Red-handed tamarins are New World monkeys named for the contrasting reddish-orange hair on their feet and hands. They have a black face with long hairs and their body is also black in color. Red-handed tamarins have claws on all digits except for the big toe and move quadropedally.
Red-handed tamarins are found in South America. They are native to wooded areas north of the Amazon River in Brazil, Guyana, French Guiana, Suriname, and possibly Venezuela. These tamarins live in the moist forest, savanna forest, and also in secondary habitats near villages and cities. In Suriname, they odten occur in the interior, the savanna belt and old coastal plain.
Red-handed tamarins are social and live in cooperative groups of 4 to 15 members. These groups are led by the eldest female and have predominantly male members. Defense is a priority in a group, and when one tamarin is threatened the others will rush to its defense. Red-handed tamarins are territorial and can be aggressive, with sharp canines and claws instead of fingernails on all fingers and all but the large toe. They are arboreal and diurnal creatures that rest in the safety of the tree tops during the night. They are exceptional climbers and spend most of their time among the vines and branches of the trees. They are quick and agile and are superb jumpers known to jump distances of over 60 feet (18 m) from a tree to the ground with no sign of injury.
Red-handed tamarins are polyandrous; this means that one female mates with more than one male. Only one female in the group will breed during the breeding season which takes place usually between April and July. The gestation period is 140-170 days and mothers typically give birth to two infants. Young tamarins are cared for primarily by the father and turned over to the mother only to nurse, however, the entire group helps with the care of the young. Mothers nurse their infants for 2-3 months and they become reproductively mature at around 2 years of age.
Currently, there are no major threats to Red-handed tamarins.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Red-handed tamarin total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.