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Wild Life Conservation

Patrícia Medici: The coolest animal you know nothing about ... and how we can save it

Although the tapir is one of the world's largest land mammals, the lives of these solitary, nocturnal creatures have remained a mystery. Known as "the living fossil," the very same tapir that roams the forests and grasslands of South America today arrived on the evolutionary scene more than 5 million years ago. But threats from poachers, deforestation and pollution, especially in quickly industrializing Brazil, threaten this longevity. In this insightful talk, conservation biologist, tapir expert and TED Fellow Patrícia Medici shares her work with these amazing animals and challenges us with a question: Do we want to be responsible for their extinction?

Patrícia Medici leads the longest running conservation project to protect the threatened lowland tapir.

Patrícia Medici is a Brazilian conservation biologist whose main professional interests are tapir conservation, tropical forest conservation, metapopulation management, landscape ecology and community-based conservation.

For the past 20 years, Patrícia has been working for a Brazilian non-governmental organization called IPÊ, Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas (Institute for Ecological Research), of which she was one of the founding members together with Cláudio and Suzana Padua. Since 1996, Patrícia has coordinated the Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative in Brazil. Since 2000, Patrícia has been the Chairperson of the IUCN/SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG), a network of over 120 tapir conservationists from 27 different countries worldwide.

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