The Malayan Tapir, Tapirus indicus, is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. It has the distinction of being the largest of the four tapir species, as well as being the only tapir native to the Old World. The Malayan Tapir is unmistakable with its bold black and white markings.
Once widely abundant, over recent decades Malayan Tapir population numbers have rapidly declined, and the species now survives only as isolated populations in remote or protected areas in Indonesia, Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, and Thailand. Habitat destruction poses the predominant threat, as a result of forests being cleared for human settlement, agriculture and, more recently, palm oil plantations. This species is also hunted for its meat and for sale in the Asian zoo trade, and often becomes road-kill.
International trade in the Malayan Tapir is prohibited under its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It is also legally protected in all countries in which it occurs, and is found in a number of protected areas, including some of the most secure reserves in Southeast Asia.