Golden lion tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia

NZ Golden Lion Tamarin 09 21 ONB LR 8
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Mammals
Order: Primates
Family: Callitrichidae

Our four golden lion tamarins arrived at Newquay Zoo in November 2022. We have two males and two females.

Golden lion tamarins are native to Atlantic coastal rainforests of south-eastern Brazil and are typically found in lowland areas.

They mainly eat soft fruit and insects, but they will eat flowers, nectar and small invertebrates.

Interesting facts!

  • Golden lion tamarins are very social, friendly and playful animals. They can often be observed huddling and playing together. Wrestling and chasing are among other important activities.
  • When feeding upon insects, these primates use a technique known as micromanipulation: they penetrate narrow crevices in the tree bark with their long and slender fingers to get to their meal.
  • The Golden lion tamarin is currently one of the national symbols of Brazil. The new 20 Reais note, printed by the Central Bank, features this animal.


Golden lion tamarins were formerly threatened by loss and fragmentation of their forest habitat. Individuals were captured for trade or as pets. Currently, the biggest concern to the overall population is their highly limited and heavily fragmented natural range, combined with the small overall population, which doesn’t allow for successful breeding.