Colombia provides a habitat for a very rich biodiversity. Endemic to the country, white-footed tamarins live in areas where many human activities have been developed.

Endangered species

Colombia has lost a third of its forests, and this is the main reason explaining the disappearance of animal species.

Unfortunately better known by traffickers than by zoologists, the white-footed tamarin is also a victim of the illegal exotic animal trade and one of the most endangered species of the country. Very few information is available about its distribution, density, the composition of its groups, its adaptation to its environment, its genetic and health profile, etc.

Conservation actions

The EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) experts, in collaboration with the ACOPAZOA (the Colombian Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and other governmental and non-governmental organizations in Colombia, have been developing a conservation program since 2006. Coordinated by Beauval Nature, this program has several objectives:

  • develop a breeding program in the Colombian zoos
  • support the reintroduction centres of this species
  • study the species in its natural environment
  • fight against tamarin captures for trade
  • make the local populations aware of the species protection
  • create a protected area

Several missions have been carried out in Colombia. For example, the European breeding protocols for callitrichidaes have been distributed to the Colombian zoological parks and rescue centres. This action has enabled to increase significantly the numbers of white-footed tamarins in these institutions.

A work group meets every year to coordinate the efforts of all the actors implicated in the species protection. Field studies have been carried out with the Wildlife Conservation Society: their objective was to determine a distribution map of the whole species across Colombia.

Education programs have been developed with the local populations, as well as campaigns to raise awareness against the illegal exotic pet trade.

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