Found only in southeast Brazil, the golden lion tamarin is threatened by collection for the pet trade, habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. While protection of the species has resulted in an increase in their numbers, they are still classified as endangered. Their forest habitat has been reduced to only two percent of its original area, with habitats fragmented into unconnected areas, each supporting only a small group of monkeys. Deforestation has been ongoing for centuries to make way for sugar cane and coffee production, cattle grazing, logging, charcoal and urbanization.
“There are only about 2,500 golden lion tamarins remaining in the wild, and a third of those are descended from GLTs raised in human care,” said Zoo Director Gregg Dancho. “We’re proud of our contribution to the restoration of this species, with babies born here released in Brazil to help stabilize the population.”
“This new baby is an important part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)’s Species Survival Plan (SSP), helping to preserve golden lion tamarins for future generations,” he said. “All species raised in human care in accredited zoos are important ambassadors, raising awareness of habitat protection and contributing to the survival of their species.”
About Golden Lion Tamarins
Considered the most beautiful of the four tamarin species, the golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) is named for the thick mane of hair around their necks, reminiscent of the great cats of Africa. Golden lion tamarins live primarily in the trees. They sleep in hollows at night and forage by day while traveling from branch to branch. Once down to 200 individuals in the wild and on the brink of extinction, intensive conservation efforts helped the population recover.
About Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo
Get your ticket to adventure! Connecticut’s only zoo, celebrating its 101st year, features 350 animals representing primarily North and South American and Northern Asian species. Guests won’t want to miss our Amur tiger and leopards, maned wolves, Mexican gray wolves, and red wolves. Other highlights include our Spider Monkey Habitat, the prairie dog exhibit, and the Pampas Plain with giant anteaters and Chacoan peccaries. Guests can grab a bite from the Peacock Café and eat in the Picnic Grove. As an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participant in its Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, the non-profit Zoo is committed to the preservation of endangered animals and wild habitats. Tickets must be purchased on the Zoo’s website at beardsleyzoo.org.
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