Cotton-top Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus)

The cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is a small New World monkey with a mass of up to 0.5 kg.

Saguinus oedipus is one of the smallest primates, and is easily recognised by its long white sagittal crest extending from the forehead to shoulders. Its natural distribution is limited to tropical forest edges and secondary forests in north-western Colombia where it is arboreal and diurnal. Its diet includes insects and plant exudates and it is an important seed disperser in the tropical ecosystem. The species has not been reported as a pest species to the agriculture industry.

The NRE Tas import assessment Technical Assessment Panel has assessed the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) as being moderately dangerous to humans, having a low risk of establishment and a low consequence of establishment. Consequently, the TAP assessment concluded that the risk posed by S. Oedipus is moderate

Following the initial risk assessment, the Department considers permitting the importation of animals assessed as ‘moderate risk’ into the State as long as appropriate mitigation measures, enforced through a Wildlife Exhibition Licence, can be identified and applied.

Mitigation options to reduce the risk associated with importing a cotton-top tamarin include:

  1. Limiting importation to registered wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards​ Tasmania applies to all institutions.
  2. Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Cotton-top tamarin species management plan (including enclosure details) prior to import.
  3. The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.

Assessment Documentation

  Risk Assessment: Cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus)   (165Kb)


Wildlife Services

GPO Box 44,
HOBART, TAS, 7001.