A Critically Endangered arrival just in time for Endangered Species day!

May 23, 2024

We celebrated Endangered Species Day with a Critically Endangered new arrival at Marwell Zoo, following the birth of a tiny cotton-top tamarin.

The new addition, who has been confirmed as male, joins older siblings, Pugsley and Pubert, born in May last year, and mother and father Gurt and Mico.

To make the arrival even more special, we invited everyone to help us choose his name via our Facebook page – keep your eyes peeled for a name announcement very soon!

Keepers have decided to continue using The Addams Family names so the options to vote for were Fester, Lurch and Gomez.

Whilst he waits for the perfect name, his family will take turns carrying the new arrival, who will cling to the fur on their backs and tummy areas before becoming fully independent at around five months old.

Big brother Pugsley has already been seen taking the new edition out to play and teaching him how to forage for food.

Amy Deny, Animal Team Leader- Primates & Small Mammals, said: “Cotton-top tamarins are native to Columbia and are critically endangered, with only around 2000 individuals left in the wild.

“They are threatened in the wild by residential and agriculture development and the pet trade. This is a really exciting time for our troop at Marwell as this is the second time our pair have reproduced.

“Mico and Gurt play an important role in the EAZA ex-situ programme, ensuring a healthy population of tamarins exist in human care to conserve the species.

“Last year was quite overwhelming for the first-time parents, learning to look after their infants and being the sole care providers. However, this time around they have the help of juveniles Pugsley and Pubert!

“Cotton-top tamarins cooperatively rear their offspring, meaning all members of the troop take it in turns to carry the babies. This gives the parents an important chance to rest.

“While dad Mico does most of the hard work, older brother Pugsley has also started sharing the workload and taking the baby outside with him while playing and foraging for food.

“The babies have an incredible grip, and cling onto the carrier while leaping around the habitat, which although a little nerve wracking is great fun to watch.

“Come and visit the family of five for a very special experience- be sure to be very quiet and patient in order to catch a glimpse of the new arrival!”

In the wild, cotton-headed tamarins live in humid forests where they are able to leap from tree trunk to tree trunk using their claw like nails to grip onto bark.

When resting or sleeping they coil their tails over one shoulder and along their back and they communicate with each other through contact calls.

Cotton-top tamarins are named because of the long tufts of white fur on the top of their heads. They eat fruit, flowers, nectar and small prey such as frogs, snails and insects.