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Cotton Topped Tamarin


Fact File

Class: Mammal
Order: Primate
Family: Marmosets & tamarins
Found: South America
Size:  24 cm
Weight:  300-500g


Diet:  Omnivore (Eats Plants & Meat)

Gestation: 140 days


Conservation Status: VU

Cotton-Topped Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Habitats: This species is found in tropical rainforest edges and secondary forests. It has been found in a variety of habitats from wetland tropical forest, to moist woodland forest and dry thorn forest savannah.

Threats: Deforestation is this species’ greatest threat. It has already lost most of its habitat through forest clearing for timber, charcoal, human settlement, agricultural land and industry. The forest areas in which it now exists are so fragmented, it is believed that they are too small to maintain the tamarin populations. Sadly the continuous expansion of human settlement in northern Colombia has brought the cotton-headed top tamarin more bad luck. With easier access to the tamarin’s habitat, animal collectors trap these small monkeys and sell them in port cities, either for export or local trade.

Social Behaviour: Tamarins go around in small family groups of mother, father and their offspring. Only one female in the group breeds, even though there may be several others present. She gives birth usually twice a year and frequently to twins. When it comes to looking after the baby, every member of the group helps out, including the father. All of the group also help to feed the mother, as well as the infants and other group members that are carrying them.

 Food: They have a varied diet, feeding on plants, insects and other animals. They also feed on gum.

Range: Confined to small area of Colombia, but formerly much more widespread across the country.

 Information:  We are part of the co-operative effort to save this species. Throughout your visit you will encounter free roaming family groups of Cotton Topped Tamarins, please do not touch or feed them.

How we are Protecting Wild Animals
The Cotton top tamarin is one of the most endangered primates in the world, with as few as 1000 left in the wild.

The biggest threat to these animals is capture for the pet trade and deforestation, with as much as 98% of their rainforest habitat having been destroyed within the last decade!

In order to engage local Colombian communities in action that positively impacts the environment and protects habitat for Cotton top tamarins, Project Titi have created several programmes to give people economic incentives. This includes employing local people to produce trade items, such as tamarin toys and bags made from recycled materials.

The project also provides educational resources for schools and adult training courses, as well as hosting a variety of conservation themed clubs and activities. We also employ rangers to monitor and preserve the tamarins and their habitat

Safari Zoo Animals Protected by This Project

Other Wild Animals Protected by This Project