Golden Lion Tamarin

Golden Lion Tamarin

Scientific Name:
Leontopithecus rosalia

Eastern Brazil in a protected reserve in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Swampy, tropical forest

Average Size:
Body Length: 9-15 inches
Body-Tail Length: 23-33 inches
Weight: .8-1.5 pounds

About 28 years in captivity

Wild: Insects, spiders, small vertebrates, eggs, fruit
Zoo: Various produce items, egg, mealworms, crickets, monkey biscuits

Gestation: 128 days
Litter size: Usually twins

These large tamarins are bright orange gold in color with shaggy ‘manes’ around the head (of both sexes).

Raptors, snakes and cats

Population Status:

Golden Lion Tamarin Map

About the Animal: The Golden Lion Tamarin is one of the largest of the marmosets and tamarins, and sadly, one of the rarest.  It is easily distinguished from other marmosets and tamarins by its bright orange color and distinctive mane that surrounds its face.  This coloring has earned it the nickname ‘king of the new world jungle’.

Like all tamarins, this species prefers to live in family groups.  These groups spend the days moving through their territories in search of food and invaders.  When the day gets too hot, they curl up in the plants that grow on the branches of the massive rainforest trees to relax until the temperatures drop again in the evening.

Golden Lion Tamarins are critically endangered, with approximately 1500 remaining worldwide. Intensive conservation efforts and protection both within Brazil and at zoos and aquariums around the world have brought new hope for the survival of this lovely little monkey.  Many captive born tamarins are released to wild every year.  This re-introduction effort coupled with education of local people is helping to save the Golden Lion Tamarin from extinction

Mating and Reproduction: In a family group of Golden Lion Tamarins, only the dominant female will mate and produce young.  The entire family group assists with the raising of offspring.  The mother only carries the infants when it is time to nurse.  The rest of the time, the father or other group member cares for the infants.

Amazing InformationOn-going studies of this tamarin have been critical in determining the success of re-introduction efforts.  Currently, 1/3 of the wild population is the result of intensive re-introduction and conservation efforts.