There are currently two groups of pied tamarins at the zoo – one can be found in Monkey Heights and the other by the ape islands.
A small New World monkey, pied tamarins are today only found around the city of Manaus, Brazil in tropical seasonal forests.
These primates tend to prefer a herbivorous diet made up of flowers, leaves, buds and nectar, but will also eat insects and small vertebrates.
- Due to their unusual appearance, this species is also referred to as the ‘pied bare-faced tamarin’.
- Pied tamarins lead a very social life, with a family set-up of mixed genders. Only the alpha female within the group will breed but the entire family unit will help to rear the youngsters.
- Communication between pied tamarins is done through vocalisations, visual contact and scent marking.
Pied tamarins are unfortunately one of the most endangered primates in the world. Their wild population is on a downward trend due to threats such as habitat loss, hunting and competition with domestic species.
However this primate is protected in some small areas of its natural range, and there is an established captive breeding programme within zoos.