Golden Lion Tamarin

(Leontopithecus rosalia)


Golden Lion Tamarin IUCN ENDANGERED (EN)


Facts about this animal

The golden lion tamarin is between 20-36 cm long with a tail length of between 31-40 cm and average weight around 620 g. Males and females are similarly sized. The Golden lion tamarin is so-called because of the beautiful mane of silky golden hair that frames its face. Their bodies are covered in long, soft silky hair with coloration ranging from pale golden to a rich reddish-gold. Golden lion tamarins are a social species, they are found in groups of 2-8, often made up of family members but there is only one breeding pair per group. About 78% of all births in wild Golden lion tamarins are twins and the energetic demand of caring for two infants has shaped the social structure and cooperative breeding patterns prevalent in this primate species. The golden lion tamarin is one of the most endangered primates. The habitat of the golden lion tamarin has been drastically reduced and fragmented into isolated patches through logging and clearance for cultivation and development. Fortunately, a captive breeding programme aims to maintain a zoo population of around 500 individuals, and captive-bred individuals have been reintroduced to the wild. A conservation education programme in Brazil has raised the profile of this species, and the Golden lion tamarin is now widely regarded with pride as a national symbol of conservation.

Did you know?
That only 2 -3 % of the golden lion tamarin's original South Atlantic Rainforest habitat is still in existence and that, in 2001-2002, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) ran an "Atlantic Rainforest Campaign" using the golden lion tamarin as the flagship species?


Suborder SIMIAE
Name (Scientific) Leontopithecus rosalia
Name (English) Golden Lion Tamarin
Name (French) Singe-lion ou Tamarin lion doré ou Tamarin soyeux
Name (German) Goldgelbes Löwenäffchen
Name (Spanish) Tití León Dorado
Local names Brazil: Mico-leão-dourado
CITES Status Appendix I
CMS Status Not listed



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Range Brazil
Habitat Tropical forests in the coastal lowlands
Wild population More than 1,000 (Red List IUCN 2011)
Zoo population 469 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Golden Lion Tamarin


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 31 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


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Why do zoos keep this animal

The golden lion tamarin is an endangered species in the wild. With a view of building up a viable reserve population, an International Studbook has been established in 1970 under the WAZA umbrella, and coordinated conservation breeding programmes are operated at the regional level by ARAZPA, AZA, EAZA and JAZA.


Because of its beautiful golden fur the golden lion tamarin is an ideal ambassador species for its threatened rainforest habitat and has been used as the flagship species for the Atlantic Rainforest Campaign of EAZA. Many zoos keeping the species engage also in in situ projects.