Colombia harbors a greater concentration of species per unit area than any other country, but is among the top ten countries in terms of deforestation, losing more than 4000 km2 annually. The majority of the forest within the tamarin’s range has been cleared for agricultural purposes harvesting to provide wood to build homes, and for charcoal production. Remaining forest patches occur on agriculturally-unfit land. Currently, there are five protected areas created by the Colombian government within historical range of cotton-top tamarins in northwestern Colombia. Three of these protected areas, Natural Paramillo National Park, Sanctuary Fauna and Flora Los Colorados and Protective Forest Reserve Serrania de Breastplate and Montes de María, have lost 42%, 71% and 70% of its forested areas, respectively, since inception of protected status.
© Proyecto Tití (left) and Lisa Hoffner (middle & right)
Further threat lies in the imminent flooding of the forest for hydroelectric projects. One project, the Urra I Dam, flooded more than 7,000 hectares of primary and secondary forest lying within Parramillo National Park, one of the last sanctuaries for the tamarin. Urra II is pending, higher in the watershed, which would flood an additional 47,000 hectares. Colombia has lost one third of its forest and continues to at 1.8% per year, a trend largely driven by a population growth rate of 1.97% per year.
With cotton-top tamarins found only in the northwest region of Colombia, efforts to protect the remaining tropical forest habitat is essential to their future survival. Proyecto Tití is committed to making the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin a top priority.
HOW CAN I HELP?
- Shop the Proyecto Tití store and purchase locally-made eco-mochilas that support the community protecting cotton-top tamarins.
- Donate to Proyecto Tití to support critical habitat preservation and other cotton-top tamarin conservation initiatives.
- Become a cotton-top tamarin spokesperson. Educate friends and family on the unique little cotton-top tamarin monkey and their obstacles.
- Shop wisely and ensure your purchased items are sustainable.