EAZA Ex Situ Programme (EEP)

Malayan tapir

(Tapirus indicus)

 Diana Koch
Institution:   Tiergarten der Stadt Nürnberg

EAZA Member Area

 Nurnberg Zoo

IUCN Red List status

IUCN Red List EN


Programme roles

Direct Conservation icon  Insurance
The programme will aim to work towards becoming an insurance population, as part of a global population for this endangered Malayan tapir. The in situ populations can be considered small and even though there are no direct plans or need for reinforcement, building the EEP-population towards insurance potential will support the species when it is needed. It will be explored how to best collaborate with other regions (GSMP or not) to make this happen and research will be done to improve breeding (specific focus on interbreeding interval). Due to potential loss of gene diversity and challenges with international transport of live animals, there is a need to seriously consider gene (EAZA Biobank) and gamete (cryopreservation and A.I.) banking and development of transfer agreements with Malaysia of genetic material to be able to fulfil this role.

 Conservation Education
The programme will support in range ex situ centers by providing and developing materials/educational programmes that are focused on local communities to learn about the role of tapirs in the forest and the importance of conserving them. Effective messaging within Malaysia is different compared to Europe (focus, tone and format), so information and materials from Europe cannot automatically be used in other regions.
Indirect Conservation icon  Research
The ex situ population of Malayan tapirs within EAZA has been determined as a source of data (for PVA modelling, reproductive parameters, disease transfer), samples (genetic and taxonomic research) and opportunity to help test and developing field methods (identification methods e.g.) and to help further in situ conservation research, as identified by the IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group. To fulfil this role holders are strongly encouraged to provide samples to the EAZA Biobank. Potential training and capacity building associated with these topics can be supported by the programme. The programme will remain open to respond to requests from the SG.

 Conservation Education
The programme will be involved at TAG level to help formulate an approach for education of European/EAZA region visitors about the negative impact of Imported deforestation and how their consumer choices matter – as they are situated in importing countries. This topic is relevant for more SA and Asian species that are under the remit of the Tapir and Suiform TAG.

Programme partners

Cerza2 Copenhagen Zoo Tapir specialist group





Programme numbers

In December 2023, the Malayan tapir EEP had 62 animals in 24 institutions.

Programme highlights

  • The IUCN Tapir Species Specialist Group has a fact sheet available about Malayan tapir.