The Challenges of Survival in a Concrete Jungle: Conservation of the Pied Tamarin (Saguinus bicolor) in the Urban Landscape of Manaus, Brazil

Part of the Developments in Primatology: Progress and Prospects book series (DIPR)


The ongoing growth of the Brazilian city of Manaus—the largest urban center in the central Amazon basin—has led to extremes of habitat fragmentation and the local extinction of many animal and plant species. One species in particular—the pied tamarin (Saguinus bicolor) is threatened by this process more than most, considering that its 7,500 km2 geographic range coincides with the Manaus City region. This situation has led to the classification of the species in the endangered IUCN category, although it has previously been considered critically endangered. Dozens of small fragments of forest can still be found within the urban area of Manaus, and tamarins survive at many of these sites. In most cases, the urban matrix—with busy roads, power lines, and domestic animals—is virtually impenetrable, while the rural area to the east of the city is becoming increasingly fragmented. The reduced size and poor quality of most forest fragments and the eventual need for the dispersal of surplus individuals has highly deleterious implications for the survival of most populations. The ongoing deforestation of fragments for the establishment of residential areas has led to the death of many individuals and the reduction of remaining populations. In some cases, fragments are occupied by no more than one or two individuals although larger fragments, such as that of the UFAM campus, which covers 700 ha may contain dozens or even hundreds of S. bicolor. Dispersing animals risk dying in traffic, attacks from domestic animals, electric shocks from power lines, and capture as pets by local residents. For example, the access road to the UFAM campus that passes through the forest is responsible for the death of approximately 5 % of the local population per year. The generalized disrespect for environmental legislation and the lack of effort on the part of public authorities for the protection of this species and its habitats combine to create a bleak outlook for the remaining urban populations of S. bicolor, especially considering that even the largest remnants may not be viable over the medium to long term. The survival of these populations will depend on a concerted effort, integrating research, education, environmental monitoring, metapopulation management, and the development of adequate public policies for the protection of S. bicolor within the urban matrix of Manaus.


Urban Landscape Amazon Basin Free Trade Zone Fiscal Incentive Urban Matrix 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Wildlife Conservation Society and Jersey Zoo/Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust have been partners in the Pied Tamarin Project, which has also been supported by PROBIO/FNMA-MMA, Conservation International, Apenheul Primate Conservation Trust, Philadelphia Zoo, La Palmyre Zoo, Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Newquay Zoo, Mulhouse Zoo, Urbis Engenharia, and Varejão Adrianópolis. Rogério Naiff, Anselmo D’Affonseca, Prontovet, and Maskote pet shop provided assistance during captures. MG received a graduate stipend from FAPEAM, and SFF a research grant from CNPq (process no. 302747/2008-7). We are also grateful to Dominic Wormell for his help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Projeto Sauim-de-Coleira, Universidade Federal do AmazonasManausBrazil
  2. 2.Federal University of SergipeSão CristóvãoBrazil

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