GLT Census Data Published Alongside Conservation Strategic Plan
In a new article in PLOS One, Brazilian NGO Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado’s (the golden lion tamarin association; AMLD) research team reports the results of a census of endangered golden lion tamarins (GLTs) throughout the species’ range. The authors detail how accurate estimates of the numbers of tamarins in the remaining habitat fragments are used to evaluate progress toward achievement of their science-based conservation goal for the species and to adapt action strategies as necessary. The AMLD team used playbacks of recorded tamarin vocalizations along transects in all forest fragments. Using this method, they estimate that in 2014 there were approximately 3,700 golden lion tamarins in 41,400 hectares (102,000 acres) of Atlantic Forest habitat. Of these, 59% are from remnant wild populations, 34% are descendants of captive-born reintroduced animals, and 7% are descendants of wild-rescued and translocated groups. The number of tamarins and amount of forest estimated in this survey exceeded values necessary to meet the first half of AMLD’s definition of a viable population - 2,000 tamarins in 25,000 hectares of connected and protected forest. However, the seven forest blocks and their tamarin populations are not yet adequately connected and protected to achieve the second part of this goal. AMLD’s long-term strategic plan to achieve a viable population of golden lion tamarins currently has 12 strategies that include connecting populations in isolated habitat fragments with planted forest corridors, engaging local people in the permanent protection of the forest, and mitigating new threats as they are detected.