Welcome to the 2006 edition of Monkey Messages, a roundup of the Zoo's free-ranging golden lion tamarins, written by Andrea Durcik, GLT intern. In June 2006, a GLT family was released at the Zoo. (They returned to the Zoo's Small Mammal House in October.) Read all about their adventures in Monkey Messages.
Issue 1, June 7
The Volunteers, Monkeys, and Intern
Welcome to this year's Golden Lion Tamarin (GLT) Free-Range Program! This is the first issue of this year's Monkey Messages, a weekly newsletter, sent to the volunteer GLT monitors, detailing the GLTs' behavior and activities as well as important notes. Without our wonderful volunteers, we would not be able to properly ensure the safety of these monkeys, so we thank them for their participation in this program. I know it is going to be an exciting and fun season.
Not only are our volunteers helping to ensure the safety of these animals here at the Zoo, but they are also vital contributors to the conservation of this species in the wild. The data they will be collecting this summer will be used to help further knowledge of captive GLT behavior and make important comparisons to behavior in the wild. They are also going to help educate the public about this species and their status in the world, which will further help protect and save these animals.
You never know what a zoo visitor might do with the information that volunteers provide. Perhaps their knowledge and enthusiasm will encourage a visitor to donate money to help conserve GLTs or inspire them to return to school to obtain a conservation, animal management, or biology degree, which they then use to work toward the conservation of these monkeys. Or maybe our volunteers will simply ignite a passion in a Zoo visitor to help save this species and others in many other ways. The possibilities for our volunteers to make a significant impact on this program and the lives of zoogoers and the GLTs are endless. The time our volunteers are donating to this program is very much appreciated. We are so grateful for their interest and hard work that will be put forth this season in helping to monitor this wonderful family of golden lion tamarins!
The 2006 Free Ranging GLT Family
This year a family group of four will be released into the free-range exhibit. The family consists of Eduardo, the father, born February 11, 2000; Laranja, the mother, born April 9, 2002; and their twins, Samba and Gisela, born March 21, 2006. Laranja and Eduardo have been paired together for a year. They were first introduced to each other last summer right before their release into the free-range exhibit. Eduardo and Laranja were the free-ranging pair last summer, however, it was just the two of them then. While they will hopefully remember much from last year, their behaviors and activities are sure to be different now that their children will be joining them in the great outdoors. This will be Eduardo's fourth season free-ranging and Laranja's second, which should make monitoring these guys fun and exciting.
Your 2006 GLT Intern
My name is Andrea Durcik. I have a B.A. in psychology and plan to return to graduate school in a year to obtain a primatology Ph.D. I love primates and have spent a significant amount of time during my undergraduate career studying primate behavior both in captivity and in the wild. I want to continue studying primates, while also helping to conserve many of these species. I am dedicated to helping save primate species throughout the world through research efforts similar to those our volunteers will be helping with this summer. I am not sure at this point where my career path will take me, but I am so excited to currently be a part of the Zoo's GLT Free-Range Program.
Let me briefly orient you with my role in the program. I am here to assist the volunteers with their monitoring duties throughout the season—behavioral observations, crowd control, educating the public, and emergencies, should any arise. I am also the author of Monkey Messages, which will help volunteers and the public alike to keep up to date on the GLTs' behaviors, favorite trees of the week, recent activities, routines, and behavioral trends.
I also am here to set up the exhibit, maintain it throughout the season, and disassemble everything at the end of the season. While I am just starting my time here at the Zoo and with this program. I will be here five days a week watching and working with the GLT family and volunteers.