Habitat & Range
Tropical swamp forests in coastal lowlands.
Golden lion tamarins are native to southeastern Brazil near Rio de Janeiro.
Golden Lion Tamarin
Tamarins use a variety of vocalizations to communicate with group members. High-pitched calls and squeaks are used to warn intruders away and to warn group members if predators threaten. Different calls are used for predators in the air (like hawks) and predators on the ground or in the trees. Tamarins also communicate through facial expressions and scent marking.
IUCN Status: Endangered
Golden lion tamarins are endangered due to severe habitat destruction because of logging, farming and urbanization. Only 2-3% of their former forest habitat still exists. In 1974, the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve was established in Brazil to provide a protected area for tamarins. A second reserve, União Federal Biological Reserve, was established in 1996. In 1971 an international cooperative breeding program was established to increase the captive population of tamarins. By 2001, nearly 150 captive born tamarins had been reintroduced to Brazil to increase the number and genetic diversity of the wild population. Because of the cooperative efforts between the government of Brazil, zoos (including Denver Zoo), WWF and other organizations as well as farmers in Brazil, there are now over 1200 wild golden lion tamarins in preserved forest in Brazil and a stable population of about 500 golden lion tamarins in zoos around the world. By 2025, the goal is to increase preserved forest to 62,000 acres and provide corridors to reconnect fragmented habitat to support a sustainable population of 2,000 golden lion tamarins.
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