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|Common Name:||Golden-headed lion tamarin||Family:||Callitrichidae|
|Latin Name:||Leontopithecus chrysomelas||Diet:||Frugivore|
|Native To:||South America||Social Unit:||Group|
|IUCN Red List Status:||Endangered|
Golden-headed lion tamarins at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo has a pair of golden-headed lion tamarins: a male named Santos, born in 2002, and a female named Heidi, born in 2006. Santos came to Edinburgh Zoo from London Zoo in 2007, while Heidi came to us from Magdeburg Zoo in September 2008. Heidi has settled in well, and is always seen near Santos. The pair has been seen mating, so with luck, this might the start of a good breeding programme for the golden-headed lion tamarin at Edinburgh Zoo.
Where they can be found at Edinburgh Zoo
Golden-headed lion tamarins in the wild
The golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas) is one of four lion tamarin species found in South America. Golden-headed lion tamarins are the largest and heaviest of any tamarin found in South America.
Golden-headed lion tamarins are found in lowland, swamp, and tall evergreen forests, but they can also be found in shaped cacao plantations in the Atlantic rainforest. The golden-headed lion tamarin will forage up high in the trees. Climbing to heights of around 12-20 metres (39-66 ft) is very common for this species. At this height they will find bromeliads, which have many insects and frogs in and around them. These micro-habitats are a very important food source to the lion tamarins, and the tamarins will visit these small habitats many times during the day.
The wild diet of golden-headed lion tamarins is made up of fruit, tree gum, nectar, animal prey, and also includes large insects. During the drier season when there is less fruit to eat, nectar is very important to tamarins. They also have very long fingers, the longest of any tamarin. These are put to good use when foraging in crevices, because they can investigate with their long fingers to get at insects that others can’t reach.
Golden-headed lion tamarins in the wild are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as Endangered, meaning that this species is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. This is due mainly to high rates of forest loss in the Atlantic Forest. Remaining populations of golden-headed lion tamarins are severely fragmented.
Breeding programme category: EEP
IUCN Red List category: Endangered
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