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Pied tamarin (Saginus bicolor)

Pied tamarin
Pied tamarinPied tamarinPied tamarinPied tamarin

Personal Information
Our pair of pied tamarins, Tom and Nick, were born in March of 2009 and came to us in 2010 from the San Francisco Zoo.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Endangered. Pied tamarins are one of the most endangered primates in the Amazon. Statistics show there is reason to believe the species has declined by at least 50% over the past 18 years (three generations), due primarily to habitat loss and range replacement by the Midas tamarin.

Habitat
Pied tamarins are an arboreal species that prefers secondary forests, swamps, white sand forests and forest edges. They are usually found on large branches of open and closed canopies.

Diet
These omnivores eat fruit, flowers, nectar, insects, spiders, small vertebrates and eggs. The tamarins need a diet that is high in vitamin D and calcium.

  • Pied tamarins have long tails that on average are 10-17 inches in length. They are used to balance while climbing, leaping and reaching.
  • Males provide a great deal of parental care. Both parents provide general care for their young, but the males usually carry them. The father transfers the young to the mother at feeding time and then accepts them back from the mother after feeding.
  • Pied tamarin mothers usually give birth to twins.
  • Pied tamarins communicate with birdlike chirps and whistles.