Our History

Because so few tamarins remain in the wild it is important to increase and manage these populations to ensure the genetic diversity needed for the survival of the species.  The Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program was created in 1983 to rescue, protect, and conserve the golden lion tamarins in their natural habitat.  Since 1983 we have conducted scientific monitoring of the entire wild population of tamarins, their habitat and threats.  This information allows us to set specific conservation goals, develop targeted actions, evaluate their effectiveness, and adjust the goals and strategies as our knowledge increases.  This science-based approach enables us to develop new technologies that not only advance conservation of GLTs, but also contribute more broadly to conservation of biodiversity.  Incorporating our current knowledge into the best predictive models we concluded that in order to conserve GLTs on the long-term: by year 2025 we must establish a viable population with 2,000 GLTs living freely in a landscape of 25,000 hectares of connected and protected Atlantic Forest habitat.

In 1992, the Associação Mico-Leão Dourado (AMLD), a Brazilian nongovernmental organization, was created to achieve this goal. 

Save the Golden Lion Tamarin (SGLT), a United States 501 (c) (3) public charity, was created in 2005 to provide technical and financial support to help the AMLD achieve its goal of saving golden lion tamarins in perpetuity. 

Together we have achieved:

  • 1600 GLTs now live in isolated forest fragments. Of these, AMLD manages 1,463 GLTs in the 7 largest remaining forest fragments.     
  • 18,750 hectares of forest are connected by corridors planted by AMLD
  • 10,604 hectares of forest permanently protected

This success is a result of applying the best available science to guide a partnership of local Brazilian landowners and community organizations, government agencies and the 150 zoos worldwide that contribute to maintaining the captive golden lion tamarin population.

AMLD has the knowledge base, the people and the commitment necessary to achieve our long-term goals.  Save the Golden Lion Tamarin is devoting its efforts to helping AMLD achieve the long-term financial stability to continue their work.  With sufficient funds we can and will conserve golden lion tamarins in perpetuity and protect over 25,000ha of Atlantic Forest and the biodiversity it contains.