The golden lion tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) has a dark grey face which is surrounded by a thick mane of golden hair which cascades down its back like a lion’s mane. It weighs around 400-800 g (14-29 oz) and is 20-25 cm long. The hands, fingers and claws are long and thin to probe into bark for grubs. It is an omnivore, although most of its diet consists of fruit.
The golden lion tamarin is diurnal and primarily arboreal, forming small groups of up to 14 individuals, led by a breeding pair.
Once listed as critically endangered by IUCN, the status of the golden lion tamarin is now considered endangered. With its survival threatened by devastating forest clearance, WWF and others have worked to set up new protected areas and supported the release into the wild of animals bred in zoos. The golden lion tamarin’s attractive appearance makes it vulnerable to the further threat from the illegal pet trade.