You can now visit our cotton-top tamarins! This primate pair, a male from Germany and a female from Italy, are settling in well to their Rainforest enclosure.

Cotton-tops are critically endangered in the lowland forests of South America having lost 80% of their original habitat over the last 40 years to deforestation for agriculture, paper and timber supplies.

For this reason our cotton-tops have an important advocacy role at Auckland Zoo – to help our visitors to connect with the species and be a voice for their wild cousins. We are hoping that, like the cotton-tops that have come before them, this pair will also contribute to the international breeding programme for these special primates.

You can help their cause by buying only rainforest friendly products – look for the Forest Stewardship Council logo on all paper, timber and toilet paper products for a certification you can trust to protect our forests for future generations.

See these nimble monkeys climbing the trees of their new home in The Rainforest and look on the forest floor for our other new additions - three female agouti!

Cotton-top tamarin facts:

  1. The cotton-top tamarin is a small New World monkey weighing less than 0.5 kg.
  2. Cotton-top tamarins are arboreal (tree dwelling) in wet tropical forests or dry thorn forests in northern Colombia. They live in the mid to lower levels of the forest and have an important role as a seed disperser within their ecosystem.
  3. These primates live in family groups of about 15 animals. Tamarins are monogamous animals (mate for life). Females dominate tamarin society and only one female has babies at a time in each group. Male cotton-tops care for the babies: he is even there to assist at the birth and looks after them throughout the early stages.
  4. The species are critically endangered due to large-scale deforestation and habitat destruction, as the Columbian northwestern lowland forests have been reduced to 5% of their previous area. It is estimated that there are only 6,000 individuals left in the wild.