The next great threat to Brazil’s golden lion tamarin: Yellow fever

The next great threat to Brazil’s golden lion tamarin: Yellow fever

A pair of golden lion tamarins in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Image by Andreia Martins. In April 2018, workers with the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado, a Brazilian NGO dedicated to the protection of the golden lion tamarin, found one of the endangered primates, apparently sick and unable to climb trees, lying on the forest floor in Aldeia, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Rio de Janeiro city. The following day, field staff searched for the animal but could not find it within the sprawling tropical forest. But later that month, the dead bodies of two others were discovered in nearby forest in Cambucaes and Imbaú. The stricken animals immediately set off alarm bells in Brazil’s conservation community. By 17 May 2018, their worst fears were realized, as the first confirmed death of a golden lion tamarin due to yellow fever was announced by the Brazilian Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment. “Until this report we didn’t know if the [animals] were susceptible to the disease, even after four decades of working with the tamarins, but we now understand that they are even more susceptible to it than humans,” explains Dr. Carlos Ruiz, president of the Associação Mico-Leão-Dourado (the Golden Lion Tamarin Association). The Atlantic Forest, which only survives in fragments, is the most threatened of any Brazilian biome. Image by A. Duarte published under a Creative Commons license. A species in trouble Known for their distinctive, lion-like manes and gold-orange pelage, the golden lion tamarin, or Leontopithecus rosalia, is a…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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