Welcome back to Zookeeper Diaries! Today, we are shining a spotlight on the incredible work of Dr. Anne Savage, an American conservation biologist and zookeeper who has devoted her life to the study and conservation of wildlife, with a special focus on cotton-top tamarins.
Education and Early Career
Dr. Anne Savage earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from Vassar College and later completed her Ph.D. in biological anthropology from Duke University. Her fascination with primates began during her undergraduate years, which led her to specialize in primate behavior and ecology during her graduate studies.
Cotton-Top Tamarin Conservation
Dr. Savage’s passion for cotton-top tamarins, a critically endangered primate species native to Colombia, has guided her career for more than 30 years. She has conducted extensive field research on the tamarins, studying their social behavior, ecology, and habitat requirements. Her findings have been instrumental in developing effective conservation strategies to protect these tiny primates.
Proyecto Tití: A Holistic Approach to Conservation
In 1987, Dr. Anne Savage founded Proyecto Tití, an organization dedicated to the conservation of cotton-top tamarins and their habitat in Colombia. The program employs a holistic approach to conservation, combining field research, community engagement, education, and sustainable livelihood initiatives to create lasting change. Proyecto Tití has become a model for successful community-based conservation programs worldwide.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Dr. Savage has also been an integral part of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where she served as the Conservation Director for over a decade. In this role, she led the park’s efforts to promote wildlife conservation and connect guests with the wonders of the natural world. Her work has inspired countless visitors to become champions for wildlife.
Awards and Recognition
Dr. Anne Savage’s exceptional contributions to wildlife conservation have been widely recognized. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious Indianapolis Prize for her work with cotton-top tamarins. She has also received numerous other accolades, including the Whitley Gold Award and the Disney Conservation Hero Award.
Dr. Anne Savage’s lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation, especially her unwavering dedication to the cotton-top tamarins, serves as a powerful example of how passion and determination can make a difference for our planet’s precious wildlife. Her tireless work has had a lasting impact on the conservation of these fascinating creatures and their habitats.
Join us next time on Zookeeper Diaries as we continue to explore the lives and accomplishments of extraordinary individuals in the world of wildlife conservation.