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SaveTapirs.org
The Baird's Tapir Project of Costa Rica
Mamasota the tapir
Name
Mamasota
Birthdate
Around 1987
Home Range
Zone 2
Wishlist
A new GPS collar so we can understand her family group better

Mamasota

Mamasota is the dominant female in the tapir range that surrounds the field station. She is one of the best tapir moms there is. I have never known her to not have a baby by her side. You can always tell a good mom when her children want to stay in touch. Mamasota's children stay just next door to her in the neighboring ranges.

Her talents don't stop there. Not only is Mamasota a good mom she is also a movie star! She has stared in several nature programs and articles including: Discovery, BBC Nature, Animal Planet, and Vick Reeves Last Chance Series (just to name a few -- the list goes on and on). But don't worry she has not gotten a big head about this situation; she still spends time with the tourist. She makes her walk around the tourist camp sites every once and while to see how everyone is.

Message from Kendra:
Special Mamasota Research Project

Mamasota has been studied over the entire 14 year life-span of this project and she is the first tapir I saw in the wild at Sirena Biological Station. She comes to my tent at night and will stare into it until I say hi to her. For 14 years she has consistently had a baby with her in Zone 2. She is also not shy about bringing her babies around, in fact she has left them near my tent when she goes to visit the tourists at the station. The last time I was in Sirena in January, while walking back to our tents after searching for other tapirs, I kept hearing someone or something walking behind me. I figured it was a tourist. I finally turned around because it was getting closer and low and behold it was Mamasota! She was following us and continued to follow us all the way back to the tents. She is a great tapir ( I have to say my favorite!) but she is getting old. The last time I saw her was the first time she has not had a baby with her and she did not want to mate with her partner, Thor. She is getting noticeably thinner from old age. This is a time in a tapirs life that we have very little data on.

  • What does happen to these guys when they get old?
  • Do they get kicked out by other tapirs that want to take over their ranges?
  • Do they leave and find other retired tapirs and live out their days with them?
  • Do they eat different types of plants?

With the help of my assistant in Costa Rica, Andres (who I could do nothing without), we would like to answer some of these questions. We would like to do a nutrition and behavior study to see exactly how things have changed for Mamasota. This is not a study we had budgeted or planned to do. I had hoped she would live a lot longer but it seems like Mamasota has chosen this time for us. Charles Foerster looked at her diet 10 years ago when she was at the height of her health, now we want to repeat that nutrition study and add a behavioral component to see if other females are trying to kick her out or what interactions she is having with them. We will need to be at the field station with Mamasota for two weeks straight and follow her around for two 24 hour periods and then every day at peak tapir movement hours.

Please consider donating $10 or $20 to help us complete this study. We just need to raise $800 more to cover the cost! If you want to donate to project Mamasota, you can go to the donation page. There are different amounts already indicated on this page OR you can click the "any amount" button and donate whatever you would like. When you donate to this project we will send you pictures and findings on differences in Mamasota's diet and behavior. A donation to this cause will mean you will play a role in documenting for the first time, how the diet and behavior of a Baird's Tapir changes with age.

Offspring since 1994

Name Sex Birthdate
Nome Male November 1994
Silbo Male August 1997
Dedo Male December 1998
Pinto Male March 2000
Prima Female July 2001
Nepal Male October 2002
Sirena Female January 2003
Noel Male December 2004
Bejuca Male July 2006