New Species at Colchester Zoo

On 16th April, four very special individuals arrived all the way from Chester Zoo! We would like to introduce our troop of four female eastern pygmy marmosets (Cebuella niveiventris), Queenie, Nursie, Bob and Maria Escalosa – named after characters from Blackadder!

The eldest out of the females is Queenie born on 7th August 2020, followed by twins, Nursie and Bob on 4th May 2021 and Maria Escalosa on 5th October 2021.

Our four females are housed with our female Golden-lion tamarin, Lily, at Canopy of South America where they will share their home together. Although small herself, Lily looks large in comparison to the tiny pygmy marmosets, which are the smallest monkey in the world. They have all settled in well and the marmosets have got used to Lily bouncing overhead.

This is the first time that we have housed this species here at the Zoo although we were once home to a pair common pygmy marmoset back in 2016.

Eastern pygmy marmosets are currently listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red list of Threatened Species. Wild populations of pygmy marmosets are in decline due to hunting for the pet trade, habitat loss and degradation. Pygmy marmosets are managed in European Zoos under a breeding programme called a European Ex Situ Programme (EEP). Our marmosets are part of this programme, which aims to create a healthy, genetically diverse population in zoos. They also act as amazing ambassadors for their wild counterparts helping to educate our visitors about the threats this species faces in the wild.

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