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Pygmy marmoset
Callithrix pygmaea


CITES: Appendix II (What is CITES?)
IUCN Red List: C. pygmaea: LC (What is Red List?)
Key: LC = Least concern
(Click on species name to see IUCN Red List entry, including detailed status assessment information.)

Callithrix pygmaea
Photo: Allen M. Aisenstein

Among the most common of the callitrichines, pygmy marmosets are not threatened because of their high reproductive rate and the ability to exist in edge or disturbed habitats. In parts of their range, habitat destruction is rampant, but has not affected their numbers. Because of their small body size, they are sometimes trapped and sold as pets (de la Torre et al. 2000). One study by de la Torre et al. showed that pygmy marmosets in areas heavily frequented by tourists had some changes in their behavior compared to those living in remote areas (2000). Groups that came in contact with high levels of ecotourists used larger home ranges, .99 ha compared to .6 ha, on average, used higher forest strata, and showed decreased levels of play. There is also some concern that frequent contact with tourists results in long-term reproductive capability of groups. Changes in behavior and reproductive potential caused by human influence may cause serious threats to the long-term viability of the pygmy marmoset population. One way to decrease both habitat destruction and human-caused population decreases is to focus on environmental education. In 2003, such a program was started by Stella de la Torre and her colleagues for children in Ecuador. The curriculum focused on explaining the research they were conducting, explaining basic ecological and behavioral facts about pygmy marmosets, and used games and crafts to illuminate the importance of preserving primates in general, specifically the pygmy marmosets in Ecuador (de la Torre & Yépez 2003). This program is continuing today and is one way to increase awareness of the pygmy marmoset in local communities.





Content last modified: June 30, 2005

Written by Kristina Cawthon Lang. Reviewed by Stella de la Torre.

Cite this page as:
Cawthon Lang KA. 2005 June 30. Primate Factsheets: Pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea) Conservation . <>. Accessed 2020 August 11.