International Conservation Programme for Saguinus leucopus

Endemic to Colombia, the White-footed Tamarin (Saguinus leucopus, known locally as the ‘grey titi’) has one of the smallest ranges in the Saguinus genus. Victims of deforestation but above all the illegal pet trade, they are classed as endangered on the IUCN* Red List.

A conservation program set up in 2005, bringing together several international partners including ACOPAZOA**, EAZA*** and a number of Colombian and European zoos, has a plan of in and ex situ action with the following aims:
- the development of a breeding program in Colombian and European zoos,
- the logistic and financial support of centres for the rehabilitation of the species in Colombia,
- a study of the species in its natural environment (distribution, population density, available habitat, genetic structure, health status),
- education and awareness-raising within local populations about species conservation, to fight commercial hunting and trafficking,
- creation of a protected area for the species.

Results have already been very encouraging because the precise distribution of the species has been ascertained and the authorities have registered a drop in tamarin trafficking. The various awareness campaigns run by the program (including the annual Grey Titi Festival in towns within the species’ range) appear to have been very successful and to have inspired increasing numbers of local people to get involved.   

Today the programme’s main objectives are to develop the breeding program in Europe and to expand land protection in Colombia to conserve the species in the long-term.

The Zoo de La Palmyre has contributed to the program financially since 2005.

*International Union for Conservation of Nature
**Colombian Association of Zoos and Aquariums
***European Association of Zoos and Aquaria

© J. B. Barreiro, P. Guibert, R. Torres, PISCL.