Report on the presence of a group of golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), an endangered primate species in a rubber plantation in southern Bahia, Brazil
Abstract. In a landscape fragmented by agriculture, the extent to which forest-dwelling primates can use the matrix between fragments can be critical for their long-term survival. So far, the golden-headed lion tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), an endangered primate inhabiting the Atlantic Forest of south Bahia, is only known to use shaded cacao (Theobroma cacao) agroforests within the matrix. We report on the use of a rubber plantation by a group of golden-headed lion tamarins between August 2013 and January 2014. The group used the rubber plantation on 16 of the 22 observation days (73 %), and we recorded behaviours such as eating, grooming and sleeping, consistent with the use of the area as a home range. We also observed associations with Wied's marmosets (Callithrix kuhlii). The locations of group sightings were not uniformly spread across the entire area of the rubber plantation, suggesting preferred use of certain areas. The presence of resources such as jackfruits (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and epiphytic bromeliads may be attracting both species to these plantations. In addition to shaded cacao plantations, rubber plantations with the appropriate structure may be a viable option for increasing forest connectivity for both species in south Bahia, reconciling economic rubber production with primate conservation.