Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Jorge Rojas tracks a tapir

Jorge Rojas: Guardian the gardeners of the forest

Authored by:
Erica Techo

Jorge Rojas is protecting living fossils.

Those “fossils” are Baird’s tapir, an endangered herbivore that looks like a small rhino, with a nose that resembles a short trunk and lives in Central and South America. As a remnant of the megafauna, they roamed the earth alongside mastodons and sabertoothed tigers during the last ice age, but now, only around 5,500 remain in the world.

And these tapirs are an important part of their environment. They can eat more than 200 species of plants, helping clear undergrowth in forests and promote new growth.

“They’re really important for seed dispersal, and that’s why they are known as the gardeners of the forest,” Rojas said.

As a doctoral student in the University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, Rojas is making sure the populations in Costa Rica are protected as they coexist with their human neighbors.

Read the full story on the UGA News website

Slide/Banner Caption:
Jorge Rojas uses his equipment to track a radiocollared tapir. (Photo by Alejandro Prieto)
Read More:

Support Warnell

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Learn more about giving.