Posts Tagged 'golden lion tamarin'

Endangered Species Day!

Today is Endangered Species Day (ESD), a day established to raise awareness of the issues – both human and ecological – that face endangered species and their habitats. Here at the National Aquarium, our mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. We hope that by connecting with guests and our online community, others will be inspired to join us in protecting our disappearing wildlife.

Threats such as habitat loss, climate change and species exploitation have seriously degraded once richly bio-diverse ecosystems like the Great Barrier Reef and Amazon Rain Forest.

In the United States, more than 1,300 species of plants and animals are listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as either threatened or endangered – and an estimated 500 species have gone extinct since the 1600s.

Here in the National Aquarium, we represent 16 species that are threatened or endangered, including the following two species, which can be found in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit:

Panamanian Golden Frog
Critically endangered

Considered by locals to be a symbol of good fortune and luck, this species has seemingly run out of both.

Panamanian Golden Frog

Once abundantly found in the tropical forests of Panama, the golden frog is now considered extinct in the wild. An infectious disease affecting amphibians, chytridiomycosis, has virtually wiped out the frogs in Panama (and an estimated one-third of amphibian species worldwide). Additionally, deforestation and collection for the pet trade have also contributed to the decline of Panamanian golden frogs.

Zoos and Aquariums throughout North America have been participating in breeding programs to try and reintroduce these animals into their native habitat.

Golden Lion Tamarin
Endangered

Native to the coastal rain forests of Brazil, there were fewer than 200 golden lion tamarins reported in the wild in 1970.

golden lion tamarin

Habitat loss and fragmentation, capture for the pet trade and hunting have caused a serious decline of populations of these animals. Although many of these threats have been reduced, the number of golden lion tamarins is still low with limited possibilities for growth due to their restricted range.

Currently, only about 1,500 golden lion tamarins can be found in the wild. Approximately 30 percent of those animals were either relocated from depleted areas or released as part of a reintroduction program. The tamarins at the Aquarium are part of a group managed by the Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program, headquartered at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. This group oversees the management of both the wild population of golden lion tamarins in Brazil and the captive population worldwide.

Here are a few things YOU can do to help protect endangered species:

Want to learn more about endangered species? Join the conversation on Twitter by following @NatlAquarium and using #ESDay!

What It’s Like to Intern at the Aquarium: Part 3

by Morgan Randall, Digital Marketing Intern

The Marine Animal Rescue Program, Community Affairs, and Publications interns in my last post gave some insight on jobs interns are doing behind the scenes at the National Aquarium.  But there are still more amazing experiences to be had!

Courtney Potter

Animal Programs

Courtney is a senior at Virginia Tech but is currently taking a semester off and attending the College of Southern Maryland.  She is majoring in dairy science with a minor in animal and poultry science, with a horse emphasis.

Despite living two hours away from the aquarium, she committed to the trip in order to get hands-on experience and an opportunity outside of Virginia Tech.  Within her department she was responsible for taking care of a variety of animals. Her duties included (but were not limited to) cleaning their environments, measuring the animals’ food, and providing stimulating animal enrichment activities.  Courtney also conducted an independent study project with the bearded dragons, where she investigated which structure, a cork clog or cardboard box, the animals preferred to use in their enclosure.  She found her time at the aquarium to be “extremely helpful” in figuring out what she wanted to do concerning animals.

Courtney helps out with an animal encounter with Flick the kookaburra

Kristen Lipari

Marketing, Community Affairs

Kristen is a senior at Loyola University majoring in marketing with a minor in information systems.  During her freshman year of college, she had her eye on the aquarium as a potential internship opportunity.  Then, at the internship fair at her school, she applied knowing that it would be a great place to work.

Kristen assists in planning and researching for events at the aquarium.  One event that she has been helping plan is the Grade A Student Night, where local students grades K–12 with three or more As can get into the aquarium for free.  She is also helping with the aquarium’s Cultural Series events.  Kristen says that this internship has helped her become a better communicator and prioritize.  She currently has a job lined up with a staffing agency for after she graduates.

Kristen mans an educational table at an event

Alea Williams

Visual Productions

Alea is a sophomore at Anne Arundel Community College and will soon be getting her Associates Degree through their media production program.  Afterwards, she plans on transferring to Emerson College to major in digital post-production.  She has loved the aquarium since she was a young child and considers this her dream internship.

Alea wears many hats in her department.  In one day she could be doing anything from transferring VHS archives into DVDs, to shooting and gathering footage during the dolphin presentations.  However, her ongoing assignment was to create a short web video about the golden lion tamarins in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.  This included shooting video, conducting interviews, and making edits to the footage.  She has gained a lot of experience at the aquarium and would love to work with the company in the future. You can see the results of her hard work here:

Interested in interning at the National Aquarium? Learn more here.


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