New walk-through reserve opens at Yorkshire Wildlife Park with critically endangered monkeys
24th May 2023
New endangered species have arrived at the Amazonas walkthrough reserve which opens at Yorkshire Wildlife Park today (Wednesday). The immersive habitat featuring rare species from South America including newly arrived critically endangered Golden Lion Tamarins and Silvery Marmosets, is the latest initiative from the park that is a global leader in wildlife conservation.
Visitors will be transported to South America in an interactive experience as they walk amongst unusual species such as Capybaras, Agoutis and Patagonian Maras as well as the primate residents of Amazonas and find out the story of the work to save the rainforest and amazing animals such as the Golden Lion Tamarin.
“We are so excited to be opening Amazonas. It is a habitat with a real story so that visitors can see these fascinating species and learn why it is so important to protect them,” said Greg Clifton, Section Manager for Primates of the park at Auckley, near Doncaster.
“The walk through is completely immersive and visitors will really feel as if they are inside the world of the animals. We are delighted to welcome two new species of primate to the Park – the Golden Lion Tamarin and the Silvery Marmoset and there are more new arrivals on the horizon. I have had the privilege to work with some of these species in the wild so for YWP to be involved with the conservation efforts is significant for all of us but it is extremely special for me personally.”
The Golden Lion Tamarins are a striking critically endangered species of small primates with a reddish coat and an impressive swept back mane. Son Demonio and Mother Rosa arrived just last Friday and are settling well into their new home. The mythical conservation reserve Dourado which features in Amazonas is named after the Golden Lion Tamarin mico-leão-dourado in portuguese, the native language of the coastal Atlantic Forest in Brazil where it is found.
In the wild their numbers plummeted to 200 but intensive conservation efforts and a captive breeding programme that reintroduced 146 zoo-born animals to the wild to support the population and help turn a corner for this charismatic species.
They are still in danger but the numbers have recovered to a 2,500 strong population in the wild and their story features in the interactive panels at Amazonas that reveal fascinating information about tropical rainforests and how they are home to 50% of the world’s land-dwelling plants and animals. The Amazon is home to 10% of known species on Earth, 400 billion trees & is home to more than 2 million indigenous people.
There are also new Silvery Marmosets, which are native to Brazil. Male Murphy, 2, and Female Goldie, 8, are tiny primates that have silver-grey fur, dark tails and naked ears. They gather in small family groups but their numbers are under threat because of habitat loss.
Population numbers of Patagonian Maras are also dwindling as the hare-like species is widely hunted in the Amazon.
Amazonas is a key feature in the South American area of the Park, which is also home to Giant Anteater, Giant Otters and Cotton Top Tamarins who recently celebrated the birth of twins. The Red Howler Monkeys are the noisiest residents in this section, whose roar can be heard up to three miles away, featuring highly in a lively soundtrack to the new area at the park.
The park, which opened in 2009, has continued to grow and extend its conservation work as well as visitor facilities. Visitors can now stay at the park’s brand new Hex Hotel, located metres away from the entrance.
Meanwhile, Chase, Marshall, Rubble and Skye from Paw Patrol are taking centre stage at the Wildlife Amphitheatre for a day of adventure in the sun, arts, craft and fairground over the weekend, Friday June 2 to Sunday, June 4.
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