Progress Reports

     Highlights of our Results from 2017 

Click here to view the 2017 AMLD Report.

SGLT's partner organization, the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (AMLD) is the lead organization in the international effort to keep endangered golden lion tamarins (GLTs) safe from extinction in their Brazilian Atlantic Forest habitat. 

World experts in management of small populations of wildlife are in agreement that to avoid extinction we need at least 2,000 GLTs living in one block of 25,000 hectares (97 square miles) of connected and protected Atlantic Forest. That is our goal and we have a realistic plan to get there. 

GLTs once occurred throughout the lowland Atlantic Forest of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. Centuries of deforestation for timber and charcoal production, agriculture, cattle ranching, and now urban 
expansion, reduced the tamarin’s forest habitat to 2% of its original area—all fragmented into small and isolated forest islands surrounded by cattle pasture and housing developments. Now, all remaining wild GLTs and their entire forest habitat are found only in the São João River Basin, Rio de Janeiro State. 

This watershed, about 845 square miles in area, is sandwiched between coastal mountains to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the expanding Rio de Janeiro city 60 miles to the south, and Macaé, 25 miles to the north, where Brazil’s largest off-shore oil extraction results in infrastructure development throughout the state of Rio. This river basin is where we live and work. 

2017 was a banner year in moving toward our conservation goal and we are pleased to share some of the highlights. Please see our Facebook page for more information. We are well on our way, but there is much left to be done. Thank you for your help!


Two important victories moved us closer to achieving that goal:

  1. Construction plans for a forested overpass connecting Poço das Antas Reserve (home to over 400 GLTs) over interstate highway BR101 to forest blocks to the north were approved by AMLD and all stakeholder government agencies.  Construction is expected to begin in April 2018.
  2. Brazil’s President doubled the size of União Reserve, from 2,548 to 7,768 hectares, now incorporating the corridor of cattle pasture bought and reforested in 2007 by AMLD with financial support of international partners Saving Species, Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, and the Netherlands Committe of the IUCN.  União Reserve is now the largest connected and legally protected block of GLT habitat – 6,841 hectares, home to 408 GLTs. 

Other 2017 accomplishments include:

  • AMLD reforested 41 hectares of pasture and maintained 186 hectares planted in previous years, increasing the total GLT habitat restored (since 1997) to 337 hectares.  Native tree seedlings were purchased from local family owned nurseries who increased their income with this forest-friendly activity.
  • 23 local teachers completed AMLD’s year-long in-service educator training program “Rediscovering the Atlantic Forest”, bringing the total number of local educators trained to 152.
  • AMLD supported the Brazilian Society of Zoos and Aquariums to carry out a year-long campaign “Year of the Golden Lion Tamarin,” educating zoo publics about the role of zoos in conservation of endangered species.