Currently, the DPZ´s Primate Husbandry Unit houses approximately 1200 animals from eight different species. They are used both for research at the DPZ and at other scientific institutions. The majority of the primates are kept in breeding colonies.
Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are kept in breeding groups and as laboratory animals. With 650 animals, it is the largest breeding colony at the DPZ. The breeding groups are mainly of Indian origin, offspring of a group imported from the Caribbean island of Cayo Santiago. At the DPZ, rhesus macaques serve as animal models for infection research and neuroscience.
With 387 animals the common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) constitute the second largest primate colony at the DPZ, as well as the world´s largest breeding group. The breeding success of the Primate Husbandry Unit ensures that the in-house demand for laboratory animals is covered. Additionally, other publicly funded research institutons are provided with laboratory animals. At the DPZ, common marmosets serve as animal models for research on respiratory diseases, orthopox virus as well as in the field of stem cell research and auditory neuroscience.
The long-tailed macaques, or cynomolgous monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) represent a smaller population at the DPZ. Currently, a group of 59 animals is used by the Cognitive Ethology Laboratory for a variety of behavioral studies.
At the DPZ, a breeding group with hamadryas baboons is kept (Papio hamadryas) since 1980. Because of their social structure, baboons can be easily bred. At the DPZ, there is currently no biomedical research with hamadryas baboons. 62 animals are kept, to cover the scientific needs of baboons in Germany. Hamadryas baboons are used as model organisms for research of epilepsy and schizophrenia, as well as for the study of immune responses in organ transplants.
The interactive tour guides the visitors to the husbandry and breeding facilities of the DPZ and provides a lot of information about monkey species, hygiene regulations and the daily work of veterinarians, animal caretakers and scientists.