We are delighted to announce the arrival of our first baby Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator) monkey at Alma Park Zoo!
Earlier in 2013, Alma Park Zoo became a member of the European Endangered Species (EES) program with the arrival of a breeding pair of Emperor Tamarin monkeys.
The male, Gomez arrived from Aalborg Zoo in Denmark in January and the female, Aya arrived from Lyon Zoo in France in March.
Becoming a member of the EES program was based on the Alma Park Zoo’s excellent track record of husbandry and breeding of primates, including marmosets and the Critically Endangered Cotton Top Tamarins.
There are few Emperor Tamarin monkeys remaining in Australasian zoos. As a result, Gomez and Aya had to be imported to Australia to enhance the genetic diversity of the Emperor Tamarins in Australia.
Gomez and Aya represent new genetics for the Australasian region and we are so delighted to announce that they have produced a baby Tamarin in December 2013.
Similar to the Cotton Top Tamarins, the male Gomez, is the primary care giver of the new baby. Gomez can be seen carrying, grooming and protecting his new family member. Gomez will take the baby to Aya to be fed.
Emperor tamarins are native to woodlands of the SW Amazon Basin. A sub-species (S. i. subgrisescens) includes this range and also Bolivia.
In other areas such as Bolivia the IUCN classifies their status as indeterminate. Although their natural range was previously remote and this species considered relatively secure (Least Concern, IUCN), their habitat is now impacted by deforestation for logging and cattle ranching, and populations of Emperor tamarins are decreasing.
They are listed as a Threatened species in Brazil and Peru, with other populations classed as indeterminate status due to lack of data.
The Emperor tamarin breeding program at Alma Park Zoo will contribute to the conservation of these small primates, ensuring captive populations continue to include a sound genetic representation and remain healthy for the future.