Small but mighty, our family of black lion tamarins is the only captive breeding group outside of Brazil.

Particularly tricky to care for in captivity, our black lion tamarins are the flagship species of our rewilding project in the Atlantic Forest, where we aim to plant 7 million trees by 2030 to restore 5,000 hectares of their forest home.

Black Lion Tamarin 2021 08
Animal facts

Key facts about the black lion tamarin

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I'm found in Brazil

Black lion tamarins live in the Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil.

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I get my name from my mane of hair

They are known as "lion tamarins" because of their fine mane of hair.

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I'm born with golden shorts

Babies are born with gingery-gold fur on their rump and legs, which looks like shorts!


Estimated wild population


Breeding programme outside of Brazil begins


First captive-bred tamarins released

Durrell has been working to protect black lion tamarins for more than 30 years

Baby black lion tamarain nestles in a soft blanket
Our conservation work

What we're doing to help protect black lion tamarins

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Reconnecting forest fragments

Only 6% of the interior Atlantic Forest remains due to deforestation. Areas of remaining forest are in isolated fragments separated by farmland, meaning wildlife is confined to these tiny habitats.
What we're doing to help
In partnership with local NGO, IPÊ, we're planting tree corridors to reconnect isolated forest fragments so that black lion tamarins and other species can travel through the forest safely.
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Supporting the local economy

Much of the Atlantic Forest has been destroyed to make way for intensive farmland. These farmlands fragment the forest and biodiversity is drastically reduced.
What we're doing to help
We are employing local people to work in rural extension, monitoring, restoration services and seeding production, providing long-term employment for over 250 local families.
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Increasing safety net populations

There is only one captive breeding population of black lion tamarins outside of Brazil, which means the possibility of creating a large safety net population in captivity is decreased due to a lack of genetic diversity.
What we're doing to help
We're working with colleagues in Brazil to translocate tamarins to join the group at Jersey Zoo to allow for a wider breeding population.
Two black lion tamarins at Jersey Zoo

Meet the incredible primates we’ve been working to save since 1990

As an endangered species whose native home is rapidly disappearing, a healthy and well-established captive "safety net" population is vital to the survival of this precious species.

Jersey Zoo is the only place outside of Brazil where you can see black lion tamarins, and the only international captive breeding group.

You'll see (and hear!) these tiny monkeys after you pass Café Dodo in the direction of the gorilla enclosure.

Black lion tamarin moves across a branch

Rewild Carbon

Rewild Carbon is our colourful and impactful climate solution for businesses, enabling them to balance their carbon and biodiversity impacts by reviving the Atlantic Forest through planting tree corridors and providing safe habitats for black lion tamarins (and many other species!).

Thanks to Rewild Carbon, the tree corridors and restored areas of the Atlantic Forest will once again become a safe habitat for black lion tamarins and provide them with a habitat that allows their populations to increase. As the trees grow and mature, we’re placing nest boxes in them to provide safe sleeping sites for the tamarins and encourage their dispersal throughout the forest.

Support our conservation work