Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Losses and reproduction of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia.

Published source details

Beck B., Dietz J., Castro L., Carvelho C., Martins A. & Rettberg-Beck B. (1991) Losses and reproduction of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia. Dodo, 50-61


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Rehabilitate injured/orphaned primates Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that over 60% of orphaned and rehabilitated golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were reintroduced into the wild alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 reintroduced tamarins did not survive over seven years. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%), of which 38 (67%) survived. In contrast to the wild-born orphaned tamarins, captive-born tamarins never became independent of food and water provisioning and daily management. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Some groups were trained in behaviours that would facilitate survival, were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local conditions before release. Tamarins underwent quarantine, health checks and parasite treatment before release. Sick or injured animals were captured, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide artificial water sources Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve in Brazil, found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, some of which were supplemented with water along with 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during this period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Water was provided in bowls. Captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Captive breeding and reintroduction of primates into the wild: born and reared in cages Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil  found that over 60% of captive-bred golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were reintroduced into the wild alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during this period, of which 38 (67%) survived. In contrast to the wild-born orphaned tamarins, captive-born tamarins never became independent of food and water provisioning and daily management. Captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Some groups were trained in behaviours that facilitate survival, were provided supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Remove/treat external/internal parasites to increase reproductive success/survival Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, which were treated for parasites before release alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild over seven years. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the same period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Tamarins were quarantined, screened and treated for parasites, infectious diseases, possible genetically-based defects, injuries and diaphragmatic thinning and only released if they were clear of untreatable conditions. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. All tamarin groups were quarantined before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983 and a long-term research study was implemented. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Implement quarantine for primates before reintroduction/translocation Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were quarantined before release alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Tamarins were quarantined for six months before they would qualify for reintroduction. During quarantine their health was monitored continuously. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured reintroduced tamarins were captured, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983 when a long-term research study was implemented. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates into habitat where the species is present Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984–1991 in coastal forest in Brazil found that the majority of golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were reintroduced into habitat alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive for more than seven years. Fifty-eight of 91 reintroduced tamarins (64%) did not survive in the wild. Fifty-seven infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) of which 38 (67%) survived. All groups had encounters and exchanged vocalizations with wild tamarins and one reintroduced male reproduced with a wild female. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat with predators. Before release some tamarins were trained to facilitate their wild survival, provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks, and were treated for parasites before their release. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve was officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Conduct veterinary screens of animals before reintroducing/translocating them Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, which underwent extensive veterinary screens before release alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over a study period of seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study, of which 38 (67%) survived. Tamarins were screened and treated for parasites, communicable diseases, possible genetically-based defects, injuries, and diaphragmatic thinning and only released if they were clear untreatable conditions. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. All tamarin groups were quarantined before release. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. In 1983 the reserve became officially protected and a long-term research study was implemented. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Captive breeding and reintroduction of primates into the wild: born and reared in cages Primate Conservation

A controlled study in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that more wild-born lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia survived after reintroduction into the wild than captive-bred tamarins. No statistical tests were carried out to determine whether this difference was significant. Twenty-nine (34%) of 85 and four (67%) of six reintroduced captive-bred and wild-born tamarins were still alive in 1991, respectively. Captive-bred and wild-born animals survived for between 1-83 months and 43-75 months, respectively. Furthermore, captive-born tamarins depended on daily provisioning and health monitoring whereas wild-born tamarins were independent of supplementary food or managing. Wild-born tamarins had been taken by poachers and lived in private homes before they were confiscated. Captive-bred tamarins were retrieved from the National Zoological Park in Washington DC and transferred to the Rio de Janeiro Primate Centre before release.

Allow primates to adapt to local habitat conditions for some time before introduction to the wild Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, some of which were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release along with 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Tamarin groups (families or pairs) were kept in large forest acclimatization cages at the release sites. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Treat sick/injured animals Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil  found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, which were treated if sick or injured alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over the study period of seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study, of which 38 (67%) survived. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and only re-released once fully recovered. Tamarins were also screened and treated for parasites, infectious diseases, possible genetically-based defects. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were quarantined, provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates into habitat with predators Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984–1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were reintroduced into habitat with predators along with 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. Over seven years 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) of which 38 (67%) survived. Six reintroduced tamarins were killed by predators, but none of the wild-born offspring fell prey to predators. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat where the species was already present. All tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. Some groups were trained in behaviours that would aid their survival, provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. The reserve forest was officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Fostering appropriate behaviour to facilitate rehabilitation Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that over 60% of the reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, some of which were trained in behaviours to facilitate survival alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 individuals did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%), of which 38 (67%) survived. Tamarins were trained in food detection, strength and locomotor ability, and predator detection and avoidance. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Some groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local conditions before release. Tamarins underwent quarantine, veterinary checks, and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were captured treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983s. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide additional sleeping platforms/nesting sites for primates Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were provided with a nestbox alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over a study period of seven years. Fifty-eight (64%) out of 91 reintroduced tamarins did not survive post-release. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Nestboxes were modified plastic picnic coolers and were initially provided to groups during quarantine, and/or in the acclimatization cages and/or post-release. Captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat with resident tamarins and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food and water, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Provide supplementary food for a certain period of time only Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, which were supplemented with food along with 14 other interventions, did not survive over a study period of seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Supplementary feeding platforms were moved further from the tamarins to encourage them to increase their foraging range. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat with resident tamarins and predators. Some groups were provided with supplementary water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and parasite treatment before release. Sick or injured animals were recaptured, treated and rereleased. The reserve became officially protected in 1983 and a long-term research study was implemented. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Reintroduce primates in groups Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil found that the majority of golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia that were reintroduced as groups into natural habitat along with 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive post-release. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during this period, of which 38 (67%) survived. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarin groups were introduced in 1984-85, 1987, and 1988-90 into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Some groups were trained to learn behaviours that facilitated survival, were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and were allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and parasite treatments before release. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and re-released. The reserve became protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Run research project and ensure permanent human presence at site Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil, found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, which were monitored regularly as part of a long-term research program alongside 14 other interventions, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive post-reintroduction. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) of which 38 (67%) survived. In 1983, a long-term study of the wild tamarin population was implemented. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and parasite treatments before release. Reintroduced sick or injured animals were recaptured, treated and rereleased. The reserve became officially protected in 1983. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.

Legally protect primate habitat Primate Conservation

A before-and-after trial in 1984-1991 in coastal forest in Poço das Antas Reserve, Brazil, which was proclaimed a protected area in 1983 alongside 14 other interventions, found that the majority of reintroduced golden lion tamarins Leontopithecus rosalia, did not survive over seven years. Fifty-eight out of 91 (64%) reintroduced tamarins did not survive in the wild. However, 57 infants were born (reproductive rate=63%) during the study period, of which 38 (67%) survived. The Reserve falls into the IUCN category 1a and has the protective status of a ‘Strict Nature Reserve’. Different groups of captive-bred or orphaned tamarins were introduced in different years into habitat already occupied by the species and predators. Groups were provided with supplementary food, water and nesting boxes, and allowed to adapt to local habitat conditions before release. Tamarins were quarantined, underwent veterinary checks and were treated for parasites before release. Sick or injured animals were rescued, treated and rereleased. In 1983, a long-term research study was implemented. The study does not distinguish between the effects of the different interventions mentioned above.