Proyecto Titi | Conserving Colombia's Wildlife
Proyecto Tití:
Conserving the
Cotton-top Tamarin
in Colombia
Cotton-top Tamarin
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Meet The Team

To contact Proyecto Tití, please send an email to: proyectotiti@aol.com.

Proyecto Titi Field Team and Collaborators Ready for Action


Anne Savage

Rosamira Guillein

Felix Medina

       

Luis Soto

German Emeris

Iader Lamilla

 
       
 

 

Johanna Vega Abello

   

Anne Savage, Ph.D.: Executive Director, Proyecto Titi, Inc.

I began studying cotton-top tamarins in captivity under the direction of Dr. Charles Snowdon at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having the opportunity to study and care for these critically endangered species in captivity was a life-changing experience. While I was at the University of Wisconsin, there was a significant amount of research dedicated to understanding the reproductive biology of this species in captivity. However, we knew very little about wild tamarins.

After working with this critically endangered species in captivity, I wanted to learn more about wild tamarins and what we could do to help their future survival in Colombia. My dissertation research focused on the reproductive biology of wild tamarins and provided some of the first information on the reproductive strategies of this species. My interest in the species continued, and in collaboration with my Colombian partners we developed Proyecto Tití.

Proyecto Tití has grown from a small group of biologists interested in the reproductive strategies of cotton-top tamarins to a dedicated team of biologists, educators, veterinarians, scientists, and concerned citizens that have developed a multi-disciplinary approach to the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin. We introduced education programs to the local communities to increase public awareness to the plight of the cotton-top tamarin, we have provided economic alternatives to local people through our bindes program and now in partnership with ASOARTESANAS, we are creating eco-mochilas that are not only recycling plastic bags into a useful tote bag but cleaning up all that unwanted trash as well. We’ve provided training and scholarships to several Colombian students to assist in their thesis work with cotton-top tamarins at our field site and continue to provide educational opportunities for local communities and our partners at the Baranquilla Zoo and other NGO’s in Colombia. Our commitment to the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin and its forest habitat in Colombia is one that continues to grow. It is our hope that we will continue to inspire future generations of Colombians to preserve cotton-top tamarins and the biodiversity of Colombia.

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Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director, Fundación Proyecto Tití

I was trained as a landscape architect and started working on the Barranquilla Zoo masterplan in 1995. In 2001, I became the Director of the Barranquilla Zoo and became interested in developing conservation partnerships both nationally and internationally. Cotton-top tamarins have always been especially interesting to me and when the opportunity to work with the Proyecto Titi team on our education campaign to highlight Colombia’s critically endangered species presented itself we started on a great long-term collaboration. Now the zoo and Proyecto Titi have a long-term relationship that highlights the importance of conserving this critically endangered species and we continue to work on projects to increase awareness in the community of Barranquilla. When the idea of creating a Colombian non-profit organization to help promote our cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts, I was very pleased to offer my services as Executive Director of Fundación Proyecto Titi. Our work continues to have important benefits to local and urban communities and our efforts to educate Colombians about the amazing biodiversity our country has to offer is something I am proud to lead.

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Felix Medina: Field Assistant

I was born in 1963 in Colosó, a little town located near the Montes de Maria Reserve in Colombia. I have dedicated my whole life to the outdoors and to farming. Living so close to the forest I have learned about the many uses of the different plants for both animals and people and about all the animals that live in the forest. My brother and my father taught me a lot as well.

Thanks to my knowledge about the forest, in 1983 I started working for INDERENA (Natural Resources Institute), taking care of the animals and covering the night shifts. In 1984 I started to work with Dr. Anne Savage as her assistant in a research project about cotton-tops.

Since Proyecto Tití started, I have been working as a field assistant habituating groups of tamarins for daily behavioral observations, identifying plant species that the tamarins use or eat, and I developed the technique to collect cotton-top tamarin feces used to study reproductive events in females. In 1999, the team of Proyecto Tití moved to a new field site in Santa Catalina. There I began observing groups of cotton-top tamarins at Hacienda El Ceibal and continuing to collect data and samples for our long-term studies of the biology of this critically endangered primate.

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Luis H. Soto: Field Coordinator for Biological Studies

I graduated from the National University of Colombia with a degree in Biology. I have been working with the team of Proyecto Tití since 1991, and I now manage the biological studies program in Colombia. I began studying the cotton-top tamarin when Proyecto Tití was in Colosó, at the Montes de Marias Forest Reserve. There I studied the behavior and ecological relationships of 5 cotton-top tamarin groups. In Colosó, I was involved in collecting and identifying the primary food sources for the cotton-top tamarin which included fruits, insects, sap, nectar, and small mammals and lizards

I have been training students in our program by providing opportunities to conduct their thesis work at our field site or through our student trips to the forest for school children. My goal is to create a strong awareness to the cotton-top tamarin and inspire people to care. This caring can result in a commitment by young people to preserve cotton-top tamarins and the forest habitat they need to survive.

My interest in traditional culture inspired me to investigate new methods to protect the forest. I enjoy talking to the elders in rural communities about their lives and the history of our people. Our bindes program was developed from conversation we had with local community leaders. I have great pride in the work that we do to protect the forests of Colombia and developing programs that are culturally relevant .

In 1991, I helped establish our new field site at Hacienda El Ceibal in Santa Catalina. I continue to study the cotton-top tamarins in this dry tropical forest and make significant contributions to our understanding of the pressing need to protect this critically endangered species in Colombia today.

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Iader Lamilla: Community Development Program Coordinator

I was born born in the rural area of Tarqui in the Department of Huila in central Colombia. I graduated from the National University of Colombia-Medellín, as a Foresty Engineer and I obtained a additional degree specializing in Environmental Educational Planning at the University of Santo Tomás de Aquino in Barranquilla.
Since 1984, I worked specifically on environmental topics with public and private organizations. I have a passion for nature and am dedicated to engaging communities in environmental activities.

Since 2005, I have been working for the Fundación Proyecto Tití, focusing on environmental education of local communities and sustainable development programs for rural communities near our field site in Santa Catalina. I work with many communities in the departments of Bolívar and Atlántico though our formal education programs and community development programs. We teach communities the importance of the environment, how to protect their local natural resources and how to use them wisely.

I work closely with many of the Colombian governmental agencies and private entities to create strategic alliances and conservation programs that benefit communities and cotton-top tamarins. Developing and helping to manage rural ecological societies and community action groups is a duty that I truly enjoy as we work to empower rural communities to make the right decision for the long-term protection of cotton-top tamarins and the forests of Colombia.

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German Emeris: Field Assistant

I was born in Monteria, Cordoba in the early 70's, and grew up in the rural area of Santa Catalina, Colombia. I am married and the father of 2 children, 12 and 15 years old.

I grew up surrounded by animals and have been working on different farms for most of my life. I would work for the Proyecto Tití when they needed additional help with their projects and in 2006 I joined the team as a field assistant.

Today, I help the team study the cotton-top tamarins that are part of our long-term study at Hacienda El Ceibal and collect behavioral data, feces for reproductive analysis, and lead trips for schools children and visitors to see the tamarins at our field site.

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Johanna Vega Abello: Environmental Education Coordinator

I received my degree in Psychology from the Universidad del Norte in Barranquilla and I am currently completing a Masters degree in Education. Previously, I worked in the education department of the Museo del Caribe in Barranquilla where I designed and evaluated education programs presented at the museum.

This museum focuses primarily on the the culture and history of the Caribbean region of Colombia and this is where I became very interested in conservation. My interest in conservation and environmental education has led me to develop many programs that highlighted the amazing biodiversity found in Colombia and my goal is to engage people in understanding how they can help protect biodiversity for future generations of Colombians. Creating future environmental leaders that will make the right decision in helping to protect cotton-top tamarins and the forests of Colombia is my passion.

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