Zoo Snapshot: Cotton-top Tamarin

This is a cotton-top tamarin at the El Paso Zoo.

Cotton-top Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Critically Endangered: Wild population estimated to be 2,000

Body length: Up to 1.8 feet head to tail.

Habitat: Tropical dry forests.

At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the South American Pavilion.

Rainforest in South America.

The El Paso Zoo supports Proyeto Titi to help conserve this species in the wild. Both males and siblings help to care for the babies living in a tamarin troop.  There are 10-12 tamarins per troop with one breeding male and female.  Twins are very common accounting for 4 out of every 5 births. This species is listed as Critically Endangered due to a severe reduction in population, estimated to be greater that 80% over the past 3 generations (18 years) due to destruction of habitat in north-western Columbia. Before the species was declared endangered in 1973 more than 20,000-40,000 cotton-top tamarins were exported from Colombia to the United States for use in biomedical research. 

This a map showing where cotton-top tamarins live in South America.
This is a cotton-top tamarin at the El Paso Zoo.

Photos by
Rick LoBello
Rainforest by jpc.raleigh, Wikimedia Creative Commons

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