog was to provide information on collecting trips and overviews of the facilities that I visit, specifically for entomologists. Finding information on research stations, habitats and the logistics of getting to and from these places is often hard to find, and are often birding reports, which are useful, especially for those that like to look at things that possess less than 6 legs, but don’t reflect the conditions that many entomologists are looking for. With that in mind, this will be the first of (hopefully) many trip reports/reviews that I plan to provide!

Continue reading »

Feb 122010

I think from now on I’ll stop forecasting when my next blog post will be as I don’t seem to be hitting many deadlines! Although slightly delayed, today I’ll be sharing some of the more “cuddly” creatures that we encountered during our 2 weeks in the Bolivian Amazon.

Pac Man Frog in the undergrowth of Bolivia Continue reading »

Feb 012010

Now that winter has truly set in here in Guelph, I figured I’d escape into the archives and share some photos I took while in Peru and Bolivia on the UofG Field Entomology course in the spring of 2007! This was really my first trip out of Canada and I certainly had a blast! We spent two weeks deep in the Amazon, literally on the border between Peru and Bolivia, in untouched tropical rainforest, with insects, birds and mammals everywhere you look and great food to come back to. Who wouldn’t want to be there! Continue reading »