Bearded Emperor Tamarin: here’s the scoop


While bearded emperor tamarins are currently not endangered, rapid deforestation due in large part to logging and infrastructure construction may threaten this species in the near future. They are also threatened by the illegal pet trade.

Committed to Conservation

The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for Bearded Emperor Tamarins. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild.

Insider Info

Female and male bearded emperor tamarins, Pepper and Jack, came to the Zoo in 2018 from the United Kingdom, to help boost the small AZA population. Pepper gave birth to twins on October 20, 2019 and this was a historic first for the BPZOO. To follow suit, their offspring were appropriately named Brie and Gouda. This new family of four can be seen inside Rainforests, Rivers & Reefs or outside in our rotational primate habitats. 


Bearded Emperor Tamarin

Scientific name

Saguinus imperator subgrisescens


Lowland tropical rainforest, typically between 80 – 95 feet elevation


Omnivorous. Feeding on plants, tree sap, vegetables, fruits, insects, and eggs

life expectancy

15 – 20 years

Did you know?

There are less than 35 bearded emperor tamarins in 11 AZA zoos across the country. In 2019, Buttonwood Park Zoo imported a pair of genetically valuable tamarins, Jack and Pepper, from England to boost the population and maximize the genetic diversity in North America. 


Bolivia, Brazil, Peru

Conservation status

Least Concern

Widespread and abundant