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2021 Canine Health Summit: Lessons Learned in Managing Primate Genetic Diversity and Possible Applications to Canids

Managing Primate Genetic Diversity

Anne Savage, PhD

Executive Director, Proyecto Tití, Inc.

Mon, Feb 15, 2021 | 2:30 pm ET – 3:30 pm ET

Lessons Learned in Managing Primate Genetic Diversity and Possible Applications to Canids

Cotton-top tamarins are small, Critically Endangered primate found only in the country of Colombia.  With less than 8,000 animals in the wild and in captivity, managing their genetic diversity requires using a variety of techniques and collaborative efforts to ensure a self-sustaining and viable population for the years to come.

About the speaker

A world traveler, Dr. Savage has spent her professional career establishing conservation programs for endangered species.  She developed Proyecto Tití, a conservation program designed to conserve Colombia’s most endangered primate, the cotton-top tamarin. Through scientific studies, community development, education programs, and habitat protection Proyecto Tití has made the conservation of the cotton-top tamarin a priority in Colombia.  Proyecto Titi continues to garner national and international attention for their successful efforts to create protected areas and engage communities in actions to protect wildlife.

Dr. Savage created the Cotton-top Tamarin SSP© for the Association for Zoos and Aquariums to assist more than 300 accredited zoos and aquariums in managing the genetic diversity of cotton-top tamarins.  Based on her extensive experience with the species in managed care, she wrote the first husbandry manual on how to expertly care for this Critically Endangered species.  

Dr. Savage is the former Conservation Director for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and helped to develop Disney’s conservation programs for sea turtles, gopher tortoises, butterflies, and several avian species.  As one of the project team members of Mission Himalayas, Dr. Savage worked with Conservation International to document the animal life in unexplored regions of Nepal and China.  

Dr. Savage has been funded by the National Science Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Research and Exploration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and many national and international agencies for her various studies with cotton-top tamarins.  She is the recipient of the Explorer’s Club Lowell Thomas Award and the John Muir Conservation Award.

Dr. Savage received her B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has held numerous leadership positions within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and several major scientific organizations. In 2015, The Explorers Club selected Dr. Savage to receive the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for her visionary conservation efforts to protect the planet.

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