Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is the largest terrestrial mammal of the Neotropics, and it is currently listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List. Despite its evolutionary distinctiveness and importance to the ecosystem, little is known about its population status and ecology, particularly in higher elevations. The highlands of Cordillera de Talamanca constitute the largest continuous forest in Costa Rica, spanning over 400 000 hectares. Until now, these highlands have experienced little land use change due to its rugged topography, making them potentially suitable habitat for maintaining viable populations of T. bairdii. Nevertheless, the increase in vehicular traffic along the Panamerican Highway has become a threat to tapirs. In the last 6 years, at least 19 individuals have been killed by vehicles along a single 32 km strip of road. Since 2015, we have been collecting information on the ecological and human dimensions of this problem. To understand the ecology of tapirs, we deployed 48 camera traps in a 324km2 grid to investigate factors affecting the habitat use of this species in an occupancy framework. We have also been gathering information on the perception of drivers towards tapirs. To ensure a lasting impact of our work, we have been developing public awareness activities with vehicle drivers and local schools, as well as building the capacity of forest rangers.