Although no reintroductions or supplementations are currently planned, the global population has an essential role in providing insurance in case of catastrophes striking (part of) the still vulnerable wild population. It may also be the case that the EEP population contains genetic diversity that is no longer present in the wild.
• Expertise/research (Genetics)
Molecular genetics research carried out by the ex situ community will generate valuable knowledge about the genetic structure of the captive and wild populations, which will guide future management strategies for the metapopulation.
• Training (in range)
The ex situ population supports activities beneficial to animals rescued in Colombia, such as developing reintroduction protocols for rescue centres (to avoid inappropriate releases) and building capacity in keeper skills for institutions in range countries. Various Callitrichid EEPs share this role, and there is a TAG-wide effort to fulfil this role.
Cotton-top tamarins can be used to explain to visitors the threats faced by this species in the wild (forest degradation and pet trade). The support of field conservation in Colombia also needs to be highlighted. Furthermore, this is an opportunity to explain to the visitor that behaviour and lifestyle changes can help preserve the rainforest.
• Expertise/Training (in range in and ex situ)
There are several areas where ex situ expertise could assist the management of the in situ population: training in managing the species ex situ; research into biology, behaviour, veterinary aspects; genetic diversity of the species, as previously mentioned; lobbying and networking using EEP animals as ambassadors; providing educational materials as needed.
• Fundraising (in situ conservation projects)
Generate financial support for the implementation of the in situ conservation strategies.
This work is supported by the European Union LIFE NGO funding programme. The European Union is not responsible for the views displayed in publications and/or in conjunction with the activities for which the grant is used.