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Conservation Actions for the Black-faced Lion Tamarin

Of great importance to the Atlantic Forest Great Reserve, the Conservation Actions for the Black-faced Lion Tamarin Program aims to safeguard the species and its natural habitat. Through the program's initiatives, there's an opportunity to enhance the tourist potential of the areas involved while supporting the development of economic activities focused on restoration. These activities prioritize the utilization of local resources for the benefit of the community.

Operating since 2018, the Program covers activities in the Conservation Units Parque Estadual de Cananéia (SP) and Parque Nacional de Superagui (PR), fostering stronger connections between the local and scientific communities. Additionally, it aims to expand scientific knowledge on the Black-Faced Lion Tamarin, while also fostering partnerships, job creation, and income opportunities.


About the species

The Black-faced Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara), also known as the Superagüi Tamarin, lives in a small portion of the Atlantic Forest, spanning the states of Paraná (PR) and São Paulo (SP), within a habitat of immense natural richness. Revered by local communities, this species faces a concerning reality: the latest population estimate reveals only 400 of them in the wild. Consequently, it has been classified as "endangered" by the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment's (MMA) National List of Endangered Species.

The primary threats to the black-faced lion tamarin stem from habitat fragmentation, which isolates populations, and the loss of its historic range. In Paraná, the species is restricted to the island of Superagui and the continental area known as Rio dos Patos, located within the Superagui National Park. In São Paulo, it inhabits the continental region of Ariri, encompassing the Cananéia Lagamar State Park and its surrounding areas.

macaco pequeno

Foto: Zig Koch ©

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Why should I support the initiative?

Bringing together popular and scientific knowledge stands as one of the most valuable aspects of this initiative. This approach not only empowers local residents who possess indigenous knowledge about the black-faced lion tamarin and its habitat but also fosters scientific advancements. Together, these efforts contribute significantly to the conservation of this unique and exceptionally rare species.

For government bodies or supporters of the Program, engagement offers the opportunity to forge partnerships, both offering and receiving support for a range of activities dedicated to local biodiversity conservation. Research institutions, in particular, serve as crucial allies, leveraging their expertise to deepen our understanding of the species—still relatively understudied—through direct observation and by fostering collaborative relationships with local communities.

Partners can leverage the charismatic appeal of the black-faced lion tamarin in their institutional communication campaigns. Integrating its image into such initiatives can effectively support nature conservation education efforts, fostering awareness among various stakeholders including children, youth, employees, suppliers, and other partners.

Your company or institution's brand can be prominently featured as a protector of this species and its limited habitat, gaining visibility across SPVS and Program channels (see partnership forms for details). Developing digital and offline media content, and enhancing social and environmental responsibility reports are additional strategies that can resonate with society and your company's target audience. Moreover, as a funder, your organization's investment directly supports educational activities conducted in communities neighboring the black-faced lion tamarin's habitat.

Who can support us?

Non-governmental organizations, local communities, research institutions, companies, and government authorities all play crucial roles in sustaining the efforts aimed at conserving the black-faced lion tamarin in its natural habitat.

Are you interested in helping to conserve this species and its habitat and promoting the development of the surrounding area? Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have or to discuss how to initiate partnership proposals.



The Program's mission aligns closely with the vision of the Atlantic Forest Great Reserve and is in accordance with the National Action Plan (PAN) for the Conservation of Atlantic Forest Primates and the Maned Sloth, as published by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio).

Through collaboration among local residents, researchers, and supporters, significant achievements have been made. For instance, the installation of camera traps in the natural environment has provided invaluable insights, capturing precious images, including recordings of the species. Furthermore, the profound knowledge of local residents has greatly enhanced our understanding of the protected areas (or Conservation Units), a critical aspect closely tied to the species' preservation, as it is highly susceptible to environmental changes.

In 2019, the program conducted drone overflights to monitor the restoration of the area, leading to the publication of a panel at a scientific event. Additionally, another panel was published later in the year, focusing on the influence of yellow fever on primates. Both panels were authored by the program's team and serve as essential records of events, providing valuable references for other institutions and initiatives facing similar challenges in the future.

In September 2019, the ABUN Group (Artists & Biologists United for Nature), founded by US artist Kitty Harvill and German artist Christoph Hrdina, mobilized over a thousand artists worldwide to create diverse materials in various styles. These materials were aimed at supporting the Black-faced Lion Tamarin Conservation Project, contributing to communication and education efforts for the species' conservation, which are ongoing priorities for the program.


Here are some of the institutions participating in the program:

Associação Mico-leão-dourado (AMLD); DeFau - Departamento de Fauna da Infraestrutura e Meio Ambiente de SP; Fundação Florestal do Estado de São Paulo; Instituto de Pesquisa de Cananéia (IPeC); Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio); Plataforma Institucional Biodiversidade e Saúde Silvestre da Fiocruz and Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais (UEMG).



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