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The pied tamarin has one of the smallest ranges of any primate and is now thought to be one of the most endangered monkeys in the forests of the Amazon. Its rainforest home is disappearing under a tide of concrete as the city of Manaus, a large port on the river Amazon, expands with increasing rapidity.
Some tamarins are now isolated in tiny fragments within the city, with no hope of survival if nothing is done. Individuals desperate to find new homes and new mates are often killed while crossing roads, or electrocuted on power lines.
There are still pied tamarins in continuous forest north of the city, but another species, the red-handed tamarin, is now also being seen in what used to the exclusive home of the pied tamarin.
Durrell is currently supporting field conservation programmes for this species and has one of the largest and most successful collections at its headquarters in Jersey. Having worked for many years with this species, knowledge gained is now being used to help other tamarin species in South America.