Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita


Extant (resident)

Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais)

These enchanting and charismatic tiny monkeys have a distinct “gothic” appearance. They live deep in the forests of a tiny area of Brazil. Buffy-tufted-ear Marmosets are also known as buffy tufted-ear mamosets or the white-eared marmosets. They are New World monkeys living in a geographically isolated region in the Atlantic coast that has been decimated for palm oil, soy and cattle ranching agriculture and mining. Help them every time you shop and be #vegan, #Boycottpalmoil and #Boycott4Wildlife!

Striking “gothic” looking monkeys, Buffy-tufted-ear Marmosets are #endangered in #Brazil having lost 93% of their rainforest to #palmoil #soy and #cattle. Help them by going #vegan #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

Just 7% of the Buffy-tufted-ear Marmosets’ home remains in #Brazil they are on the edge of #extinction from #palmoil #soy #meat #deforestation. Fight for them each time you shop and be #vegan #Boycottpalmoil and #Boycott4Wildlife

The widespread destruction of forests within this marmoset’s range, especially along the valley of the Rio Paraiba and in the lowland forests are a major threat to the Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset.

They may remain in some areas of the lowland forest of Rio de Janeiro (Mambucaba, Angra dos Reis), but is considered extinct in lowland forests of São Paulo State (Brandão and Develey 1998).

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita - South America

Appearance & Behaviour

The Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset slightly resemble Common marmosets although they have shorter ear tufts than other marmosets and have a vivid and striking skull-like colouration on their faces, along with a brown crown and grey-black fur across their bodies. On average they weigh only 300 grams.

They have short snouts and flat noses with intense yellow eyes and a downturned mouth suggesting an attitude of eternal dissatisfaction.

‘The Battle to Save the Buffy Tufted Marmoset of Brazil’ Earth.org

“They generally live in small social groups numbering between 2-8 individuals and consist of a dominant breeding pair. Their juvenile offspring typically will remain in the family group until adulthood to assist their parents with the care of newborn infants.” ~ Earth.org.

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita - South America

They are arboreal and live almost all of their lives in the tree canopies – making them particularly vulnerable to deforestation for palm oil, soy, cattle ranching and mining in Brazil.


Their traditional home the (once vast) Atlantic rainforest is now mostly destroyed with only 7% remaining standing in Brazil – what remains is severely fragmented. Other than deforestation for palm oil, soy and cattle ranching, they face a panoply of other threats including:

  • Yellow fever
  • Forest fires, floods and other climate change related extreme weather
  • Poaching for food
  • Collection for the pet trade
  • Forest fragments cut by roads pose a threat for collision with cars
  • Pollution run-off from agriculture
  • Hybridisation and interbreeding with other marmoset species.


They are endemic to the states of Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro of southeastern Brazil, within their montane rainforests of the inland plateau, at chilly dry-season altitudes of up to 1,300 metres. Buffy-tufted-ear marmoset populations inhabit these montane forests, with a few outlying populations in the foothills or lowland coastal forests.


They mostly feed on insects and occasionally flowering plants like fungi, cacti, soursops and legumes and invertebrates. If food is scarce they have been known to opportunistically hunt for small reptiles, amphibians, and small birds which they catch with their long claws before dispatching with a swift bite to the head.

As the forest disappears their food resources are stretched and they face competition from other species for food sources.

Mating and breeding

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmosets are greatly understudied and under-observed. Therefore little is known about their mating and reproduction. Their gestation period lasts around 170 days and there are typically fraternal offspring.

Buffy-tufted-ear marmosets have no formal protections in place and they need your help.

If you wish to raise your voice for Buffy-tufted-ear marmosets join the #Boycott4Wildlife.

You can support this beautiful animal

Mountain Marmosets Conservation Programme

There are no known formal conservation activities in place for this animal. Make sure that you #Boycottpalmoil and #Boycott4Wildlife in the supermarket and raise awareness of the plight of beautiful animals in order to support their survival! Find out more here

Further Information

de Melo, F.R., Port-Carvalho, M., Pereira, D.G., Ruiz-Miranda, C.R., Ferraz, D.S., Bicca-Marques, J.C., Jerusalinsky, L., Oliveira, L.C., Valença-Montenegro, M.M., Valle, R.R., da Cunha, R.G.T. & Mittermeier, R.A. 2021. Callithrix aurita (amended version of 2020 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T3570A191700629. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-1.RLTS.T3570A191700629.en. Accessed on 12 September 2022.

Buffy Tufted Marmoset on Wikipedia.

Buffy Tufted Marmosets on Animalia.bio

Buffy-tufted-ear Marmoset Callithrix aurita - South America

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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