Leontopithecus chrysopygus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Leontopithecus chrysopygus
Species Authority: (Mikan, 1823)
Common Name(s):
English Black Lion Tamarin, Golden-rumped Lion Tamarin
Taxonomic Notes: The lion tamarins, Leontopithecus, are listed as separate species following Della Serra (1951), Rosenberger and Coimbra-Filho (1984), Mittermeier et al. (1988), Natori (1989), and Rylands et al. (1993). They have been listed as subspecies of L. rosalia by Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier (1972, 1973), Hershkovitz (1977), Mittermeier and Coimbra-Filho (1981), Forman et al. (1986) and Seuánez et al. (1988), the latter two publications on the basis of identical chromosome morphologies.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kierulff, M.C.M., Rylands, A.B., Mendes. S.L. & de Oliveira, M.M.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A. & Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Endangered due to its having an area of occupancy estimated at approximately 490 km², with all remaining populations extremely isolated, and a continuing decline in quality of habitat. The species is known to occur in only one large protected area (Morro do Diabo in Sao Paolo state), and the majority of the existing subpopulations are not considered to be viable in the long-term. Nonetheless, ongoing intensive conservation efforts begun in 1986, concentrating on site-based measures such as reintroduction, translocation, corridors, improved land use, and environmental education around the Morro do Diabo State Park and the Caestsu State Ecological Station as well as the creation of a new protected area (the Mico-leão Preto Ecological Station) have contributed to the down listing of this species from Critically Endangered to Endangered.
2003 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species formerly occurred along the north (right) margin of the Rio Paranapanema, west as far as the Rio Paraná, and between the upper Rios Paranapanema and Tieté in the state of São Paulo (Coimbra-Filho 1976a,b; Hershkovitz 1977). Today, it is known only from 11 widely separated forest patches covering 444 km². L. chrysopygus occurs in two state protected areas, the Morro do Diabo State Park, municipality of Teodoro Sampaio, and the Caetetus State Ecological Station, municipality of Gália, (Coimbra-Filho 1970a,b, 1976a,b; Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier 1973, 1977; Valladares-Padua et al. 1994). All surviving populations are in the central to western part of its former range and concentrated in the region called the Pontal de Paranapanema, except for Buri, municipality of Buri, discovered in recent surveys in the eastern part, approximately 200 km east of the Caetetus Ecological Station, by Valladares-Padua et al. (2000). Rylands et al. (2002b) reviewed the distributions of all four lion tamarins.
Brazil (São Paulo)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Leontopithecus chrysopygus is now known to survive in 11 localities in the state of São Paulo. The population in the Morro do Diabo State Park contains 23,800 ha of forest and a population estimated at approximately 820 animals (Valladares-Padua and Cullen Jr. 1994). The Caetetus Reserve contains about 2,000 ha of forest (population estimated at about 40 individuals), but the other nine localities consist of fragments of between 400 and 800 ha, and together harbour about 114 individuals. The total population is estimated at about 1,000 animals spread through 11 isolated forests, 10 of which are certainly too small to be viable in the mid- to long-term.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Seasonal rain forest of the inland extension of Atlantic forest in the state of São Paulo, at altitudes up to 900 m (Coimbra-Filho 1976b; Rylands 1993; Valladares-Padua 1997). Lion tamarins are an adaptable species well able to live in degraded and secondary forests, depending only on sufficient year round food sources and foraging sites, along with the tree holes they use as sleeping sites (see Coimbra-Filho 1969, 1976; Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier 1973).

Marmosets and tamarins are distinguished from the other monkeys of the New World by their small size, modified claws rather than nails on all digits except the big toe, the presence of two as opposed to three molar teeth in either side of each jaw, and by the occurrence of twin births. They eat fruits, flowers, nectar, plant exudates (gums) and animal prey (including frogs, snails, lizards, spiders and insects (see Rylands 1993; Kierulff et al. 2002a).

Coimbra-Filho (1970a,b, 1976a; Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier 1977) studied their bevaviour in the wild, and Rylands (1993) and Kierulff et al. (2002a) provide a comprehensive review of the ecology, diet and behaviour of the lion tamarins. They differ from other callithrichids in having long fingers and hands, which allow them to forage for prey efficiently in nooks and crannies and in epiphytic tank bromeliads. Lion tamarins live in extended family groups of usually 4 to 8 individuals. For L. chyrsopygus, Carvalho and Carvalho (1989) obtained a mean group size of 3.6 (range 2-7, n=9) in the Morro do Diabo State Park. Generally, only one female per group breeds during a particular breeding season. They breed once a year. The groups defend home ranges of 40 to more than 100 ha (the size depending on availability and distribution of foods and second-growth patches). In the Morro do Diabo State Park, they have been found to have ranges exceeding 100 ha (113-199 ha: Valladares-Padua 1993; Valladares-Padua and Cullen Jr. 1994). Passos (1997) recorded a home range for his study group in the Ceatetus State Ecological Station of 277 ha.

French et al. (2002) review the reproductive biology of lion tamarins, Baker et al. (2002) review their mating system and group dynamics (focussing particularly on L. rosalia) and Tardif et al. (2002) aspects of infant care and development.

Adult male 575 g (n=4) (Rosenberger and Coimbra-Filho 1984).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is now highly fragmented occurring in 11 populations, only one of which is ostensibly viable – the Morro do Diabo State Park. The key threat for this species is the isolation and small size of the existing populations. A study by Dietz et al. (2000) examined inbreeding depression in small (50 or less) isolated populations of L. rosalia. They concluded that it reduced probability of long-term survival by about one-third. There is every reason to believe that inbreeding depression is likewise prejudicial to the isolated populations of L. chrysopygus.*

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Included on the Brazilian Official List of Species Threatened with Extinction (Lista Oficial de Espécies Brasileiras Ameaçadas de Extinção, Edict No. 1.522/19th December 1989, see Bernardes et al. 1990; Fonseca et al. 1994), and likewise on the regional threatened species list of the state of São Paulo (Brazil, São Paulo SMA, 1998). It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.

The species is recorded from Morro do Diabo State Park (34,441 ha, of which 23,800 ha is forest), and Caetetus State Ecological Station (2,178 ha). A new (federal) Ecological Station of 5,500 ha was decreed in July 2002 – Mico-Leão-Preto Ecological Station in São Paulo. It covers three forest fragments containing Black Lion Tamarins.

The isolation and small size of the existing populations is being addressed through metapopulation management, which includes the captive population founded on individuals taken from the Morro do Diabo State Park, in the 1970s and later, in 1983-1985 as part of the rescue operation in the inundation area of the Rosana hydroelectric dam (Rylands et al. 2002a). Current efforts are focussing on the genetic health of these populations (translocation, managed dispersal and re-introduction) (Valladares-Padua et al. 2000; Valladares-Padua, Ballou et al. 2002), environmental education (Pádua and Valladares-Padua 1997; Pádua et al. 2002), the preservation of remaining forest fragments, with and without lion tamarins, and the creation of corridors to link forest patches to establish larger areas of continuous forest (Pádua and Valladares-Padua 1997; Cullen Jr. et al. 2001; Valladares-Padua et al. 2000; Valladares-Padua, Ballou et al. 2002; Valladares-Padua, Padua et al. 2002).

There is a well-managed captive breeding programme, although it has not been as successful as those for Leontopithecus rosalia and L. chrysomelas, probably because of a very reduced founder stock (Ballou et al. 2002). However, it is growing and, despite having few founders, is now also contributing significantly to the metapopulation management programme currently udnerway by Valladares-Padua and his team (Valladares-Padua and Ballou 1996; Valladares-Padua and Martins 1996; Valladares-Padua 1997; Valladares-Padua et al. 2000; Medici 2001; Valladares-Padua, Ballou et al. 2002). The first translocation of a wild L. chrysopygus group was carried out in 1995, and the first experimental re-introduction, was carried out in July 1999 by combining an adult male born in the Jersey Zoo, UK, with two wild females (Valladares-Padua et al. 2000).

Bibliography [top]

Baker, A. J., Bales, K. and Dietz, J. M. 2002. Mating system and group dynamics in lion tamarins. In: D. G. Kleiman and A. B. Rylands (eds), The Lion Tamarins of Brazil, pp. 188-212. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Ballou, J. D., Kleiman, D. G., Mallinson, J. J. C., Rylands, A. B., Valladares-Padua, C. and Leus, K. 2002. History, management and conservation role of the captive lion tamarin populations. In: D. G. Kleiman and A. B. Rylands (eds), Lion Tamarins: Biology and Conservation, pp. 95–114. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Bernardes, A. T., Machado, A. B. M. and Rylands, A. B. (eds). 1990. Fauna brasileira ameaçada de extinção. pp. 65 pp.. Fundação Biodiversitas, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Brazil, São Paulo, SMA. 1998. Fauna Ameaçada no Estado de São Paulo. Centro de Editoração (CED), Secretaria de Estado do Meio Ambiente (SMA), São Paulo, Brazil.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1970. Acêrca da redescoberta de Leontideus chrysopygus (Mikan, 1823) e apontamentos sôbre sua ecologia (Callithricidae, Primates). Revista Brasiliera de Biologia 30: 609-615.

Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1970. Considerações gerais e situação atual dos micos-leões escuros, Leontideus chrysomelas (Kuhl, 1820) e Leontideus chrysopygus (Mikan, 1823) (Callithricidae, Primates). Revista Brasiliera de Biologia 30: 249-268.

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Coimbra-Filho, A. F. 1976. Os sagüis do gênero Leontopithecus Lesson, 1840 (Callithricidae - Primates). Master’s Thesis, Universidade Federal do Rio Janeiro.

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de Carvalho, C. T. and de Carvalho, C. F. 1989. A organização social dos sauís-pretos (Leontopithecus chrysopygus Mikan), na reserva em Teodoro Sampaio, São Paulo (Primates, Callithricidae). Revista Brasileira de Zoologia 6: 707-717.

Della Serra, O. 1951. Divisão do gênero Leontocebus (Macacos, Platyrrhini) em dois subgêneros sob bases de caracteres dento-morfológicos. Papéis Avulsos Zoologia, São Paulo 10(8): 147-154.

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Citation: Kierulff, M.C.M., Rylands, A.B., Mendes. S.L. & de Oliveira, M.M. 2008. Leontopithecus chrysopygus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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