These squirrel-sized monkeys may not be big, but they certainly get your attention! On this Wildlife Wednesday, we learn about the golden lion tamarin.
These squirrel-sized vine swingers may not be the biggest primate out there, but they certainly get your attention! Let’s not get down to monkey business, though—on this Wildlife Wednesday, we’re talking tamarin (golden lion tamarin, to be specific).
These brightly coloured creatures can be glimpsed swinging through the thick canopies of the seasonal rainforests found along Brazil’s Atlantic coast.
Why are they threatened?
Centuries of deforestation for sugar cane and coffee plantations and, more recently, logging, and livestock and charcoal production, has left the tamarins’ forest range in shambles. Today, only about 8 percent of the their range still stands, making a home for fewer than 1,000 individuals and providing limited space in which to expand.
However, it’s not a leap to imagine a future where these bold primates can safely make their homes in Brazil’s canopies. They can already find a safe haven in several reserves, including Reserva Biológica Poço das Antas, a 28,000 acre (11, 300 hectare) park near Rio de Janeiro.
And, as more and more nature-loving tourists flock to the area, the area’s residents are realizing that their coastal forests are more valuable intact than on the ground.