Today, we join the world in celebrating Golden Lion Tamarin Day, a special occasion dedicated to raising awareness about these incredible creatures and the conservation efforts that have helped bring them back from the brink of extinction.
Golden lion tamarins, with their vibrant manes and agile acrobatics, have captured the hearts of animal lovers worldwide. But despite their charm, they face numerous challenges in the wild, and their endangered status calls for urgent action.
Miniature but mighty
Golden lion tamarins are small primates known for their striking bright orange manes, resembling those of African lions. These agile creatures use their long tails for balance as they leap from tree to tree on all fours, aided by their claws to climb and forage for food.
Native to the lowland Atlantic Coastal Rainforest in southeastern Brazil, these tamarins are territorial, protecting a significant range despite their small size. They communicate with specific alarm calls when they sense predators– like cats, snakes, or birds of prey– nearby.
Sadly, golden lion tamarins are listed as Endangered due to fragmented habitats caused by logging and rainforest development, as well as disease outbreaks like yellow fever.
While their situation remains precarious, there is hope for these tamarins. Thanks to a successful breeding programme starting in the 1970s, their status was upgraded from Critically Endangered to Endangered by the IUCN in 2003.
More than 70% of the current wild population descends from 146 zoo-born tamarins reintroduced to Brazil between 1984 and 2000. Today, 156 zoos, including Newquay Zoo, collaborate to maintain a stable population, acting as insurance against potential wild disasters.
Celebrate with us
The amazing comeback of the golden lion tamarin is a cause for celebration and a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts.
At Newquay Zoo, we are committed to helping halt species decline and protecting at-risk animals and plants from the impacts of biodiversity loss.
By visiting us, not only will you have a chance to see these captivating creatures up close, but you’ll also be supporting vital conservation initiatives that aim to secure a future for golden lion tamarins and other endangered species.
Furthermore, to celebrate this special day, we are hosting an exclusive ranger talk on these remarkable animals. Join us by the golden lion tamarin enclosure at 11.30am on Wednesday 2 August 2023 to learn more about their fascinating behaviours, their conservation journey, and the crucial role zoos play in safeguarding their future.