Locomotion of Golden Lion Tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia)

The Effects of Foraging Adaptations and Substrate Characteristics on Locomotor Behavior
  • Brian J. Stafford
  • Alfred L. Rosenberger
  • Andrew J. Baker
  • Benjamin B. Beck
  • James M. Dietz
  • Devra G. Kleiman


Our study of the locomotor behavior of golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) was initiated because these unique, highly endangered primates, were perceived to possess locomotor deficiencies upon reintroduction to the wild. The critical status of the wild population (Coimbra-Filho and Mittermeier, 1978, Kleiman et al 1986) led to the establishment of the Pogo das Antas Biological Reserve 70 km outside of Rio de Janiero in 1974. The reserve consists of approximately 5000 ha of disturbed lowland rainforest (Kleiman et al 1986, 1991; and Rylands, 1993 for details on reserve condition and environment). A program of reintroductions designed to resupply the declining wild population (Beck et al, 1991; Kleiman, 1989; Kleiman et al, 1986, 1991) by culling social groups from the world’s captive stock was initiated in 1984. The first reintroductions, although successful, raised concerns that captive animals released into the forest may exhibit locomotor, and other behavioral deficiencies resulting from their lack of experience in such a complex environment (Kleiman et al, 1986). Thus, a program of prerelease and postrelease training was designed to aid in the transition of captive-born animals into the wild. The research program reported in this paper was conceived to describe and quantify locomotion in L. rosalia with these issues in mind.


Wild Animal Terminal Branch Locomotor Behavior Physical Anthropology Captive Animal 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian J. Stafford
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alfred L. Rosenberger
    • 3
  • Andrew J. Baker
    • 4
  • Benjamin B. Beck
    • 3
  • James M. Dietz
    • 5
  • Devra G. Kleiman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.New York Consortium in Evolutionary PrimatologyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Zoological Research, National Zoological ParkSmithsonian Institution
  4. 4.Curator of Small Mammals and PrimatesPhiladelphia Zoological GardensPhiladelphia
  5. 5.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Maryland at College ParkCollege Park

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