Page 1

Photo: Suzi Eszterhas



March of 2018

Photo: Ronald de Hommel


COME TRUE! Thirty years ago, as an eager graduate student I had a dream of developing a conservation program for cotton-top tamarins in Colombia. As I spent time in the communities and talked to many of the kids and their families, I soon realized that I had a very big task ahead of me as very few people knew that cotton-tops were an endangered species and were found only in Colombia.

How do you create a conservation program for a onepound monkey that no one knows much about? Well, you have to start with finding exceptionally talented and passionate Colombians that are committed to leading the effort to conserve cotton-tops and the forests they call home.

Photo: Lisa Hoffner


ANNE SAVAGE Founder and President of Proyecto Tití

recycled plastic to reduce the number of trees cut for fence posts, to our latest venture of establishing community reforestation efforts that work with local farmers who protect forests on their private property in exchange for learning better farming practices.

But what gives me great hope for the future, is the Our scientific studies of cotton-top tamarins have amount of forest habitat that is now protected for continued to help us understand what these animals cotton-top tamarins thanks to Proyecto Tití. need to survive and how their shrinking forest home is I’m so very proud of how much Proyecto Tití has affecting their long-term survival. accomplished under Rosamira’s leadership and how Our education programs which begin in one small rural the team continues to expand their impact as more school with 30 children have grown to include more communities are joining us in helping to protect than 10 schools with more than 1600 students each year cotton-tops. learning about cotton-tops and what they can do to help 2017 was an exceptional year of accomplishments protect them. for Proyecto Tití and I hope you will join me in Our community programs have grown: from small congratulating this team of dedicated conservationists scale efforts to reduce the number of trees cut for for their commitment to insuring a future for cottonfirewood, to our award winning eco-mochila program top tamarins in Colombia. that works with local artisans to generate an income by reusing plastic bags to create products for sale nationally ANNE SAVAGE and internationally, to creating fence posts made from Founder and President of Proyecto Tití





Cotton-top tamarins are one pound monkeys found only in the tropical dry forests of northwestern Colombia. Their long-term survival is threatened by the extensive destruction of their tropical forest habitat and capture for the illegal pet trade. Proyecto TitĂ­ is a multi-disciplinary conservation program whose mission is to protect the critically endangered cotton-top tamarins and the forests they call home.

We envision healthy wild populations of cotton-top tamarins, in well preserved and interconnected forests, living in harmony with local human communities, and being recognized as a symbol of the Colombian Caribbean region’s natural heritage. 4

Photo: Suzi Eszterhas





Our conservation program is multi-disciplinary in nature and works to reduce the threats to cotton-top tamarin survival through: Protecting, restoring, and connecting forests to increase the amount of habitat for cotton-tops and working to develop effective management programs that insure the long-term survival of the cotton-top tamarin in Colombia. Understanding the factors that influence the survival of cotton-top tamarins and impacts to their forest home through long-term field studies and research. Providing conservation education programs that focus on increasing knowledge, changing attitudes and influencing the behavior of students to become trusted stewards of Colombia’s natural resources. Creating sustainable community development programs that decrease individual’s dependencies on forest products while providing them with economic alternatives that aid in the conservation of cotton-top tamarins and their forest home.


Engaging the public through an effective communications program to increase awareness and willingness to support cotton-top tamarin and forest conservation efforts.

Photo: Suzi Eszterhas

We focus the majority of our conservation efforts in the Departments of BolĂ­var and AtlĂĄntico in the northern region of Colombia. However, we work in partnership with regional environmental authorities and non-profit organizations throughout Colombia to develop strategies that expand our efforts to conserve cotton-tops throughout their historic distribution in Colombia.





Photo: Peter Hawman




FOR COTTON-TOPS! We began the process to purchase 185 acres (75 hectares) of privately owned forest and land that can be restored that will be dedicated to cotton-top tamarin conservation. This property is adjacent to our protected reserve “Los Titíes de San Juan” in San Juan Nepomuceno, and once finalized, the Los Titíes protected reserve will increase to 358 acres (145 hectares)! The properties protected by Proyecto Tití are connected to the Santuario de Fauna y Flora Los Colorados, a 2,471 acre (1,000-hectare) Natural National Park. Providing additional forest habitat for cotton-tops in this region not only strengthens our cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts, but provides benefits to the local biodiversity of the area creating a safe haven for many species.


Photo: Proyecto Tití Photo: Federico Pardo

“Thanks to the hard work of Proyecto Tití and our partners, nearly 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of forest have been protected for cotton-tops through the creation of public and private protected areas.” ROSAMIRA GUILLEN Executive Director, Fundación Proyecto Tití



MORE THAN 25,000

TREES PLANTED More than 25,000 seedlings were planted in this restoration area with the help of the owners and our team. We planted 22 species of trees that are native to the tropical dry forest of northern Colombia and in a few short years, these trees will provide food and shelter to cotton-top tamarins. We will be monitoring the success of all of our restoration areas to demonstrate the impact of our efforts to increase the amount of forest habitat for cotton-top tamarins. By measuring the growth and development of our seedlings over time, we will be able to refine our techniques and insure that we are maximizing our efforts to restore habitat for cottontop tamarins.

Photo: Proyecto TitĂ­

Photo: Proyecto TitĂ­

As part of our commitment to protecting and restoring habitat for cotton-tops, we are working with local farmers to dedicate part of their land to conservation. Through the use of conservation agreements, we have 195 acres (79 hectares) of forest that are privately owned and are now dedicated to cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts. We are working to restore 93 acres (38 hectares) of forests that surround the Santuario Los Colorados providing more future habitat for cotton-top tamarins.


Photo: Proyecto Tití

“For me, both personally and professionally, it has been a great source of happiness and satisfaction to work side by side with all of the community members and partners that have been part of this effort to restore habitat for cotton-tops. We are working together to reduce the greatest threat to this species which is the loss of their forest home. Working with so many passionate and committed community members, makes me believe that we will succeed in protecting cotton-top tamarins in the wild”. JUAN CARLOS BARRIOS Field Biologist, Fundación Proyecto Tití




TREE NURSERY We created a community nursery for the germination and propagation of 22 tree species that are native to the tropical dry forest. This allows us to have a permanent supply of plant material that can be used in our forest restoration program and provides an opportunity for everyone in the community to be a part of this important effort. We hired Luis González from the local community to care and maintain the seedlings in the nursery. He manages the nursery and works with all the landowners who are part of our program to help maintain the nursery. When it is time to plant the seedlings, everyone in the community helps to plant the seedlings insuring a true commitment to the success of this program.

Understanding the benefits of restoration


Proyecto Tití’s restoration team and our local partners created training sessions for the landowners who are participating in our restoration program. Each landowner participated in 4 training sessions about restoration strategies and monitoring the success of these efforts so that they will be able to demonstrate a positive impact to the tropical dry forests in this region. They also receive training on better agriculture practices so that they can maximize their crop yield without having to disturb more forest. This training provides them with an understanding of the importance of these restoration efforts to cotton-top tamarins and the benefits that they will personally receive by having more forests on their own land.

Photos: Proyecto Tití


“For all of us it has been very good to have Proyecto Tití here. It has helped us work our land better so that we can conserve it. They have also helped us to produce more crops and to improve our way of life. My son Cristian has worked with us in every opportunity that the restoration project has provided and that has kept him close to our land. That is very good as he now wants to stay and work on our farm!”. SALVADOR VASQUEZ Landowner, Village of Nuevo México


Photo: Suzi Eszterhas





All of the information we have collected on the biology of cotton-top tamarins has been used to help us shape the design of our current forest protection and restoration efforts in San Juan and elsewhere. Our data on group size, diet, reproductive patterns, adult and infant survival are all vital in helping us to understand the factors that critical in insuring the development of effective management plans for this species. In addition, our presence in the area has been very helpful in monitoring the various threats to the forest and the tamarins that arise in these remote areas. Being able to closely monitor activities in the region and provide feedback to the impact these actions will have on the forests and the tamarins has been critical in helping us to develop effective programs to protect these critically endangered primates.

More than 1,800 fecal samples processed Understanding the factors that influence reproduction in the wild, is important if we are to protect cotton-tops. We processed more than 1,800 field samples in partnership with Disney’s Animal Science and Environment team to determine the hormonal concentrations in cotton-top tamarin feces. This long-term study has followed females from puberty to reproductive senescence and has provided new insights into the factors that influence successful reproduction. Changes in the amount and timing of rainfall, food availability, and changes in group composition have been found to influence reproduction in adult cotton-top tamarins.

Photo: Suzi Eszterhas

At our long-term field site in the forests of El Ceibal, we continue to monitor 9 family groups of cotton-top tamarins through daily observations in the forest. Our team of biologists follows the groups as they spend the day in the forest monitoring their interactions within the family and without animals in the forest.




Photo: Proyecto Tití



We were able to identify 4 new study groups of cotton-top tamarins in the forests of San Juan Nepomuceno. We will begin the habituation process with these groups and look forward to beginning a study that will allow us to compare and contrast the strategies that these tamarins use with our previous studies of cotton-tops in Atlántico and Bolívar. This information will be used to help us identify the factors that influence their survival and to develop effective management plans for this species.

Photos: Proyecto Tití

“The search for new study groups in San Juan gave us the opportunity to put into practice all of what we have learned working at our previous field sites. It has also tested our patience and physical resistance, and challenged us to create some new strategies to be able to locate the animals due difficult field conditions. The forest in San Juan are located in very hilly areas making it very difficult to find the cotton-tops. They move much faster than we can in this type of terrain! But, after many days of hard work and many miles walked, we did it! We found groups that we can study!” FRANCY FORERO Field Biologist, Fundación Proyecto Tití




Photo: Proyecto Tití

We are committed to engaging students in our conservation programs to help create future conservation leaders in our communities. We target our programs to students that live near cotton-top tamarin forests in Atlántico and Bolívar. More than 1,800 students participated in our various education program and are ready to take action to help cotton-tops!


Our programs target the primary threats to cotton-top tamarin survival. We work to build a strong emotional bond to cotton-tops and educate students on why forests should be saved and how they can help. We also focus on reducing the demand for cotton-tops as pets in local communities. Students who are part of our program are actively engaged in learning about cotton-tops and work to develop solutions that help to protect the forest and the cotton-tops for the future. They also learn about what animals make good pets and why cotton-tops need to remain in their forest home. Through innovative activities and developing alternative pet programs, we have reduced the desire to keep cotton-tops as pets. But, one of the most impactful aspect of our programs is the opportunity for the students to visit the forest and see a cotton-top tamarin! This experience of visiting the forest and seeing the monkeys first hand, helps to inspire the students to join us saving them for the future. We continuously evaluate the effectiveness of our programs to demonstrate an increase in knowledge, a change in attitudes and a positive change in behaviors that demonstrates the students’ commitment to protecting cottontops and forests for the future. We are pleased to share with you the success of our programs through an article we wrote that appears in the Journal of Nature Conservation

Photo: Proyecto Tití Photo: Proyecto Tití

“We are educating the next generation of Colombians living near the forest where cottontop tamarins are found. I am proud of our students, who demonstrate with their actions, that it is possible to support conservation and that, with awareness, dedication, and love, it is possible to save cotton-top tamarins and their forest home!” JOHANNA VEGA Subdirector of Operations, Fundación Proyecto Tití






Our TITÍ LEADERS Ana Utria and Nelson Álvarez completed their vocational studies and obtained their technical degree in Natural Resources Management. They are now committed conservation professionals working in their communities to make a difference for wildlife.

Photo: Proyecto Tití

Photo: Proyecto Tití

Developing the skills to lead local conservation efforts is what TITÍ LEADERS is all about! Twenty-four students developed a variety of community campaigns aimed at reducing the number of cotton-tops in the illegal pet trade and protecting forests and keeping wildlife healthy through reducing the amount of litter found in the region and creating community gardens as a means to reduce the amount of forest cleared for agricultural purposes. Students shared their progress and their accomplishments from a variety of our programs in several public events in Colombia including Ciclo 7, the Environmental Knowledge Fair, the Jaguar Fair and the Christmas Parade.

Photo: Proyecto Tití

“Being a Tití Leader has meant a lot to me because I have learned so much about nature and about cotton-tops. Because of this new knowledge I have created many changes in my family that help cotton-tops. My grandmother and my mom helped me a lot in the creation of our home garden and they took care of it while I was at school. I had never participated in a program like this before, that could help change things that my family did. My grandmother my mom or I never realized how bad plastic bags are for the environment. Now we do, so we now save the bags and reuse them. Now no one in my family asks for plastic bags when they go to the local shop or the grocery store!” JESÚS VASQUEZ Tití Leader, San Juan Nepomuceno



Photo: Proyecto Tití



Photo: Proyecto Tití





We had quite the celebration for the 11th Annual Day of the Cotton-top Tamarin. Every year we highlight our communities commitment to cottontop tamarin conservation through the talents of our amazing young people. Whether our youth groups are creating new songs or dances that highlight the need to conserve cotton-tops or crowning the Cotton-top Tamarin queen who will be our representative for all conservation

events, everyone is sure to get involved in a fun day celebrating cotton-tops. And it wouldn’t be a celebration without the annual Copa de Tití, our soccer championship highlighting how everyone shares their commitment to the conservation of cotton-tops. We were very pleased to have so many civic and regional environmental authorities leaders lending their support to this very important community event.

Photo: Proyecto Tití Photo: Proyecto Tití

Photo: Proyecto Tití


Photo: Proyecto Tití

“I feel very proud and happy to have received the Disney Conservation Hero Award. It is great recognition of me as a female leader in my community, conserving the environment and protecting cotton-top tamarins, a primate species that is endemic to the Colombian Caribbean Region, and is 100% Colombian like me! I share this award with my fellow artisans, and with my community, as we continue to champion conservation efforts for cotton-tops nationally and internationally.” 26





Photo: Proyecto Tití

We are so proud of how our artisans continue to grow and flourish in their business of creating eco-mochilas, tote bags crocheted from recycled plastic bags and plush cotton-top tamarin toys. This year they have continued to expand their business and have created new products for the market. What a year it has been!! The artisans have sold more nearly 3,000 products made from recycled plastic bags and 1,200 cotton-top tamarin toys. They have continued to refine their craft and story through the participation in several national and international events highlighting the artisan’s commitment to the conservation of cotton-top tamarins and their forest home. This year our artisan’s products have made it to the fashion runway! Working with their Colombian fashion designer Francesca Miranda, the artisans are creating some exclusive designs that highlight not only their amazing technical ability but their artistic sense of fashion. We are so proud to see eco-mochilas highlighted in Francesca’s collection! We were also very pleased that Ana Isabel Arroyo, president of ASOARTESANAS received the coveted Disney Conservation Hero Award in recognition of her commitment to developing women artisans and her leadership in community conservation efforts for cotton-top tamarins.



Photo: Proyecto Tití



Our community recycling program that was led by 25 families in 7 communities have had a very busy year. We collected and recycled more than 7 tons of plastic waste from the local communities that were located near forests where cottontops are found. Keeping these forests clean of plastic litter debris not only benefits wildlife, but also provides local communities with an income and generates local pride in helping to protect cotton-top tamarins.

More trees for tamarins by creating 1,350 tití posts Creating Tití Posts, fences posts made from recycled plastic has been instrumental in helping us to protect more trees for tamarins! This year we have installed more than 1,350 Titi Posts that have been used for fences in new protected areas for cotton-top tamarins and also in our restoration areas. We continue our efforts to reduce the number of fences made with trees harvested from the forest and and promote the use of Titi Posts in all of our endeavors.

Saving forests - 26 conservation agreements protecting habitat


It takes a village to save cotton-tops and that exactly what we have with the community of Nuevo México. Twenty six landowners have committed to joining Proyecto Tití in helping to create more habitat for cotton-tops. They’ve dedicated a portion of their land to be included in part of our restoration

Photo: Proyecto Tití


efforts as we plant more trees for cotton-tops. Each land owner commits to protecting this habitat and in exchange, they learn new agricultural practices that help increase their productivity or learn cattle ranching techniques that improve their production of meat and dairy products. This new knowledge results in more food for their families and opportunities to bring their products to local markets.

Photo: Proyecto Tití

“Look at this! Last year I sold oranges from those you helped us plant, so now I have something else that I can sell to help support my family while I wait to harvest the yuca, ñame and corn crops. This is something we didn’t have before and it is a real benefit for my family. I have 3 grown grandchildren who worked with me when we planted the little trees in the forest corridors we created for the cotton-tops. This is such meaningful work for our family and we are so happy that Proyecto Tití is still with us after 3 years.” ALBERTO TAPIAS Landowner, Village of Nuevo México

More ways to earn an income Providing opportunities for the local community to earn income for conservation related activities is a great way to continue to generate even more support for cotton-top conservation. We provide opportunities for the local community to earn a small income as they help us planting seedlings, transport seedlings and supplies to the restorations sites, and for meal preparation for all our training workshops and restoration events. More than 30 families have joined us and have benefitted from these jobs.

Photo: Proyecto Tití



BAQUI, THE SYMBOL OF THE GAMES Cotton-top tamarins were chosen as the mascot for the Central American and Caribbean Games which will take place in the city of Barranquilla, during the months of July and August in 2018. We were so excited to learn that the organizers of this event wanted to highlight a species endemic to the region and we could think of no other animal more deserving of this honor than our beloved cotton-top tamarins! “Baqui” is the mascot of the Games and since the official communication launch in August of 2017, “Baqui” has been making public appearances highlighted in the media to promote this important international sports event. We look forward to leveraging the public appeal of “Baqui” so that more people become aware and involved in cotton-top tamarin conservation efforts. Here’s to an exciting time of sharing our stories with an even larger audience!


Tití Titbits Want to get the latest information on what is happening with Proyecto Tití? Every month we publish an e-newsletter with the latest updates on our progress and accomplishments. This is distributed to more than 2,000 supporters and friends of the project around the world.

Follow Us On Social Media Our efforts to create awareness of cotton-tops and share our messages more broadly has allowed us to increase Proyecto Tití presence on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. With daily posts, we were able to increase our followers in 135%, 15% and 25% respectively.

Publications We continue to get positive press for our efforts in the local and national media. We have had more than 20 publications in local printed press. We have received a significant amount of press for Rosamira Guillen’s National Geographic Buffet Award for Leadership in Conservation. This significant achievement has opened new opportunities for us to share our work with a broader audience.


Photo: Proyecto TitĂ­


As our organization continues to expand with additional employees and field sites, we have reorganized to provide maximum health and human safety and occupational oversight of our employees. We continue to provide the best in safety and institutional management so that we can continue to work effectively and efficiently in the region.


We have expanded our partnership portfolio allowing us to work more effectively in the region. By leveraging our significant conservation

experience and partnering with local NGO’s, environmental authorities, educational institutions we are maximizing our ability to engage more communities in our efforts to save cotton-top tamarins. We convened stakeholders for a second forum on “Advances of Initiatives to Conserve the Tropical Dry Forests and Cotton-top Tamarins in Northwestern Colombia.� This forum had representatives from 17 regional and national organizations who gathered to share information and develop a strategic plan to prioritize areas for conservation in the region.


34 Photo: Proyecto TitĂ­


National Geographic Society We are so very pleased that Rosamira Guillen was awarded the National Geographic Society Buffet Award for Leadership in Conservation in Latin America. This prestigious award recognizes the advances and significant achievements made by Proyecto Tití in protecting cotton-top tamarins and the tropical forests of northern Colombia. National Geographic was one of the original organizations that provided funding to start our research efforts in Colombia more than 25 years ago. It is with great pride that we can show how this initial investment has resulted into one of the most highly regarded conservation programs in Colombia.

Recognition from USFWS Rosamira Guillen also received the Championship Award given by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service in recognition of Proyecto Tití’s accomplishments in protecting and restoring forests for cotton-top tamarins and for doing so involving local communities and educating children to find value in the conservation of natural resources.

Photo: Embassy of the USA in Colombia




We are so very thankful to the Disney Conservation Fund and Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment for their continued support and for sharing their knowledge and expertise to help us expand our efforts to protect cotton-top tamarins in Colombia. We are so proud of the work that we have done together and for helping us to engage local communities to appreciate and protect our amazing biodiversity.

The Wildlife Conservation Network has been an amazing partner and has provided unconditional support in our efforts to protect cotton-tops. We appreciate the commitment of their donors, their team, and their volunteers, who work each and every day helping us to bring our efforts to the forefront of conservation in Colombia.

We are deeply indebted to Hacienda El Ceibal for their continued support of protecting forests and joining us in saving cotton-tops for the future.


Proyecto Tití works in partnership with Corporación Autónoma Regional del Canal del Dique – CARDIQUE, under a collaborative scientific agreement. We are very thankful for their long-term support of conservation efforts in Colombia.

Our restoration efforts would not be possible without our wonderful partners We are so pleased that we are working together to restore habitat for cotton-tops and to provide communities with opportunities to support these efforts.

And to the many organizations who financially supported the work of Proyecto TitĂ­ to save cottontops for future generations of Colombians.


THANK YOU! We want to express our gratitude to the following organizations for their dedication to to supporting effort to conserve cotton-tops and their forest home:

Abilene Zoo, Buffalo Zoo – Buffalo Zoological Society, Cape May County Park Zoo, Dickerson Park Zoo, Ellen Trout Zoo, International Primatology Society, Lake Superior Zoological Society, Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens, Moody Gardens Rainforest and Aquarium, Sequoia Park Zoo – The Redwood Coast AAZK, Southwick Zoo, Zoo La Palmyre, Boras Zoo, Parco Natura Viva, Zoo Amiens, Zooland Park, Chester Zoo and Skansen Aquarium. We thank everyone who has donated personally to us or purchased the products made by our local communities. Your purchase of eco-mochila and plush cotton-top tamarin toys has a direct impact in changing the lives of so many local people.


We are so grateful to our Board of Directors for their thoughtful advice and assistance in helping to achieve our mission. We couldn’t be as effective as we are without the wonderful advice and expertise of Dr. Dave Wehdeking, our field veterinarian, and Miranda Stevenson who is championing our awareness and fundraising campaigns with European Zoos. Thanks also to all of the people and organizations who have supported us over the years (See a complete list of Proyecto Tití supporters).




Financial Statements Summary* INCOME Donations/Grants: $456,004 85% Product Sales: $20,815 4% Other: $21,881 4% Contract (Forest Connectivity Project): $10,704 2% Nat Geo Award: $26,679 5% $536,082 (Less cost of sales: $13,853) EXPENSES Education: $135,357 Field Research: $114,602 Community: $67,880 Administration: $43,941 Restoration: $135,413


27% 23% 14% 9% 27%


2% 5%




Nat Geo Award

Contract (Forest Connectivity Program)



TOTAL $ 497,195 100% SURPLUS FOR THE YEAR $ 1,413 (After depreciation and taxes)




14% Exchange rate used: $ 1 USD = $2,800 Colombian Pesos*

Education Community

23% Restoration Administration

Field Research




BOARD OF DIRECTORS Anne Savage, President Gustavo Bell Lemus Reinaldo Niebles La Torre

Roberto Arazo Ospino, Fiscal Advisor


STAFF MEMBERS Rosamira Guillen, Executive Director Johanna Vega, Deputy Director for Operations Luis Soto, Advisor for Conservation Programs Mónica Pinillos, Head of Administration and Accounting Carolina Yudex, Administrative and Accounting Assistant Sandy Palmera, SENA Intern Carolina Chinchilla, Marketing Coordinator Francy Forero, Field Biologist Germán Emeris, Field Assistant Juan Barrios, Field Biologist Luis González, Field Assistant Jeisson Castro, Field Biologist Félix Medina, Field Assistant Jeisson Medina, Field Assistant Leysthen Díaz, Community Programs Coordinator Alfredo Martínez, Community Programs Assistant Katherine Torregroza, Education Programs Coordinator Ana Meléndez, Education Programs Assistant Bertha Osorio, Education Programs Assistant Eve Calvo, Education Programs Coordinator Johana Pasión, Education Programs Assistant Rosa Rodríguez, Education Programs Assistant ADVISORS Mery Narváez, Advisor for Health and Safety in the Workplace Trudis Ibarra, Human Resources Advisor Armando Valdés, Advisor for Strategic Planning

Photo: Proyecto TitĂ­


Photo: Peter Hawman

FUNDACIÓN PROYECTO TITÍ Calle 77 # 65 – 37, Local 208, Barranquilla – Colombia Telefax: (5) 309 1270 – Executive Director: Rosamira Guillen Monroy - Mobile: 310 636 0639

Annual report 2017 fpt fv  

Proyecto Tití's Annual Report 2017

Annual report 2017 fpt fv  

Proyecto Tití's Annual Report 2017