The cotton-top tamarin is famous for its distinctive appearance but the animal is under threat. A long-running project aims to save it and its habitat in the tropical forests of Colombia.Project goal: The overall aim of the project is to designate the cotton-top tamarin as a “flagship” species, as part of an overall plan to preserve the natural resources of its habitat in Colombia into the long term.
Project area: The cotton-top tamarin is an endemic species in northern Colombia. It exists only in northwestern Columbia, near the country’s Caribbean coast. It is estimated that there are only about 7,000 cotton-top tamarins in the wild today.
Project partners: Proyecto Tití, a conservation-focused NGO that combines field research, education initiatives and community programs, and the Wildlife Conservation Network (WCN), a non-profit organization that partners with conservationists from around the world.
In the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands of cotton-top tamarins were captured and exported to the United States as lab animals for animal experiments in cancer research, a practice that is now banned. But that doesn’t mean they are safe. Today, the greatest threat to the monkeys’ survival is the continued destruction of their habitat. The animals, which are known for their cute appearance, are also captured and sold on the black market as pets. The conservation group Proyecto Tití tries to protect both them and the rainforest, where they live.
A film by Katja Döhne