Proyecto Tití

Endemic to north-west Colombia, cotton-top tamarins (Saguinus oedipus) are endangered by the destruction of their habitat and being hunted for the illegal pet trade. Most of the forests encompassing the species’ range have been destroyed in favour of farming or breeding land. The few remaining parcels of forest house less than 6,000 tamarins. 

Since 1985 the Proyecto Tití[1] has developed a multidisciplinary conservation program combining on-the-ground research, educational campaigns and community projects aiming to protect this little primate classed as critically endangered on the IUCN’s Red List.
 
- Research
The program has studied the species at Colosó and Santa Catalina for many years. Several regular cotton-top tamarin groups there are regularly tracked by researchers thanks to dye-marking techniques and to radio transmitters attached to the dominant male in each group. This process has already enabled the collection of a great deal of data on behaviour, feeding, breeding and rearing of the young.

- Education
Local conservation clubs have been created to engage children and teenagers with cotton-top tamarin protection. By taking part in fun activities, they become familiar with the concept of recycling, learn to avoid waste and become ambassadors for cotton-top tamarin conservation in their communities. The programme also collaborates with Baranquilla Zoo to make its visitors aware of the problem of illegal hunting. 

- Community development
The Proyecto Tití has endowed local communities with food-cooking techniques that use less wood in order to reduce their impact on the forest. It also supports a recycling project: a local women’s cooperative collects plastic bags and turns them into pretty, colourful traditional bags, which it sells. This is a way of limiting the number of plastic bags in the environment and of creating an alternative revenue source for local communities.
 
The Zoo de La Palmyre has been a member of the Cotton-top Tamarin Conservation Club since 2010.
 
Website: www.proyectotiti.com
 
 
[1]Tití Project.
 
Credits: © L. Hoffner, C. Holguin, F. Perroux, Proyecto Tití.