Abstract # 288 Event # 22:

Scheduled for Sunday, June 2, 2002 01:30 PM-02:30 PM: (Room 16/17, Cox Convention Center) Featured Speaker

Proyecto Titi: A multidisciplinary approach to the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin in Colombia

A. Savage1,2
1Disney's Animal Kingdom, PO Box 10,000, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830-1000, USA, 2Proyecto Titi, Santa Catalina, Colombia
     Developing successful conservation programs for endangered primates that provide a balance between the needs of local communities and the animals is a challenging task. The team of Proyecto Tití has assembled a program that integrates successful field and scientific initiatives, education programs for rural and urban communities, with the ability to influence decision makers to assist in the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin in Colombia. Our scientific studies of wild tamarins have provided information on reproductive strategies, social behavior, infant development, feeding ecology, and habitat range and use. Our education initiatives continue to grow from local school programs that increase awareness to the plight of the cotton-top tamarin, to visitor programs at the Barranquilla Zoo that teach about the illegal wildlife trade, to the development of an agricultural training center that teaches appropriate conservation farming practices. For conservation programs to be successful, they must be economically feasible for local communities. Our programs range from the use of small cook stoves (bindes) that significantly reduce firewood consumption to the development of a cottage industry where local villagers make plush cotton-top tamarin toys for sale. Given the commitment and interest of many dedicated individuals in Colombia, we continue to work on the long-term preservation of habitat for cotton-top tamarins that we hope will result in a national park for this species in the near future.