IPÊ’s Black-Faced Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus caissara) Conservation Program began in 1996 in Superagui National Park, Parana State. From its start and until 2004, researchers have studied the ecology and natural history of the species and its forest habitat. These projects resulted in data that identified economic and social issues in Lagamar de Guaraqueçaba (PR) and Cananeia (SP) regions.
In conjunction with IBAMA and IUCN/CBSG, these efforts contributed to the creation in 2005 of the 1st Conservation Action Plan for the Black-Faced Lion Tamarin and its habitat. In this same year, the program expanded to include mainland areas in Ariri (southern Sao Paulo State), which are within the tamarins’ distribution. Previous research had indicated that this region presents a substantial threat to the black-faced lion tamarin and its habitat.
In order to glean ecological data and identify the sources of threats to the species and its habitat on the mainland, researchers implemented the IPÊ model. In addition to developing the first studies on the species’ ecology, a diagnostic of threats to its survival was undertaken from 2005 to 2007. This work also allowed us to identify the primary economic activities in the region.
Once familiar with local issues, IPÊ researchers began to disseminate the conservation program among the various local and regional stakeholders (from 2007 to 2009), hoping to attract those committed to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
We subsequently hosted the 1st Eco-Negotiation Workshop in Ariri in 2009, with the aim of stimulating the community and institutions to develop more sustainable production practices and thereby decrease pressures to the natural heritage. The Eco-Negotiation was a watershed moment fundamental to the development of various initiatives and the consolidation of important partnerships.
In order to integrate biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, we rethought conservation through a complex perspective, addressing multiple objectives that many times seemed incompatible. We believe that, in order to overcome this paradigm, it was necessary for common goals to become reality of a near future that was fairer, more sustainable and a conservation success for the black-faced lion tamarin and for the high biodiversity of the Lagamar region.
Experiences throughout years of conservation effort and a revision of cases that successfully integrated conservation and development identified a common characteristic in these projects: the participation of multiple partners. Many of the results and recent advances that follow below were only possible because of the involvement of several partners, including local, regional, municipal, state, federal and international. These cooperated with the local community, providing the variety of services and expertise necessary for various initiatives and for the effective integration of conservation and development.
SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BLACK-FACED LION TAMARIN (Leontopithecus caissara)
• It was the last lion tamarin species to be official described by scientists, in 1990;
• Occupies the distributional limit of callitrichids ;
• Inhabits plains areas covered by a mixture of mature forest, restingas and várzeas;
• It is estimated that only 400 individuals remain in the wild, distributed along a coastal strip between southern São Paulo State and northern Paraná State, corresponding to approximately 300 km²;
• It is critically threatened according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (International Union for Conservation Nature) and is in the List of Brazilian Species Threatened with Extinction of IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural resources);
• Until the end of 2007, L. caissara was also listed among the 25 most threatened primates in the world (research and long-term conservation initiatives resulted in the species’ removal from the list);
• They measure, on average, 30 cm (without tail, which is of similar length) and weigh approximately 600 grams;
• They live in family groups formed by a reproductive pair and their offspring, an average of five individuals;
• Once per year, females give birth to twin offspring that are cared for by all members of the group;
• At approximately two years of age, the offspring leave their natal group to create their own families;
• Each family group occupies approximately 300 hectares of forest, the largest home range of the genus Leontopithecus and one of the largest in the callitrichids;
• They feed on fruits, insects, fungi, small vertebrates and, occasionally, tree sap and flower nectar;
• During the night, the group shelters in palm trees, tree holes, bromeliads or liana knots;
Black-Faced Lion Tamarin Conservation Program (LEONTOPITHECUS CAISSARA)
- Change the status of the species from critically threatened with extinction through an integrated and
- adaptable management program;
- Sustain habitat quantity and quality at levels sufficient for the maintenance of the species in the long term;
- Use the tamarin as a flagship species within a broad program of socio-environmental education linked to the development to sustainable economic practices.
CURRENT SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES – ONGOING PROGRESS (2010-2011)
Expected results – Impact
|Evaluate the distance that young adults disperse to establish their home ranges in relation to their natal groups using spatial and temporal analyses;||Demographic and spatial ecology knowledge, vital for updating population and habitat viability analyses (PHVA). Defining the best strategies for conservation management of L. caissara;|
|Refine the geographic limits of black-faced lion tamarin distribution through an understanding of the influence of elevation on the species;||
Refine estimates of population size and the distribution of the black-faced lion tamarin. Update the PHVA to better define conservation scenarios and strategies.
|Investigate if the two mainland populations also occupy the small strip of lowland forest (of approximately 250 m) between the mountain ranges separating São Paulo and Paraná States;||Understand if these two mainland populations, which are apparently isolated by mountains, can be considered as a single functional population. Refine the PHVA.|
Estimate the potential reduction in the species’ distribution and habitat and demographic alterations resulting from climate change and increased sea levels;
|Pioneering research that may be replicated with other coastal species facing similar scenarios. Refined analyses of PHVA and of the best scenarios for the conservation management of the species.|
|Promote regional crafts as sustainable economic alternatives in the mainland communities where the tamarin occurs (Lagamar de Cananéia State Park);||
Organization of the community, improved self-esteem, valuing local biodiversity, generating alternative incomes, improved quality-of-life, decreased pressures to biodiversity.
Promote the sustainable extraction of the juçara heart-of-palm (Euterpe edulis) for production and sale. This species has the same flavor of traditional Açaí, with higher levels of antioxidants and fewer calories;
Decrease of the major threat to local biodiversity: organized illegal exploitation of the juçara heart-of-palm. Improved quality-of life and economic conditions for local residents that traditionally survived from exploitation of the juçara . Changes in culture and values.
Continued promotion of socio-environmental education together with schools in Ariri (Cananéia-SP);
Dissemination of the results obtained in ecological studies with the black-faced lion tamarin. Dissemination of the conservation project mission for the species. Valuing traditional values and knowledge.
|Promote sustainable income practices in communities within the range of the black-faced lion tamarin.||
Decrease threats to biodiversity in the largest remaining stretch of lowland Atlantic Forest. Improve quality-of-life, income and disseminate sustainable economic practices.
Results and recent progress
- Completion of priority actions for the Black-Faced Lion Tamarin Conservation Action Plan (HOLST, et al., 2006);
- Understanding critical aspects for future management actions, such as the large home range of L. caissara and its dynamic use of space, where new home ranges are founded and old ones abandoned;
- Understand how the black-faced lion tamarin uses and selects the different habitats that comprise the heterogeneous forest where it occurs;
- Estimate support capacities for the species throughout its current distribution and in areas appropriate to receive animals in conservation management initiatives;
- Understand the effect of different habitat types on the island and mainland groups and the ecological patterns of space-use by these respective populations;
- Implement the IPÊ conservation model in Ariri, Lagamar de Cananéia State Park;
- Continuous monitoring of a lion tamarin group since 2006 (more than 1,300 collection hours of field data);
- Study the dispersion and composition of new tamarin family groups;
- Investigate the influence of elevation on the presence/absence of the species. This is one of the main puzzles in the management and conservation of the black-faced lion tamarin: why is the species is so restricted to flooded lowlands?
- Disseminate our mission to the approximately 90 families in Ariri, in Lagamar de Cananéia State Park;
- Involvement of local leadership in initiatives of the Black-Faced Lion Tamarin Conservation Program;
- 1st Eco-Negotiation in Ariri – Action Plan for reducing threats to biodiversity and improving quality-of-life for Ariri residents;
- Consolidate local, regional, municipal, state, federal and international partnerships;
- Engage the consultative council of the Lagamar de Cananéia State Park;
- Create resident associations in five communities surrounding Lagamar de Cananéia State Park;
- Undertake the 1st Cultural Week in Ariri for the rescue and valuing of local biodiversity;
- Partnership with ARTECA (Artisan Association of Cananéia) to promote the traditional crafts of Ariri and other communities surrounding Lagamar de Cananéia State Park;
- Thirteen seminars and presentations under the Program for the conservation of the Black-Faced Lion Tamarin during 2009: ecology courses, conservation biology training, academic weeks and conferences.
Alexandre T. Amaral Nascimento – Biologist, M.Sc. Applied Ecology Coordinator
Camila Nali – Veterinarian, Field coordinator, researcher
Rosângela Marques da Silva – Lawyer and artist associate consultant
George Ortmeier Velastin – Veterinarian, associate researcher
Ralph Eric Thijl Vanstreels – Veterinarian, associate researcher
Antônio Carlos Coelho – Field assistant
Luiz Soares Constantino – Field assistant
Natanael Neves da Graça – Field assistant
- Parco Zoo Punta Verde & Punta Verde in Situ Onlus – Italy
- ICCM – International Committee for the Conservation and Management of Lion Tamarins
- São Paulo State Forestry Foundation
- Consultative Council of Lagamar de Cananéia State Park/SP
- CATI – Coordination for Integrated Technical Assistance São Paulo State – Registro/SP
- ICA – São Paulo State Cooperation and Association Institute – Registro/SP
- ARTECA – Cananéia Artisans Association
- Juçara Network for the Sustainable Production of Juçara Heart-of-Palm
- Prefecture Municipal de Cananéia
- IPeC –Cananéia Research Institute
- Péricles Eugênio da Silva Ramos State School, Ariri, Cananéia/SP
- Professora Antônia de Jesus Juliani Municipal School, Ariri, Cananéia/SP
- Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) – Post-Graduate Program in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management, Mastozoology and Fauna Management Laboratory
- São Carlos Federal University (UFSCar) –Molecular Biodiversity and Cytology Laboratory
- São Paulo University (USP) – Tropical Medicine Institute, Veterinary Medicine and Zoo-technology Faculty and Biosciences Institute
- Parco Zoo Punta Verde – Italy
- Maria Rodeano (Parco Zoo Itália)
- CEPA – Conservation des Espèces et Populations Animales – France
- MBZ Species Conservation Fund – Arab Emirates
- LTBF – Lion Tamarin Brazilian Fund
- Idea Wild
- Giardino Zoologico di Pistoia – Italy
- Parco Zoo Falconara - Italy
- American Primatology Society
- Durell Wildlife Trust
- FNMA – Fundo Nacional do Meio Ambiente (National Fund for the Environment)
- Fundação o Boticário de Proteção a Natureza
- Idea Wild
- International Primatology Society
- Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust International
- Jonathan D. Wry
- Lion Tamarin Brazilian Fund
- Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation
- Parco Zoo Punta Verde – Italy
- Primate Conservation
- Threatened Species Program (Fundação Biodiversitas & CEPAN – Northeast Environmental Research Center)
- The Zoological Society
- Whitley Fund for Nature
- Wildlife Preservation Trust International Canada