There is an urgent need for joined-up conservation action for callitrichids in Brazil – including the establishment of well-managed captive populations, habitat protection, and management of wild populations.
With a long history of working closely with Brazilian conservationists, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust became aware of the need to increase husbandry expertise within Brazilian zoos and other institutions that hold callitrichids, and to create long-term plans for captive populations. There was also a clear need to bring together the ‘ex-situ’ and ‘in-situ’ communities, along with policy-makers, to establish coordinated species recovery programmes for threatened species. They ran a capacity building project to meet these needs, comprising in-country workshops, bespoke husbandry training, and follow-up support and mentoring. Workshops were run in Brazil in 2017 and 2019 (covering captive management, field conservation, community education and the establishment of coordinated species recovery programmes), and advanced husbandry training was provided to key Brazilian staff in Jersey Zoo and Apenheul Zoo in 2019. They have also provided ongoing mentoring and guidance to key individuals.
As a direct result, there has been improved breeding success for species like Callithrix aurita, a studbook and breeding programme has been established, a new NGO and a captive breeding centre created, and there is now a core group of callitrichid specialists working together. Strong links between Brazilian and BIAZA institutions have also been established. Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust submitted this project to the BIAZA Awards Professional Capacity Building category for 2020 and won a Silver award.