Pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea)
The Pygmy marmoset (Callithrix pygmaea) is the smallest new world monkey weighing only 120 grams on average. This tiny monkey is found within several neo-tropical countries of South America, inhabiting the riparian forests of the Upper Amazon basin, along lakes and rivers in the eastern lowlands of Ecuador. The countries where this species is found include Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Columbia, and Bolivia.
The Pygmy marmoset is classified as a species of, ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, since they are still common in the wild. In addition, this species is listed under ‘Appendix II’ of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and listed as a species ‘suitable for live import with an import permit’ issued under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act).
A risk assessment has been undertaken for the Pygmy marmoset. The assessment concluded that the risk posed by importing Pygmy marmoset into Tasmania is moderate.
As part of the import assessment process and following the initial risk assessment consideration was given to possible mitigation to reduce the risk associated with importing Pygmy marmosets.
These measures could include:
- Restricting importation to only wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards of New South Wales, which Tasmania has applied consistently across all wildlife parks, in the absence of National Guidelines.
- Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to ensure that the wildlife park is secured by a lockable perimeter fence that meets Australian Standards and the Standards for Exhibiting Animals in NSW.
- Requiring any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Pygmy marmoset Species Management Plan (including enclosure details) prior to any import.
- The wildlife exhibition facility can clearly demonstrate they have proficient keepers for that particular species.
It should be noted that in the past the Department’s standard procedure for considering the importation of animals was essentially that most species that were assessed as ‘moderate risk’ would be permitted into the State with appropriate mitigation measures. The mitigation measures essentially are enforced through the Exhibition Licence and hence in the past, licenced exhibitors have generally received approval for importation of animals assessed as ‘moderate risk’.