© Diego Mosquera 2019

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Tapirs 

(Family Tapiridae)

Tapir amazonian (Tapirus terrestris)

The Tapirs are the largest and heaviest animals of the Amazon and of South America in general. They are classified in the Perissodactyla order, that is, they have odd fingers. This group also includes horses and rhinoceroses. Tapirs can weigh 300 kilos and measure more than two meters from head to tail. They are a little blind, but instead have a great sense of smell that helps them look for the leaves they feed on. They also have very good hearing, a very important sense in them because it helps them to have a better idea of ​​the space and to detect dangers. When they are babies, their bodies have spots and yellow lines, which help them to protect themselves from predators. Sure, when they are babies they are more vulnerable! They are regular visitors to the salting grounds, where they will obtain mineral salts that they can not obtain from their regular diet. They communicate with each other by whistling and it is common to find them in the forest in pairs. They are active day and night, but they look very much especially very early in the morning and near the river. By the way, they are excellent swimmers and cross the rivers without any problem.

Peccaries

(Family Tayassuidae)

White-Lip Peccary (Tayassu pecari)

Peccaries are animals that live in groups, with up to 600 individuals or more in a single herd. They are omnivorous animals, that is, they feed on many things. They are always on the ground looking for roots, fruits, tubers, seeds and small vertebrates using their nose to remove the soil. When you go through the forest you can clearly see that the peccaries have passed through a certain place because they practically destroy everything. In this species the lower part of the jaw is white and is known locally as "huangana". Unlike other animals, peccaries walk throughout the forest and do not necessarily prefer the trails. As they are many, they can become very aggressive. Attacks to indigenous have been reported while trying to hunt them. They have very sharp fangs, so they can cause deep wounds when they attack. After hunting and eating them, indigenous use their tusks to make handicrafts. They are active during the day, especially very early in the morning and are regular visitors to the salt licks. They love to wallow in the mud to get rid of parasites and to cool off. Peccaries have an odoriferous gland on their back that serves to mark territory. When you are in the forest you can smell them from a long distance, which in some way serves as a warning to be careful! Its smell is not pleasant !. Unfortunately, the Indians and settlers hunt them in large numbers and are decimating their populations. In many places in the Amazon they have already become extinct locally.

Collared peccary (Tayassu tajacu)

This peccary has a white band around its neck, like a necklace. They live in small groups (up to 20 individuals) and are also smaller than the white-lipped peccary. Their behavior is also very similar. Local people call them "sahinos". Like all animals in the forest, they are exposed to indiscriminate hunting and the destruction of their habitat.

Deer

(Family Cervidae)

Red-brocket Deer (Mazama americana)

The red-brocket deer is the most photographed species in our project. We have thousands of photographs, but that does not mean they are easy to see! They are very calm animals and are prey for jaguars and pumas. They feed on leaves and fruits and it is common to see the mother with a baby. They are also regular visitors to the salt licks and when they get scared they run very fast. When they are babies they have characteristic white spots, which help protect them from predators.

Brown deer (Mazama nemorivaga)

Unlike the red deer, we have very few pictures of the gray deer. This is interesting and may be due to the fact that they occupy other types of resources in the forest. They feed on leaves, fruits and some fungi and can walk alone or in pairs. They are territorial and mark their territory with feces and urine.

Source:

Tirira, D., 2007. Guía de Campo de los Mamíferos del Ecuador. Ediciones Murciélago Blanco. Publicación especial sobre los mamíferos del Ecuador 6. Quito. 576 pp.