Vienna Zoo welcomed a newborn pygmy marmoset, one of the world’s smallest primates. Born in April, the ape weighs only 15 grams and stands at a mere 5 centimeters tall. For reference, a full-grown pygmy marmoset’s body could fit in the palm of a human’s hand.
As part of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), the Vienna Zoo is now home to seven pygmy marmosets. The project aims to keep animals in danger of extinction alive. Marmosets are particularly at risk because their natural habitat in the Amazon rainforest faces destruction due to deforestation.
The primates live in the Amazon regions of Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Marmosets prefer the cover of forest trees and bamboo thickets that allow them to hide from predators like cats, hawks and snakes. But natural predators and deforestation aren’t the only danger to the mini monkeys. Because of their small size and adorable appearance, they’re often subject to illegal pet trading.
While the U.S. and most South American countries have banned primate exports, trafficking still poses a threat. In fact, the species’ threat level status was elevated from “least concern” to “vulnerable” in 2015 by the International Union of Conservation of Nature. Thus, conservation efforts at Vienna Zoo are of the utmost importance.
Following temporary closure due to Covid-19, the Vienna Zoo has reopened to visitors. So if you’re in Austria, don’t be afraid to show the marmosets some love.
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