Golden Lion Tamarin gives birth to twins
Our 10-year-old female Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) recently gave birth to twins. This is her 4th litter.
Native to Brazil, Golden Lion Tamarins almost disappeared in the 1960s due to the destruction of the Atlantic Rainforest. Today this forest only covers 7% of its original surface, whereas it extended over almost 1.5 million sq. kilometers in the past!
Thanks to a conservation program started in the late 1960s and to reintroductions carried out by zoological parks including La Palmyre Zoo, between 1984 and 2000, the species has been able to recover. However, it remains classified as “Endangered” by the IUCN, threatened by the expansion of the road network which continues to further fragments remaining forests blocks, by hybridization with introduced Golden-headed Lion Tamarins and by a recent yellow fever outbreak which led to the decline of populations in some protected areas of its home range.
Besides their spectacular appearance, Golden Lion Tamarins set themselves apart because of their omnivorous diet (small vertebrates and invertebrates adding to fruits, flowers, gum and nectar usually eaten) and the cooperative care provided to the young: soon after birth, the breeding female is helped by the other members of the group to carry and groom the babies, then to share food at the time of weaning.