Past Projects

Saguinus leucopus Programme

© Alba moralesMission: Determine the species' distribution, density, genetics and health in such a way that potential and priority areas for conservation can be identified. Determine the causes of mortality and analyse information regarding the death of animals in human care. Establish a breeding programme in Colombia and export animals raised in human care in the frame of this breeding programme in such a way, that a breeding programme in Europe can be established. Continue reintroductions into their natural habitat of animals confiscated by the Colombian authorities. Follow-up on reintroduced animals using radio transmitters. Evaluate the illegal trade in wild species. Plan solutions for the illegal trade in wild species through educational programmes aimed at local communities, making them aware of this conservation problem and searching for alternative sources of income, which will allow local people to abandon the current exploitation of wildlife resources.

Species: Silvery brown tamarin (saguinus-leucopus)

Location: Colombia

Support: 2006-2007

Amount donated: £3105.33 to help develop 2 cages at additional zoos in 2007. 

Background: The silvery brown tamarin is endemic to Colombia and is classed as vulnerable in the wild. The species faces threats of pet trade and loss of habitat and is poorly protected in the wild. This project combines ex situ, in situ and educational goals to provide solutions to pet trade animals. The project supports zoos and rescue centres to establish an ex situ programme, supports research and conservation actions and is working to launch an educational campaign to reduce pet trade.

In 2007, researchers will assess the distribution and density of this species and identify conservation and research areas. In captive collections in Colombia, scientists will conduct behaviour studies, establish a captive breeding programme, including a studbook, build appropriate enclosures and improve husbandry at Colombian zoos and rehabilitation centres, work towards reintroduction projects with the government rehabilitation centre, CORNARE, as well as purchase land to create a reserve with the World Land Trust.

This species is currently maintained in a number of Colombian zoos, all of which have problems with reproduction and survival of this species. At least 50 zoo animals have died in the last 5 years and no offspring have survived to one year of age. As a result of this, the Saguinus leucopus International Conservation Programme has been working to develop high standard reproduction cages in these Colombian zoos, to promote the welfare of these captive individuials and to in turn enable scientists to learn more about this species' behaviour. Following recent efforts to improve the welfare of captive silvery brown tamarins in Colombia, a number of females have since given birth. 

At least one individual is confiscated and handed over to each centre per week and, in some cases, at centres in the species' region one individual arrives at the centre per day! 

Future objectives: In the long term, the Saguinus leucopus programme is working towards the eventual reintroduction of silvery brown tamarins and also towards the formation of a protected reserve with the help of the World Land Trust, to protect not only this species but also spider monkey species and blue-billed curassow.

Action for the Wild is Colchester Zoo’s charitable arm

Action for the Wild became a charity in 2004

Action for the Wild has donated over £2 million to animal conservation to date