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Golden lion tamarin

Leontopithecus rosalia

This striking primate is one of five species of Lion tamarin, all of which are at threat from extinction in the wild.

Interesting fact: All lion tamarins have long fingers and sharp claws to help them catch grubs and bugs in the trees.


Find out more...


Habitat & threats

Forest canopy and flooded areas in tropical forest fragments in the state of Bahia. The small range means that they are at risk of extinction from habitat loss. This species of tamarin is part of a project to reintroduce captive-bred animals back to protected areas of their range.



They feed on fruit, nectar from pods and tree sap. They also hunt for a variety of insects which they find in vine tangles, ferns and leaf litter held within tree branches and boughs. This species will eat gum and sap as part of their diet however unlike many other tamarins this is rare. 


Breeding and social dynamics

Golden-headed lion tamarins live in family groups of 10 or more. Multi male and female groups occur in the wild. Following a gestation of between 125-130 days the female will normally give birth to twins and as with many tamarins, older siblings and the male will take turns in baby-sitting.



Part of a managed European breeding programme.