União - Expanding Protection for GLTs! 

In 2007, Brazil’s Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD; “Golden Lion Tamarin Association”), with financial support from international NGO partners Saving Species and Save the Golden Lion Tamarin in the USA and the National Committee of the IUCN in the Netherlands, purchased 140 hectares (346 acres) of cattle pasture isolating União Biological Reserve, and its 164 GLTs, from forests to the west. União Reserve is one of only 13 small forest fragments containing GLTs—all located in a single watershed just 70km (43 miles) from the city of Rio de Janeiro. None of those forest fragments is large enough to sustain a viable GLT population. Thus, the need to reconnect them with planted forest corridors.

AMLD reforested the cattle pasture using native tree seedlings. As you can see in these satellite photos borrowed from Google Earth, nine years later the planted corridor is as tall as native forest. We documented use of the corridor by GLTs, mountain lions, and smaller carnivores—a good thing for ecological balance in the Reserve.

There is more good news. União Biological Reserve was created in 1998 as a result of pressure by AMLD and partner institutions. Since the Reserve’s creation, AMLD has lobbied to increase its size. In February 2017, AMLD’s Executive Secretary met in Brasilia with the President of ICMBio (Brazil’s environmental agency) and other officials concerning the opportunity to increase the size of União. On 5 June 2017, the President of Brazil signed a bill increasing União Reserve from 2,584 hectares to 7,756 hectares, including the 140 hectares purchased and reforested by AMLD—a huge step forward for GLT conservation. União Reserve now contains 408 GLTs and is the largest fragment of protected forest in the species’ range.

If Golden Lion Tamarins are to have a future in their Atlantic Forest home, it will be because partner organizations recognize that real conservation results require science-based plans and persistent long-term coordinated efforts of many partners. AMLD is implementing a science-based strategic plan designed to achieve a minimum viable population of golden lion tamarins by 2025, and to keep them safe from extinction thereafter. We have the knowhow and a talented and committed Brazilian team on the ground. We welcome your support.


Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado, and Saving Species wish to thank the following whose support made the purchase of the corridor possible:

  • the Arnow Family,
  • Cassidy Horn, Cindy Horn, and the Environmental Media Association,
  • the Firedoll Foundation,
  • Robert O. and Reba B. Founier,
  • the IUCN National Committee of the Netherlands’ Land Purchase Programme, sponsored by the Netherlands Postcode Lottery.


SGLT’s Track-A-Tamarin is nearing $20,000 at the end of its third year!

Started in 2015, our Track-A-Tamarin (TAT) campaign is aimed at raising dedicated funds for the Brazilian scientists in the field tracking tamarins, studying their movements, social structure, and use of habitat. This data is invaluable and helps form the basis of other important projects, like projecting current population numbers and creating bridges across highways to connect habitat. Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD) requires a steady source of funds to supply the radio telemetry equipment to track the tamarins, and the generosity of our amazing supporters continues to make this critical work possible!

After raising nearly $5000 in its first year, Track-A-Tamarin raised nearly $8,817.79 in 2016! Thanks to all of our 2016 supporters, especially:

  • Leslie Wilkes, who chose to name a GLT in the wild Chiquinho!
  • The National Capital AAZK Chapter at Smithsonian's National Zoo, who donated $500 as part of their annual conservation donation.
  • The Brandywine Zoo AAZK Chapter, who donated $1,500 as part of their Tango For Tamarins event, and chose to name a GLT in the wild Tango!
  • The Greensboro Science Center and North Carolina AAZK Chapter, who raised $1,500 from a fundraiser focused on GLTs!
  • And thanks to Holohil, the company who supplies our telemetry equipment, who generously donates $1000 per year!


So far in 2017, we’ve raised $3702.83! Thank you to our 2017 donors so far, especially:

  • The Georgia AAZK Chapter hosted their annual Brazilian Bingo and raised $900!
  • Woodbury Heights Elementary School in New Jersey fundraised $270 for GLT conservation while learning about them during a school project. 
  • And thanks to Holohil, the company who supplies our telemetry equipment, who generously donates $1000 per year!


In total, Track-A-Tamarin has raised $17,101.87 as of October, 2017! We invite you to help fundraise for TAT; take a look at some of the events held around the US to raise money for GLTs. You can also make a donation online and specify that it goes to the TAT fund. 


Help your students learn about science by studying GLTs! 

Sandra Markle’s The Great Monkey Rescue, our story of Saving Golden Lion Tamarins in Brazil, is one of the award-winning science books Subaru retailers are donating this month to local schools across the country as part of the Subaru Loves Learning initiative in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science – AAAS. 

Teachers and Zoo Educators, the AAAS lesson plan for grades 6-8 based on the book is available at http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/great-monkey-rescue/. The purpose of the lesson is “to teach students about the scientific process by taking them through the study of the golden lion tamarins in their natural and artificial environments." The lesson includes a video about GLTs produced by the Palm Beach Zoo. 


August 2 is the First Annual International GLT Day

Exactly one year ago today on August 2, 2016, Andreia Martins, the Coordinator of the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (Golden Lion Tamarin Association) team who have monitored GLTs in their native habitat, in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro for more than 30 years, carried the Torch through the region on its way to open the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Andreia’s home town of Silva Jardim, Rio de Janeiro, celebrated the honor with a parade and event that involved the entire municipality.  Relive the 2016 event with the video in English here: https://youtu.be/xXrzO7vKC4s?list=PLmJmutsTkHYXyFPsZ6xzcZvehmDVS4GmY.

To continue the celebration, this year the Municipal Council of Silva Jardim officially designated August 2 as “Dia do Mico-Leão-Dourado” (Golden Lion Tamarin Day) - an annual day of fun and learning dedicated to the conservation of this endangered primate native to their local forest.   

The Brazilian Society of Zoos and Aquariums (SZB) in partnership with the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado, is conducting throughout 2017 a national educational campaign – 2017 Year of the Golden Lion Tamarin(Ano do Mico-Leão-Dourado) to involve more than twenty million Brazilian zoo visitors in learning about the diversity of Brazilian primates, which ones are native to their local forest, the threats caused by maintaining primates as pets and releasing them outside their home forest to become invasive species.  The campaign focuses on the golden lion tamarin as a Brazilian symbol for forest conservation and highlights the important role the 150 zoos around the world who participate in the captive-breeding program to help assure a permanent future for this species in its forest home.

SZB, the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado, the Municipality of Silva Jardim – Rio de Janeiro, and Save the Golden Lion Tamarin invite zoos and other friends around the world to join us in celebrating August 2 – the first annual International Golden Lion Tamarin Day

Reintroduction helped bring the wild population to the current 3200, enough to save the species, but these GLTs are still isolated in fragmented habitat.  

To save GLTs from extinction we need:

 At least 2000 GLTs in 25,000 hectares of connected and protected forest.

Thanks to your help we now have:

408 GLTs in 5,548 hectares of connected and protected forest.

Today there are enough GLTs (3200) in the wild and enough forest, as well as a well-managed captive GLT population (500) that can supply GLTs for reintroduction should the need arise. 

With your continued support we can and will connect and protect enough forest and GLTs to keep the species safe from extinction in perpetuity.

Please join us on August 2 - Golden Lion Tamarin Day as we say Thank you to…

  • the 150 zoos around the world
  • all friends who support our actions

Press release can be found here.


Home of Golden Lion Tamarins Greatly Expanded

Golden Lion Tamarins (GLTs) received a wonderful gift on World Environment Day, June 5, 2017, when the Brazilian government decreed the expansion of the União Biological Reserve, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, from its current 2.5 thousand hectares to over 7.5 thousand hectares.  This is now three times the original size of the Reserve that was created in 1998 as a result of pressure by SGLT’s Brazilian partner organization AMLD, together with other partner institutions.  In 2007, AMLD in partnership with SavingSpecies purchased 40 hectares of cattle pasture that separated the União Reserve from forests to the west.  AMLD reforested that cattle pasture thus linking União to adjacent forests.  The rich biodiversity in this area of the Atlantic Forest includes lots of GLTs and other mammals, as well as other species that rely on this habitat including amphibians, birds, orchids, butterflies, and more.    

Since the creation of the União Reserve, AMLD and partners have lobbied to increase the size of the Reserve.  In February of 2017, AMLD's Executive Secretary travelled to Brasilia to meet with government officials concerning important issues that included increasing the size of União.  On June 5, 2017, the President of Brazil signed a bill increasing the União Reserve from 2,584 hectares to 7,756 hectares, including the 40 hectares purchased reforested by AMLD—a huge contribution to GLT conservation because it permanently protects at additional 5,000 hectares of GLT habitat. 

What a wonderful way to celebrate and ensure that 2017 is TRULY the Year of the Golden Lion Tamarin!

Original and New ("ampliada") Area of Uniao reserve


Priority Area for Conservation of GLTs