Andean Tapir Fund is a permanent status 501 ( c ) 3 organization registered with the IRS and donations to it are tax deductible.
Craig C. Downer
Craig C. Downer is a wildlife ecologist (UCalifBerk, UNevReno, UKanLawr, UDurhamUK) who has extensively studied both the wild horses of the West and the endangered mountain tapirs of the northern Andes. He has given speeches and written many articles, including encyclopedic, and several books. His works are both popular and scientific, in English, Spanish and translated to German.
Several of these concern wild horses, their ecological contribution, their North American evolutionary roots, their great natural and social value and their survival plight. He is a member of the World Conservation Union, Species Survival Commission and has written the Action Plan for the mountain tapir (1997). Fluent in Spanish and competent in French, he is also a member of the American Society of Mammalogists.
One of his books, entitled Wild Horses: Living Symbols of Freedom (1977), examines these magnificent animals from a variety of perspectives, stressing their need to live both freely and naturally in appropriate habitats of sufficient size for long-term viability. He frequently emphasizes how much we owe the horse and by this he means the sharing of freedom on the land here in this world we share as home. Downer has also written a book of poetry Streams of the Soul (2005) containing several illustrated poems concerning wild horses, plays the piano and composes music.
His speech Forever Wild and Free (Wild Horse Forum (ISPMB), Las Vegas, Columbus Day, 2008) received a standing ovation and has been posted on several websites. He has also been a plaintiff in several legal suits to restore wild horses and burros at viable population levels in their legal herd areas throughout the West and has given testimony. He is a 4th generation Nevadan and grew up with his best friend Poco, a tall chestnut stallion, with whom he had many adventures in the deserts and mountains of western Nevada and eastern California. [Composed by C.C. Downer 8/10/2009.]
Craig Downer is available for speaking engagements to deliver his powerful speech entitled “The World’s Endangered Species Present a Crisis of Conscience for Humanity, ” as well as a Wild Horse and Burro Power Point of 219 slides. Contact him here.
Craig also now offers a new 152-slide PowerPoint prepared with a fellow ecologist and delivered at a meeting of a professional scientific society on May 7, 2019 in New Zealand. It is entitled: “World’s Wild Perissodactyls: Restoring the Restorers of Ecological Balance.” Contact him here.
Why bother to save the tapirs?
Besides the obvious reason that a beautiful creature that’s been on the planet for an estimated 35 million years – whose traceable ancestry probably reaches back about 60 million years – should not be exterminated in a few short lifetimes by humans, there are some very practical reasons to save mountain tapirs.
The Andes are a watershed for humans and animals alike.
The destruction of this watershed is already in progress. Villages in Ecuador and other Andean countries are already without water because humanity has devastated the source of this water. Desertification has already begun. This is not a hypothesis of what may happen, it is today’s reality. This situation is widespread throughout the Andes; some of the occurrences in Ecuador are in areas south of Sangay and also near the Colombian border.
How are the watersheds being destroyed?
In several ways. One has to do with tapirs and other animals. Where the animals have been hunted to extinction, the trees disappear. Downer has recently studied the tapir’s role in dispersing seeds needed to maintain healthy forest growth. In turn, the forest is vital in maintaining the watershed. Without trees, the land becomes a desert, and populated areas within the drainage of this watershed become waterless as a result.
Can these ecosystems be saved?
Yes, they can! But it’s going to take a lot of hard work and money in a short period of time.
Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:
Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Craig Carpenter Downer, Ph.D. c., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.. Read More...