Brazil (Atlantic Coastal Forest)
Golden lion tamarins are endemic to a small area in Brazil’s Atlantic Coastal Forest, with only 2 percent of their habitat remaining. Due to habitat loss and more historically, the pet trade, there were an estimated 200 golden lion tamarins living in the 1970s. This led to the development of a comprehensive conservation program that includes habitat protection and restoration, translocation of wild animals to safe forest habitats, a successful cooperative breeding program in zoos, reintroduction of zoo-born GLTs, and an education outreach program. Zoo Atlanta is partnered with the Golden Lion Tamarin Association, a Brazilian non-governmental organization, to conserve the tamarins and their habitat in perpetuity. Conservation efforts have helped increase the number of golden lion tamarins in the wild to around 3,000! This is great news for the tamarins, but we still have work to do. Their habitat remains fragmented and degraded so we are working hard to help create more connections between forest patches and reforest more areas as well as managing the population for long term viability.
Why do they need you?
Golden lion tamarins are an important flagship species for the Atlantic Coastal Forest, a rare and special forest with a record number of endemic species. This forest supports more than 60 percent of the Brazilian population and provides clean drinking water, clean air, and many other resources. By protecting golden lion tamarins, we are protecting every species that lives there, including humans!
How is Zoo Atlanta helping?
Zoo Atlanta has participated in golden lion tamarin conservation for nearly 30 years. Two family groups from Zoo Atlanta have been released in Brazil to support the wild population. Zoo Atlanta is a long-term partner of the Golden Lion Tamarin Association. Zoo Atlanta scientists are working with the Association to develop viable population plans for the species in the wild to ensure long-term survival. The Golden Lion Tamarin Species Survival Plan® and International Studbook are also based at Zoo Atlanta.
Remembering Dr. Jennifer Mickelberg
Zoo Atlanta was devastated by the tragic passing of Jennifer Mickelberg, PhD, our Vice President of Collections and Conservation, on October 31, 2023.
Jennifer’s legacy is felt and missed in countless ways on an intensely individual level by so many people. Her most permanent legacy, however, will be left in the field of conservation. She devoted her career to the conservation of golden lion tamarins, an endangered species endemic to the Atlantic Coastal Forest of Brazil.Read more
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Beyond the Zoo
Learn more about Zoo Atlanta’s commitment to saving species.
The global decline of species and their habitats makes it clear that we need a multifaceted approach to conservation. Zoos are a critical component of this approach, with a responsibility to be a force that drives action.View the Report