HOPE report

Number: 25-009

Behavior of wild Malayan tapir at the salt lick

Report: Yuko Tawa

Date: 2013/8/19 - 2013/10/19

24 Infrared sensor cameras were set at 4 salt licks surrounding and pathways leading to salt licks for 49 days. Video clips and pictures were collected. 14mammals, including endangered large mammals such as Malayan tapir, Indian elephant, and Malayan tiger, were observed at the salt licks during this study. In total 83 video clips of Malayan tapir were collected. Behavior of Malayan tapirs, not only eating clay and drinking water at salt lick but also exchanging information such as spray urination and vocalization, was observed from recorded video clips. During this study, Malayan tapir came at 3of 4 salt licks at night – early morning (8pm – 6am). Although tapir is solitary and was observed mainly coming alone, at 2 of 3 salt licks a pair of tapir were observed coming together in 1 night each. One male, coming to the salt lick alone, was observed spraying urine at the trail leading to the salt lick. More data collection around the trail may show that tapirs do scent marking near the salt lick. Clicking noise and sliding squeal were exchanged between a pair of tapir. The sound pressure of clicking noise and sliding squeal is not high; therefore these records suggested that clicking noise and sliding squeal are used for communication between two tapirs moving together. During the time when the tapir came alone, no vocalization was recorded. More detailed analysisis needed to clarify the function of these scent and vocal communication.

Wet salt lick.

Malayan tapir eating mud of salt lick.

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