A conservation haven for the cotton-top tamarin
Were it not for Colombia’s conservation project, Proyecto Tití, we might be speaking of the critically endangered cotton-top tamarin as a species of the past.
Having dwindled at an alarming rate over the past few decades because of deforestation, the illegal pet trade and competition for resources with the surrounding impoverished communities, the cotton-top tamarin needed urgent intervention to survive.
Enter Dr. Anne Savage, whose aim to start the first conservation project for the adorable cotton-top tamarin started as far back as 1987.
Proyecto Tití was thus founded with the understanding that for the adorable monkeys to survive, long-term field data would need to be gathered to better understand Colombia’s endemic primates.
Read more about the cotton-top tamarins and the significant contributions it makes to the forests here.
Despite the extensive field research, Dr. Savage soon realized that the science alone would not be enough if the involvement of the community was not prioritized.
Since the establishment of Proyecto Tití, it now offers:
- Long-term field research
- Conservation education programs
- Community empowerment and communication programs
As the saying goes: “many hands make for light work”. Understanding that collaboration can only improve the protection efforts for the cotton-top tamarin, Proyecto Tití also works with other stewards like Rainforest Trust who, together, worked to save 44.5 hectares of land (now known as Los Titíes de San Juan) from deforestation when it was under the threat of becoming a cattle ranch.
Los Titíes de San Juan: The Reserve
Los Titíes de San Juan Reserve was established in 2015. Through its creation and subsequent growth, it offers areas and refuge for cotton-top tamarins and other species such as:
- Brown-headed spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps)
- Yellow- striped poison frog (Dendrobates leucomelas)
- Scarlet macaw (Ara macao)
- Northern tamandua (Tamandua mexicana)
At Lemu, we strive to make this and other similar projects more visible to everyone. In turn, we hope for this to encourage the idea that conservation can be the best investment possible.
Let’s work together to save the precious ecosystems of the only planet we share.