With the rapidly disappearing forests in Colombia, Proyecto Tití recognizes how important it is to permanently protect forests for cotton-tops. As forests are impacted by human development, there remain many small isolated forest fragments leaving cotton-tops very vulnerable to predation and capture for the illegal pet trade. There is an urgent need to connect these isolated forest patches to create larger forest landscapes and protect more forest habitat for cotton-tops. Proyecto Tití has created several strategies to reduce the threat of forest destruction so that cotton-top tamarins will continue to survive in the wild.
- Proyecto Tití works in partnership with the regional and national environmental authorities and concerned conservation organizations to propose a strategy to identify, protect, and connect forest fragments into larger conservation areas for cotton-top tamarins.
- Proyecto Tití collaborates with organizations to purchase forests and declare them as protected areas under Colombian law.
- Through the establishment of conservation agreements, Proyecto Tití works with property owners, governmental and non-governmental conservation organizations to create and restore forest corridors that connect privately owned forest fragments to larger forest ecosystems to benefit cotton-top tamarins and the native wildlife of the region.
Between 2011 -2018, Proyecto Tití helped to create nearly 13,000 acres of protected forests for cotton-top tamarins in Atlántico and Bolívar. In collaboration with the regional environmental authorities and local partners, we created four new protected forest reserves: The Parque Natural Regional Ceibal – Mono Tití (1,040 acres) in Santa Catalina, Bolívar created in partnership with the Corporación Autónoma Regional del Canal Del Dique – CARDIQUE, and the Parque Natural Regional Los Rosales (3,222 acres) in Luruaco, Atlántico, the Reserva Forestal Protectora El Palomar (1,908 acres) in Piojó, Atlántico and the Distrito Regional de Manejo Integrado El Palmar del Tití (6,479 acres) in Luruaco and Piojó, Atlántico in partnership with Corporación Autónoma Regional del Atlántico – CRA. These protected areas represent 9% of the remaining forest found in Atlántico and Bolívar and 6% of the forests remaining in the overall historic distribution of cotton-top tamarins in Colombia.
Connect to Protect Forests in the Montes de María Region
The Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados (2,575 acres) is one of the largest protected areas for cotton-tops in northern Colombia that is surrounded by privately owned land. This region is primarily devoted to agriculture production and has a variety of forests fragments that have the potential to connect to the larger Montes de Maria ecosystem. As part of the post-conflict resettlement that has occurred in San Juan Nepomuceno, efforts were made to work with local landowners to help protect vulnerable forest fragments as more people returned to this region. As part of Proyecto de Conectividades Socio-Esosistémicas, a program was designed in 2014 to identify and connect isolated forest fragments throughout the Montes de María region. Working with local landowners, Fundación Herencia Ambiental Caribe and Proyecto Tití established conservation agreements that designated at least 10% of a landowner’s property as part of a conservation corridor allowing this area to be reforested and connected with neighboring properties that lead to the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados. Landowners identified areas suitable to be included in restoration and protection efforts and Ecosistemas Secos de Colombia designed a restoration programs for the properties. In exchange, landowners receive training in sustainable agricultural practices, tools, and opportunities to improve their agricultural productivity. To date more than 153 landowners have participated in the creation of a 1,235 acre forest corridor that leads to the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados providing cotton-tops with new dispersal opportunities.
In 2015, Proyecto Tití joined in these efforts to protect and restore forests for cotton-tops in San Juan Nepomuceno by purchasing 475 acres and creating the Reserve Natural de la Sociedad Civil “Los Titíes de San Juan” a 475 acre protected reserve that is adjacent to the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados. As part of the on-going restoration efforts in the Proyecto de Conectividades Socio-Esosistémicas, Proyecto Tití has established plant nurseries for the propagation of native species found in the tropical forests. The species found in the nursery represent trees that are used by cotton-top tamarin for food and shelter. Our restoration efforts have been remarkably successful with nearly 83% of the saplings planted surviving for one year or more. Our team lovingly cares for the plants, from seeds to saplings, and takes great pride in planting them to create a future forest for cotton-top tamarins!