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Updates from Proyecto Tití

Titi Tidbits May 2018

It’s Mother’s Day, and we join people all around the world celebrating the mothers in our lives. Thank you to the amazing mothers of Proyecto Tití who not only work hard to make our organization a success, but do it all while raising a family. To our wonderful team, you are not only an inspiration for us, but you inspire your children to get outside to enjoy nature and make a difference in the world. The growing Proyecto Tití family is led by these amazing women, and we thank you!

Of course, we cannot celebrate Mother’s Day without acknowledging our favorite little monkey mothers. Just like our Proyecto Tití family, cotton-top mothers are hard workers too! From successful first-time mothers this year like Isamira, to long-term mothers who built large families with new babies year after year, like our beloved Tamara, these amazing cotton-tops mothers lead their family groups. Dominant female cotton-tops build a family, care for their newborn twins, and teach their older children to stay safe in the forest and act like tamarins! It’s hard work! Cotton-tops have many offspring throughout their life, as they usually give birth to twins. Females are pregnant for 6 months and those babies weigh a lot. In fact, it would be similar to a woman giving birth to two 10 pound infants! Sometimes, cotton-top moms have a single infant, and in rare cases they will give birth to triplets! That’s a lot for a one pound monkey to do all by herself, so that is why they need help from everyone in the family to care for these newborns.
This year, our new babies have started to arrive! Isamira is a proud mom of newborn twins! Our field team has observed her carrying both babies on her back for long stretches of time. What a hard worker! Of course, when mom gets tired, other members in her group are there to help her out. Carrying the babies is an activity all tamarins want to do, since the family comes together to raise the young babies.

But being a mom is not something that comes naturally to cotton-tops. They have to learn how to be a good parent! Young cotton-tops will watch and even participate in the care of their younger siblings. They help to carry the babies and show them which fruits to eat, giving the older sibling experience in caring for infants and giving mom a well-deserved break! When our field team observes older offspring helping their mom with her new babies, they too are learning how to take care of young and preparing one day be parents themselves.
From our Proyecto Tití family and the forest, Happy Mother’s Day!
If we want to protect cotton-tops and their forest homes for the future, we must plant the seeds of conservation today! That’s exactly what Proyecto Tití does each and every year. We are committed to educating children in rural communities that live near the forest on how everyone can help protect cotton-top tamarins.
Each year, 1,600 students participate in our programs and have life changing experiences that help them make conservation a priority in their lives.To date, we have educated more than 9,000 students and our programs have really had an impact. Our education philosophy is about teaching children to value Colombian biodiversity and work to create ways to protect cotton-tops and their forest homes. We achieve this through a series of engaging programs that allow children to learn and explore ways to help minimize their impacts on the environment while taking personal ownership of protecting cotton-tops.
Whether it is learning about why cotton-tops shouldn’t be kept as pets or how their families can help to protect and restore forests, these programs have had a positive impact in not only increasing knowledge but also creating the next generation of conservation champions.

The students learn values about respecting wildlife while learning how to take care of their own domestic animals. They read the story of Tito the Titi and how happy he is in the forest, his home where he belongs. They learn how their actions can help their environment, and how they can make a difference by becoming an environmental leader when they start taking steps into adulthood.
A recent evaluation of our programs found that the students in all of the programs significantly increase their knowledge about the species, in addition to increased positive attitudes and supportive behaviors that help to conserve the tamarins! Even 5 years after completing Proyecto Titi’s education programs, the students still remember what they learned and are motivated to conserve the cotton-tops! This exciting finding was published in the Journal of Nature Conservation.
Proyecto Tití is proud of these students who are engaged across every educational program. Their commitment to conserving their unique species in their backyard gives us hope for the future!

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Proyecto Tití's mission is to conserve Colombia's most critically endangered primate, the cotton-top tamarin, through scientific studies, community education and development programs, and protecting tropical forest habitats. For more information

Proyecto Tití works in collaboration and with the permission of CARDIQUE to develop effective conservation programs for cotton-top tamarins.

Special Thanks To...

Proyecto Tití is grateful to Hacienda "El Ceibal" for their continuous support of cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts.

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Position Statement

Proyecto Tití's Position Statement on nonhuman primates in the Media

WHEREAS live nonhuman primates are often portrayed in the media as frivolous caricatures of humans, dressed in clothing and trained to do tricks on command for the amusement of the general public but with disregard to the welfare and conservation consequences; and
WHEREAS many nonhuman primates used as actors in movies and television and as photo props for commercials and greeting cards are often removed from their mothers shortly after birth and are denied opportunities for normal social and psychological development; and
WHEREAS the use of nonhuman primates in this industry often involves aversive techniques to maintain control of these animals; and
WHEREAS the inappropriate portrayal of nonhuman primates inaccurately conveys their biology and conservation status and may affect public attitudes including those in range countries where interactions with these animals have potential damaging consequences; and
WHEREAS evidence suggests that many nonhuman primate species are susceptible to many of the pathogenic infections that afflict humans and the transmission of infection can occur in both directions, especially in performing circumstances in which primates are in direct proximity with public audiences including children and the elderly,
Proyecto Titi Inc. and Fundacion Proyecto Titi therefore opposes the use of nonhuman primates as performers, photo props or actors.