Golden Lion Tamarin Baby Born at BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

March 11 2016

BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo is excited to announce the arrival of a new baby golden lion tamarin. Born at the Baton Rouge Zoo on March 9, the baby is now on exhibit with its mother and father, who are on loan to the Zoo from the Brazilian government. The baby is the first golden lion tamarin born at the Zoo since March 2010.

Native to the tropical forests of Brazil, the golden lion tamarin is currently listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. The destruction of ninety percent of the Atlantic coast’s forests for logging and development have played a major role in its current endangerment.

“It’s great to have a new golden lion tamarin baby again since it’s been several years since we had a successful breeding pair,” said Sam Winslow, General Curator. “Golden lion tamarins are one of the fifty or so species we have here at the Zoo that are managed under the Species Survival Plan (SSP), and so every birth counts in the overall effort to save the species.”

The SSP is a program through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, whose goal it is to maintain a healthy population among endangered animals that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Despite being currently identified as Endangered, the golden lion tamarin has had major success over the years in its species’ conservation. One of the primary facets to conservation efforts for this species has been captive breeding through zoos and reintroduction of those tamarins into the wild. Since 1980, its population in wild has gone from an estimated 100 individuals to more than 1,000. More than 400 of those were bred in zoos and have since been successful in rearing young of their own in the wild.