Day 1: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Arrive in Rio, where you are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel located directly across from Copacabana Beach, one of the most famous beaches in the world.
Day 2: Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project
On this full-day excursion, we travel eastward from Rio on a two-hour drive into the Atlantic rain forest to learn about one of the world's most exciting conservation success stories—the recovery of the nearly extinct golden lion tamarin. These tiny primates, about the size of a squirrel, take their name from their impressive manes—thick ruffs of golden-orange hair around their charming, wizened faces. The species is critically endangered, as are Brazil's Atlantic coastal rain forests
in which they live, under growing pressure from logging, agriculture and industry in Brazil's most densely populated region. The Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Project was established as a collaborative program in conjunction with WWF in 1971 to save the species against enormous odds. The project's efforts have helped the golden lion tamarin recover from a low point of a mere hundred or so individuals,
to more than a thousand today.
Accompanied by an expert local guide using radio telemetry equipment, we'll track the animals in their native habitat on an interpretive walk in the rain forest. As we wander into the verdant world beneath the canopy, listen for their high-pitched call and look for flashes of bright orange in the trees, where they spend most of their time. Living in social family groups, they forage for insects, fruit, lizards and birds by day while traveling from branch to branch, sleeping in hollows at night. Because a number of the tamarins are habituated to human observers, we'll expect to enjoy watching and photographing a family group as they jump from tree to tree in the canopy overhead. Males help raise the offspring, and we may see them carrying infants on their backs, which are often twins. Be sure to take your camera and binoculars!
On a tour of the educational center located inside the Poco das Antas Biological Reserve, we'll watch a video about golden lion tamarin conservation and hear about the project from conservation staff. When research biologists are present, we may also have a chance to meet these scientists who have been integral to the species' recovery. Lunch is included at Sabor Rural, an atmospheric local restaurant specializing in Brazilian churrascaria. We return to Rio in plenty of time to join our group at a welcome dinner with our Expedition Leader this evening.
Proceeds from your tour help support the conservation of golden lion tamarins in their natural habitat. Your visit also promotes forest-friendly income generation for the local community, thus contributing to the long-term protection of golden lion tamarin habitat.
Physical Rating: Easy