As World Tapir Day approaches for 2018, we remember Suzanne Davenport, who passed away suddenly on 10 November 2017.
Suzanne was a longtime supporter of WTD, and probably the most active of supporters worldwide. She brought flair along with her passion to her promotional and fundraising activities. She first contacted WTD in 2011 to let us know about her busking activities in the New York subway with her group The Violin Femmes, and each subsequent year became more prolific in envisaging new ways to increase the profile of tapir conservation and how to fund it.
Her passion for tapirs stemmed from much earlier - from first seeing them at the Wilhelma Zoo in her native Germany in the early 1990s. Last year she was excited to learn that the zoo was just about to host its first tapirs for some years.
In 2017, Suzanne organised the second "Tapir Aid" concert in a bar in New York, at which tapir-themed songs were played, raffles were held, and t-shirts were sold. Well over US$6,000 was raised to support Rainforest Trust projects in Peru and Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) activities. In 2016, Suzanne raised in excess of US$4,000 to protect tapir habitat in Sumatra, Indonesia. As soon as WTD 2017 was over, she was starting to explore new ideas for 2018, and was excited about each new concept she imagined, and shared them with excitement and passion.
Her passing came as a shock to the people that she was looking forward to meeting at the seventh International Tapir Symposium in November 2017 in Houston. She was looking forward to meeting the people who had supported her fundraising activities over the years, as well as the tapir researchers her activities had helped to fund. She was both excited and nervous about having a fifteen-minute slot to talk about her fundraising activities, and to motivate them to follow her lead and create activities around the world to help protect tapirs.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of World Tapir Day, Suzanne was working on ideas to expand her activities to Germany through friends in Berlin, and involving bars and breweries in the United States and Germany for fundraising for tapir-related conservation causes. In the weeks before her passing, she and I were in regular contact about how WTD could be promoted more effectively, and how she could be an even more prolific fundraiser.
Welcome to the latest WTD update. It's a little late to be the February one, but as the month is so short, it has slipped into March. In the interest of not delaying it any further, here it is - short and to the point!
Tapir reports and news highlights: February 2015
Malaysian online magazine Poskod.my reported on the #tapitapir campaign to raise awareness about the Malayan tapir. During the Malaysian leg of the "1600 Pandas" world tour, a group of Malaysians decided to crash the Panda World Tour with a model of a single tapir, accompanied by a sign: #TapiTapir.
The Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) has updated its Tapir Veterinary Manual. It is an updated version of the first Tapir Veterinary Manual published by the IUCN/SSC TSG in 2007. Several veterinarians, biologists, nutritionists, reproduction physiologists and researchers reviewed and made contributions to this document based on their in-situ and/or ex-situ experience with the four tapir species. The 13 Chapters and several appendices in this manual offer valuable information on many important topics for veterinarians working with tapirs, including: handling tapirs in the wild and in captivity, anesthesia protocols, treatment protocols and guidelines for medical and nutritional care. The Manual is available from the TSG website.
The Tapir Preservation Fund has launched its new website as part of its efforts to raise tapir conservation efforts. The TPF is a nonprofit organisation that works for the conservation of the four tapir species that inhabit the tropics of Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia. It raises funds to deliver to field projects focused on the conservation of threatened tapir populations. Sheryl Todd has been involved with tapir conservation and education since she first rescued a Brazilian tapir - Stanley K - over four decades ago..
A Malayan tapir had to be rescued from a ditch in Kuantan in Malaysia, having fallen into a ditch.
Tapir births have been reported at:
The World Tapir Day blog. Posts about World Tapir Day, tapirs, conservation, the environment and random tapir-related topics.