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A diverse and intricate ecology is supported by the tapir


Research is vital to understanding and protecting the tapir


Researchers, educators, veterinarians, and other experts make up the TSG


Tapirs inhabit diverse climates in the Americas and Southeast Asia

The Tapir Specialist Group works to study and protect the four species of tapirs and their remaining habitat in Central and South America and Southeast Asia.

The Cause

Tapirs are a living fossil; they’be been around since the Eocene, having survived waves of extinction of other animals. The four species of tapirs represent a unique biology as well as a vital role in the ecosystems they inhabit, from dispersing seeds to digging burrows used by many other species for refuge.

Once widely abundant in their habitats, tapir populations have been in sharp decline in recent decades, leading to three of the four species becoming listed as Endangered.

The Challenge

The future of tapirs is threatened due to rapid decline and fragmentation of their habitat due to deforestation, agriculture and human habitation. Hunting and mining have also contributed to their loss.

The Tapir Specialist Group supports the study of tapirs and their habitat, in order to gain a better understanding of their biology and perspectives on the most successful methods to guarantee their long term survival in the wild.

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Colombia harbors all three tapir species known in Latin America and is thus the country with the highest number of tapir species in the world. Historically, Colombia has had a strong tapir research community that has produced valuable data to inform general conservation plans and priorities. Nonetheless, there have been no long-term, stable tapir conservation programs in the country.

Considering the complex socio-political situation that the country has faced for the last 50 years, the recent signing of a peace process opens new and interesting opportunities, and also challenges, for tapir conservation in the country. The peace agreement opened vast areas of the territory for scientific studies but also many new fronts for agricultural expansion, which will require solid scientific baseline data for its appropriate management and conservation planning.

Given the need for solid scientific research and the articulation of multiple stakeholders, the IUCN SCC Tapir Specialist Group and ProCAT Colombia - with the support from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Conservation Center for Tropical Ungulates, Fundación Orinoquia Biodiversa, Global Wildlife Conservation, Houston Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and University of Minnesota - joined efforts to expand tapir conservation efforts in Colombia.

JOB TITLE: TSG Colombia Coordinator

ROLE DESCRIPTION: The TSG Colombia Coordinator will oversee all aspects of the development and implementation of a comprehensive, long-term effort to ensure the survival of Colombia's three tapir species. The primary role of the coordinator will be to provide national partners and personnel from field projects with the capacity building and institutional support needed to ensure the sustainability and impact of their tapir conservation programs. A secondary role will be to facilitate communication between tapir conservationists and institutions in Colombia and ensure that the country's efforts to conserve tapirs are integrated and monitored to: 1.) assess their contributions to the IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group Species' Action Plans and the Programa Nacional de la Conservación del Género Tapirus en Colombia, and 2.) facilitate collaborations between projects when appropriate to avoid duplicating efforts. This role will require close collaboration with national and international partners. In addition to these main responsibilities, the TSG Colombia Coordinator will collaborate closely with the IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group on the development of a mountain tapir working group tentatively called the Mountain Tapir Survival Alliance.

1) Design, establish and manage a Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative;
2) Develop a Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative 5-year strategic plan;
3) Oversight of all IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group activities within Colombia;
4) Assist colombian tapir conservationists with: 1- the development and implementation of appropriate research and conservation efforts that align with the Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative 5-year strategic plan; 2- career planning; 3- Financial planning and fundraising related capacity building efforts to help ensure the sustainability of tapir conservation programs within Colombia;
5) Manage partnerships and collaborations in Colombia and internationally;
6) Assist with the establishment and coordination of a Mountain Tapir Survival Alliance including a network of conservationists from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru;
7) Raise funds for the position salary and operation costs (second year).

1) Complete review and revision of the Colombia Tapir Conservation Action Plan published in 2004;
2) Compile summary data on all past and current tapir programs, knowledge and gaps in Colombia and determine status for all species, of each project, publications, personnel involved, existing partnerships and collaborations;
3) Draft 5-year strategic plan for the Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative;
4) Design and implement business model and fundraising strategy for Colombia Tapir Conservation Initiative;
5) Support the National Parks of Colombia Mountain Tapir Strategic Plan;
6) Design tapir conservation leadership strategy to build the capacity of tapir conservationists in Colombia;
7) Work with the IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group on the organization of a Mountain Tapir Survival Alliance Summit.

PROFILE: Professional degree (BSc) in biology, ecology or related science; graduate studies in conservation biology, wildlife ecology or similar (MSc and/or PhD) desirable; at least 10 years of experience on wildlife ecology and conservation in Colombia, with specific experience on project design and management, fundraising, networking and communication, conservation policy and institutional relationships; FLUENT in English.

HOST ORGANIZATION and SALARY: The position will be based in Bogotá, Colombia, but travelling will be expected both within and outside the country. Professional will be hosted within and contracted by ProCAT Colombia. Reporting will include host organizations (IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group and ProCAT Colombia) and collaborators (institutional and financial support). Salary will be competitive. We have funding for first year (salary + operation costs) and professional will be required to raise funds for annual budget for subsequent years.



STEP 1 – DOCUMENTS to be submitted: CV, cover letter, TWO (2) letters of recommendation – all documents must be submitted in English – E-MAIL to Patrícia Medici ( – DEADLINE: 1 JULY, 2019.

STEP 2 – A certain number of applicants will be selected for INTERVIEWS through Skype.

Applicants will be informed of final results in the 1st week of AUGUST.

The selected applicant will be hired from SEPTEMBER 1st.
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