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Save the Golden Lion Tamarins!

By Skylar Sukoff 

A golden lion tamarin can be defined as a small charismatic monkey with a mane of red fur. These monkeys can be found in the forests of southeastern Brazil. Carlos Ruiz Miranda, a professor of conservation and behavior, shares his experience with one of these monkeys. He claims a golden lion tamarin “saved his life”. When he was near a venomous snake and wasn’t aware, the monkeys approached him making noises and calls to protect him from the snake. Although they are extremely popular, intelligent, and fun to watch, There are very few to exist. In 1978, these monkeys were on the brink of extinction with only 200 living in the wild. Due to the loss of habitat, Many monkeys could not survive. Deforestation, the action of cutting down trees, led to the loss of about 90% of the forest. Due to conservation efforts, there are about 4,800 living now. However, they are still endangered. Another outbreak occurred leading to the death of about 1⁄3 of their population. The yellow fever spread throughout Brazil in 2017. The community came together to help with a vaccination campaign. They tested the human vaccine on monkeys to protect them from the next outbreak. One by one, they injected each of the monkeys. They were able to vaccinate over 400. The goal for the future is to vaccinate enough monkeys and to fix their habitat by working with the community to find economic solutions. 

Many people need to realize our environment is home to many animals. Although cutting trees may make the forest look nicer and cleaner, it is hurting many by removing their habitat and/or source of food. Many campaigns have been started to protect endangered animals. These organizations help the animals from going extinct and protect them by working with sustainable economic activities that cause no harm to the animals. It is important to have animals to support our ecosystem. Even such a small gesture, such as picking up litter can help an animal’s life. Everyone should be more aware of what our actions can do to the environment.