Saguinus bicolor


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Saguinus bicolor
Species Authority: (Spix, 1823)
Common Name(s):
English Brazilian Bare-faced Tamarin, Pied Bare-faced Tamarin, Pied Bare-face Tamarin, Pied Tamarin
Spanish Sagüi-de Duas-cores
Saguinus bicolor subspecies bicolor Spix, 1823
Taxonomic Notes: Hershkovitz (1977) considered S. bicolor to have three subspecies: the nominate, S. b. ochraceus and S. b. martinsi. Groves (2001, 2005) and Rylands et al. (1993, 2000) listed the forms ochraceus and martinsi as subspecies of S. martinsi.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A2c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Boubli, J.-P., Subirá, R. & Rylands, A.B.
Reviewer(s): Mittermeier, R.A., Rylands, A.B. (Primate Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Endangered as 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 Saguinus midas.
2003 Critically Endangered
2000 Endangered
1996 Endangered
1996 Endangered

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Saguinus bicolor occurs north of the Rio Amazonas, east of the Rio Negro, in the vicinity of Manaus, the capital of the state of Amazonas, Brazil. Surveys by Ayres et al. (1980, 1982) reported that the range extended only approximately 30-45 km to the north of Manaus and to the east as far as the town of Itacoatiara, approximately 100 km from the capital. Localities beyond these points indicate only the presence of S. midas. Ayres et al. (1980, 1982) and Egler (1983) supposed that it might occur as far north as the Rio Jauapurí right bank tributary of the Rio Negro, but this seems unlikely (Subirá 1998a,b). The known range today extends from the left bank of the Rio Negro, south from the Rio Cuieiras, east, north of the Rios Negro and Amazonas, to the Rio Urubu (Subirá 1998a,b). Subirá (1998b) found Saguinus bicolor only as far as 35 km from Manaus on the BR174 highway. North of there, she found only S. midas.
Brazil (Amazonas)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Commonly seen in habitats where it occurs. S. bicolor groups survive in small, highly degraded forest patches around housing estates and in the suburbs of Manaus. S. midas populations are gradually replacing S. bicolor, either naturally, or through alteration and degradation of the forests by human activities (Ayres et al. 1980, 1982; Subirá 1998b).

Vidal and Cintra (2006) recorded 41 groups of Saguinus bicolor in the Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve (10,000 ha). They indicated that it was probable that this gives a rough estimate of the entire population in the reserve.

Subirá (1998b) carried out population surveys for Saguinus bicolor at a number of sites and recorded several Centro de Instrução de Guerra na Selva (115,000 ha) - 1.85 individuals/km² or 0.37 groups/km² (indicating around 426 groups or about 2,100 individuals)
Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve (10,000 ha) - 2.35 individuals/km² or 0.4 groups/km² (indicating about 43 groups or 235 individiuals)
Forest fragment Souza Arnold (10.5 ha) - 57.14 individuals/km² or 9.52 groups/km²
Forest fragment João Bosco (12.8 ha) - 62.5 individuals/km² or 7.81 groups/km².
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Lowland rain forest in the central Amazon. Vidal and Cintra (2006) reported on a census carried out in the Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve, Manaus. They found 41 groups widely distrbiuted in areas of plateau (20 groups at altitudes between 11 and 140 m above saea level), slopes (12 groups at 70-100 m above sea level) and stream valley bottoms (nine groups at 40-60 m above sea level). In the city of Manaus, they apparantly thrive in secondary forest, but are dependent on forest canopy (Rylands 1994).

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 and animal prey (including frogs, snails, lizards, spiders and insects). They live in extended family groups of between four and 15 individuals. Subirá (1998b) recorded group sizes of 3 to 15 individuals (mean 6.19 ±2.62, n=46). Vidal and Cintra (2006) recorded group sizes that ranged from 2 to 11 and averaged 4.8 individuals (n = 41). Generally, only one female per group breeds during a particular breeding season. Tamarin groups defend home ranges of 10-100 ha, the size depending on availability and distribution of foods and second-growth patches. A Saguinus bicolor group studied in the extensive forest of the Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve was found to use a home range of about 100 ha (M. Gordo pers. comm. in Vidal and Cintra 2006).

Aspects of the behaviour and ecology of Saguinus bicolor were studied by Egler (1986, 1992, 1993) at Tarumã-Açú, near Manaus. She studied a group of 6-10 individuals for 11 months in 1983-1984. Twins were born to a single breeding female in May and November 1983. The group used 12 ha of forest, which included mature old growth, old and young secondary forest and white sand forest (campinarana).

H&B 20.8-28.3 cm, TL 33.5-42.0 cm (Gregorin and Tahara 2008)
Males 428 g (n=4) (Smith and Jungers 1997).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The main threat is habitat loss through urban growth and agriculture and cattle ranching in the vicinity of the capital of the state of Amazonas, Manaus. However, more importantly, the species is disappearing rapidly in areas of contact on the northern and eastern periphery of its range, where it is being replaced by the Golden-handed Tamarin Saguinus midas. They are probably not hunted, but there may be some use as pets.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Listed on CITES Appendix I and on the US Endangered Species List.

The conservation and management of this species (in situ and ex situ) is overseen by the Committee for the Conservation and Management of Amazonian Primates, coordinated by the Center for the Protection of Brazilian Primates (Centro de Protecao de Primatas Brasileiros – CPB) of the Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade - ICMBIO of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (Baker and Bampi 1999; Oliveira et al. 2005).

This species is recorded from a number of protected areas, including:
Sumauma State Park
Rio Negro State Park
Sauim-castanheiras Wildlife Refuce (97 ha)
Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) (10,000 ha)
Walter Egler Forest Reserve of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA) (630 ha).
Tupé Sustainable Development Reserve
Margem Esquerda do Rio Negro Environmemtal Protection Area - Tarumã-Açú/Tarumã-mirim Sector

A very important reserved area, the largest for the species, is a 115,000-ha forest just east of Manaus that is owned by the military - the Centro de Instrução de Guerra na Selva (CIGS). There is just a small corridor of forest remaining that connects the east side of the Adolfo Ducke Forest Reserve with the area of CIGS. The Adolfo Ducke Reserve is otherwise now completely isolated.

The main areas of the urban district of Manaus where Saguinus bicolor still survives are the Mindu Municipal Park (26.5 ha), the campus of the Fundação Universidade do Amazonas (670 ha), around the two airports of Manaus, Eduardo Gomes (800 ha) and Ponte Pelada (57.6 ha), in the worker's country clubs of SESCI (49.5 ha) and SESI (100 ha), on the campus of the Instituto Nacuonal de Pesquisas da Amazonia (INPA) (14 ha), and around the Manaus military zoo (1ºBIS/CIGS).

There is a captive breedng programme (Baker et al. 2005), derived laergely from pied tamarins from the Rio de Janeior Primnate Centre (CPRJ) and the Universität Bielefeld, Germany. All of the pied tamarins are registered as the property of the Brazilian government. The studbook of 2004 (31 December 2004), recorded 117 pied tamarins in captivity in 19 institutions (Baker et al. 2005).

Since the early 1980s, there have been a number of environmental education campaigns in Manaus on behalf of the pied tamarin. An example of one of the most recent is "Sauim-de-Coleira, Ele Tem o Direito de Viver", by the Fundação Vitória Amazônica (FVA) and the Centro de Ciência do Ambiente of the Universidade do Amazonas, Manaus (Subirá et al., undated)

Bibliography [top]

Ayres, J. M. R., Mittermeier, R. A. and Constable, I. D. 1980. A distribuição geográfica e situação atual dos sagúis-de-cara-nua (Saguinus bicolor). Bol. FBCN, Rio de Janeiro 16: 62-68.

Ayres, J. M. R., Mittermeier, R. A. and Constable, I. D. 1982. Brazilian tamarins on the way to exinction? Oryx 16(4): 329-333.

Baker, A. J. and Bampi, M. I. 1999. A working group for the pied tamarin, Saguinus bicolor. Neotropical Primates 7(1): 29.

Baker, A. J., Davis, A. and Pissinatti, A. 2005. International studbook for the pied tamarin, Saguinus bicolor. Neotropical Primates 13(1): 33-34.

de Oliveira, M. M., Marini-Filho, O. J. and Campos, V. de O. 2005. The International Committee for the Conservation and Management of Atlantic Forest Atelids. Neotropical Primates 13: 101-104.

Egler, S. G. 1983. Current status of the pied tamarin in Brazilian Amazônia. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group Newsletter 3: 20.

Egler, S. G. 1986. Estudos bionômicos de Saguinus bicolor (Spix, 1823) (Callitrichidae, Primates) em mata tropical alterada, Manaus, AM. Master’s Thesis, Universidade Estadual de Campinas.

Egler, S. G. 1992. Feeding ecology of Saguinus bicolor bicolor (Callitrichidae: Primates) in a relict forest in Manaus, Brazilian Amazonia. Folia Primatologica 59(2): 61-76.

Egler, S. G. 1993. First field study of the pied tamarin, Saguinus bicolor bicolor. Neotropical Primates 1(2): 13-14.

Gregorin, R. and Tahara, A. S. 2008. Gênero Saguinus Hoffmannsegg 1807. In: N. R. dos Reis, A. L. Peracchi and F. R. Andrade (eds), Primatas Brasileiros, pp. 77–95. Technical Books, Londrina, Paraná, Brasil.

Groves, C. P. 2001. Primate taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Groves, C.P. 2005. Order Primates. In: D.E. Wilson and D.M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 111-184. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Hershkovitz, P. 1977. Living New World monkeys (Platyrrhini), with an introduction to Primates. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Rylands, A. B. 1994. Sagüi-de-duas-cores, Soim-de-coleira, Saguinus bicolor (Spix, 1823). In: G. A. B. da Fonseca, A. B. Rylands, C. M. R. Costa, R. B. Machado and Y. L. R. Leite (eds), Livro Vermelho dos Mamíferos Brasileiros Ameaçados de Extinção, pp. 125-131. Fundação Biodiversitas, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Rylands, A. B., Coimbra-Filho, A. F. and Mittermeier, R. A. 1993. Systematics, distributions, and some notes on the conservation status of the Callitrichidae. In: A. B. Rylands (ed.), Marmosets and Tamarins: Systematics, Behaviour and Ecology, pp. 11-77. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Rylands, A. B., Schneider, H., Langguth, A., Mittermeier, R. A., Groves, C. P. and Rodríguez-Luna, E. 2000. An assessment of the diversity of New World primates. Neotropical Primates 8(2): 61-93.

Smith, R. J. and Jungers, W. L. 1997. Body mass in comparative primatology. Journal of Human Evolution 32: 523-559.

Subirá, R., Guazzelli, A. C. and Borges, S. H. Undated. Sauim-de-Coleira, Ele Tem o Direito de Viver: Uma campanha de conservação do sauim-de-coleira (Saguinus bicolor bicolor) na cidade de Manaus. Fundação Vitória Amazônica, Manaus, Brazil.

Subirá, R. J. 1998. Avaliação da situação atual das populações do sauim-de-coleira, Saguinus bicolor bicolor (Spix, 1823). Master’s Thesis, Universidade de Brasília.

Subirá, R. J. 1998. The status of the pied tamarin, Saguinus bicolor. Neotropical Primates 6(4): 1998.

Vidal, M. D. and Cintra, R. 2006. Effects of forest structure components on the occurrence, groups and density of groups of bare-face tamarins (Saguinus bicolor - Primates: Callitrichinae) in central Amazonia. Acta Amazonica 36(2): 237-248.

Citation: Mittermeier, R.A., Boubli, J.-P., Subirá, R. & Rylands, A.B. 2008. Saguinus bicolor. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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