Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Behavioral differences between captive-born, reintroduced golden lion tamarins

Tara Stoinski (University Georgia)
Ben Beck (Smithsonian National Zoo)

Tara Stoinski was awarded a PhD in 2000; her dissertation was titled "Behavioral differences between captive-born, reintroduced golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) and their wild-born offspring". Capitalizing on our new finding of higher survivorship among the wild-born descendants of captive-born reintroduced GLTs, she examined their behavior to discover the underlying cause(s). She entered and analyzed 15 years of behavioral data, and began to conduct direct observations in Brazil in 1998. Among her findings is that the wild-born offspring use thin flexible substrates more than the zoo-born reintroduced animals, they fall less, and show increased foraging efficiency (although the zoo-borns that survive eventually "catch up" on foraging). She also trained and collaborates with Guilherme Viera Faria, an undergraduate in the environmental sciences program at the Universidade Estadual Norte Fluminense; he has already collected and analyzed data that show that the second generation of wild-born descendants of reintroduced GLTs are more efficient at foraging.