* Threatened or Endangered

Golden-headed Lion Tamarin *

 : Leontopithecus chrysomelas

 : Mammal

 : Brazil

 : Fruit, tree gum, nectar and insects

 : Weight 1 to 1 ½ lbs.

 : 90% of the original Atlantic coastal forest, where these animals live, has been cleared for lumber, charcoal, fruit plantations, cattle grazing areas and industry. In the late 1970’s the population had declined to about 200 animals in the wild. Endangered, this small primate is part of a Species Survival Plan in which zoos and agencies from across the world are working together to help ensure that this animal does not become extinct.


These small monkeys live along the Atlantic coast in Brazil and prefer elevations of sea level to about 350 feet above sea level.  They forage for prey in the leaves of large trees and plants and seldom descend to the forest floor.  Perhaps the best description of these delicate creatures was described by one of Magellan’s scribes, Antonio Pigafetta, who referred to these animals as, “beautiful, simian-like cats similar to small lions.”