Population density of Tapirus pinchaque was estimated in 7000 ha Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados in the central Andes of Colombia. Eight variables were measured in 110 left rear foot prints of the mountain tapir: total length and width, and length and width of the three toes. This information was analyzed with Cluster Analysis by means of UPGMA and Euclidean distance using the scores obtained by means of a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) using the eight variables. Habitat availability was measured in 147,000 ha using aerial photographs taken during the 1950s and 1980s. The results of the cluster analysis showed that there are between 11 and 15 individuals, for a mean density of one individual for each 551 ± 85 ha. The measurements of forest cover in the 147000 ha showed that habitat availability for the mountain tapir (montane forests and forestry plantations) increased 18141ha from the 1950s to the 1980s. This increment in forest cover seems to have a positive effect on the local population size of T. pinchaque, since in areas previously covered by pastures, there are now secondary forests where tapir's tracks and feces can be found.
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Vol. 32 • No. 1