Robert John Young

Robert John Young
University of Salford · Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre (EER)

PhD (Animal Behaviour)

About

187
Publications
106,619
Reads
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Citations
Introduction
I am a British biologist conducting both pure and applied animal behaviour research in Brazil. In particular I am interested in inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary approaches to research questions. Presently, I work on topics as diverse as polymorphic colour vision in New World primates, effects of captivity on amphibians, sound pollution in zoos, measuring zoo animal welfare to the use of social network analyses to evaluate captive breeding programmes. I use vertebrates for my research.
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
University of Salford
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • Wildlife Conservation
January 2003 - December 2012
January 1998 - June 2001
Education
September 1989 - August 1993
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare
September 1986 - June 1989
University of Nottingham
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (187)
Article
Undesirable and problematic behaviors such as an increase in aggressiveness and attempts to escape are frequently provoked when a pet dog is maintained for long periods in stressful environments such as veterinary clinics or shelters. Environmental enrichment and petting are strategies to increase dogs’ welfare. The aim of this pilot study was to e...
Article
Studies with humans and some other animal species have shown that sleep is compromised when the presence of external factors such as light, sound, and temperature surpass normal levels. This study investigated the effects of these environmental conditions on 13 kennelled laboratory dogs, assessing whether each variable interfered with their sleep b...
Article
Full-text available
Secondary sexual traits have evolved through sexual selection, many species have developed signals that can indicate their level of other fitness-relevant traits such as fight ability. Previous studies have shown that male sexual signals are honest signals about quality in an intrasexual context, demonstrating a direct relationship between the sign...
Article
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation has been found to negatively affect an individual´s physical and psychological health. Sleep loss affects activity patterns, increases anxiety-like behaviors, decreases cognitive performance and is associated with depressive states. The activity/rest cycle of dogs has been investigated before, but little is known about the effects...
Article
Primates are affected by fluctuations in ambient temperatures, mostly through thermoregulatory costs and changes in the availability of food. In the present study, we investigate whether the ambient temperature and proxies of food availability affect the activity period of marmosets (Callithrix spp.). We predicted that: (i) at colder sites, marmose...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sleep deprivation has been found to negatively affect an individual´s physical and psychological health. Sleep loss affects activity patterns, increases anxiety-like behaviors, decreases cognitive performance and it is associated with depressive states. The activity/rest cycle of dogs has been investigated before, but little is known about the effe...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise, which is part of an urban soundscape, can negatively affect the behaviour of wild animals. Here we investigated how biophony (animal sounds) was affected by noise in an urban Brazilian forest fragment. Our hypothesis was that noise and biophony would differ between the border and the centre of the forest fragment (i.e., lower b...
Article
Full-text available
The number of animal species threatened with extinction are increasing every year, and biologists are conducting animal translocations, as one strategy, to try to mitigate this situation. Furthermore, researchers are evaluating methods to increase translocation success, and one area that shows promise is the study of animal personality. Animal pers...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Atlantic Forest of South America supports some of the greatest terrestrial biodiversity on our planet but is now reduced to only a small extent of its original forest cover. It hosts a large number of endemic mammalian species but our knowledge on arboreal mammal ecology and conservation has been hindered by the challenges of observing arboreal...
Article
Animal conservation translocation is an important tool available to conservation biologists to address problems of isolated, declining or endangered populations. This approach includes both captive‐bred and free‐ranging origin animals, which are used to rescue genetically limited populations and re‐establish extirpated populations. Both soft and ha...
Article
Full-text available
With so many species being threatened with extinction, captive breeding programmes are becoming an important aspect of ex-situ conservation. Captive populations are important for species conservation and for reintroduction back into the wild. Some of the most important wild behaviours to maintain in captive animals are those associated with sexual...
Article
Wildfire is a natural process in Brazilian savannas, but human activities alter fire regimes and threaten biodiversity. In this study, weused an ecoacoustics approach to assess fauna responses and recovery after wildfire in a Brazilian savanna. Six passive acoustic monitoring devices were used to record soundscapes before and after a wildfire a at...
Article
Full-text available
We performed a bibliometric analysis to investigate the efficiency of release techniques (soft and hard–release), to analyse the characteristics and outcomes of the translocation programs, to identify knowledge gaps, and to provide recommendations. Animal conservation studies involving animal release to the wild increased significantly over the 31...
Article
The relative telomere length, a biomarker of cellular aging, can be influenced by the cumulative effects of positive and negative events experienced by an individual. For this reason, it has been used to assess the welfare of nonhuman species. Ensuring an animal’s well-being also involves choosing methodologies that will cause either none or minima...
Article
Impacts of noise pollution are recognized as a source of stress for animals and as a form of environmental degradation. Behavioural changes associated with noise, such as reduction of reproductive success, reduction in feeding behaviour, increase in vigilance behaviours and inability to detect environment acoustic signals, are observed. The aim of...
Article
The collared peccary, Pecari tajacu, is a mammal in the family Tayassuidae from the Americas that occurs from the United States to north Argentina and throughout Brazil. They are very sociable animals, living in groups of six to nine individuals. In their natural habitat, they present diurnal habits, but in captivity, this behaviour may change due...
Article
Although discontinued with the introduction of ultrasonography, the study of mare sexual behavior may provide useful information for herds that lack technical assistance. In order to investigate how mare sexual behavior is associated with ovulation and age, sexual behaviors were recorded for 1,348 teasings of 82 mares during three breeding seasons....
Chapter
This chapter focuses on the informal learning opportunities that arise from environmental enrichment and what their consequences are for the animal. Environmental enrichment typically involves the addition of novel stimuli to a captive animal's environment in an attempt to improve animal welfare for example, the provision of toys to an enclosure. A...
Article
Captive-born animals frequently lose their anti-predatory abilities due to the absence of encounters with their predators, but these abilities can be regained through specific training. Anti-predator training can, thus, enhance the success of reintroduction programs with predator naïve animals. In addition, a good memory is important to guarantee t...
Article
There has been a body of research examining the sounds produced in landscapes. These sounds are commonly defined as soundscapes, however, the term is often used in different contexts. To understand how the various meanings attributed to soundscapes, we identified how soundscapes are represented in the scientific literature and identified current kn...
Article
Full-text available
For arboreal primates, ground use may increase dispersal opportunities, tolerance to habitat change, access to ground-based resources, and resilience to human disturbances, and so has conservation implications. We collated published and unpublished data from 86 studies across 65 localities to assess titi monkey (Callicebinae) terrestriality. We exa...
Chapter
Full-text available
Automatic age estimation is a challenging problem attracting attention of the computer vision and pattern recognition communities due to its many practical applications. Artificial neural networks, such as CNNs are a popular tool for tackling this problem, and several datasets which can be used for training models are available. Despite the fact th...
Chapter
Full-text available
Video-based analysis is one of the most important tools of animal behavior and animal welfare scientists. While automatic analysis systems exist for many species, this problem has not yet been adequately addressed for one of the most studied species in animal science—dogs. In this paper we describe a system developed for analyzing sleeping patterns...
Article
Anthropogenic noise is a global pollutant and several studies have identified its impact on wildlife. This research shows how the noise produced by mining affects crickets' acoustic communication. Two passive acoustic monitoring devices (SMII) were installed in a forest fragment located at 500 m from the Brucutu Mine in Brazil. Another two SMII wer...
Article
Chemical pollution of aquatic environments has been increasing in recent times, causing great damage to the ecosystems and to the fishery sector. Pollutants can negatively alter an animals’ life, and in this investigation, we verify if a neutral household detergent, one of the most common aquatic pollutants, causes changes in the behaviour and pers...
Poster
Full-text available
The current global amphibian crisis has resulted in an unprecedented rate of amphibian-biodiversity loss, resulting in a growth of captive breeding as a conservation tool for amphibians. Maintaining captive populations is important in terms of species conservation for potential reintroductions into the wild. However, it has been shown that wild ani...
Article
Full-text available
Distress can be defined as a biological response of an individual to long-term threats to its homeostasis and it should be avoided from an animal welfare perspective. High levels of stress hormones and the expression of abnormal behaviours are responses normally observed in distressed animals. Captive environments can provoke distress, especially w...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial communities are frequently found in symbiotic associations with most animal species. The characteristically moist amphibian skin provides a good environment for the growth of some species of bacteria; among these a few can act as a first line defense mechanism against infections. Amphibians in the wild have relatively high exposure to bac...
Data
List of all Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs) identified during the 16S Next Generation Sequencing in each of the sample populations (Mangabe (wild), Ambatovy (Wild) and Chester Zoo (captive)). (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
An animal’s welfare depends on an individual’s capacity to adapt to the environment in which it lives. This adaptation is directly associated with the quality of the environment and to the possibility of expressing natural behaviours. Horses kept in stables often display a range of abnormal behaviours related to lack of control over their environme...
Data
Dataset used for the analysis of the police horses’ personalities according to the questionnaires (sheet 1) and novel object (sheet 2), and the number of registers of colic and lameness in the police horses (sheet 3). (XLSX)
Data
Authorization letter from the Ethics Commission of Animals from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais. (PDF)
Data
Dataset used for the analysis of the sham feeding test responses of the police horses. (XLSX)
Article
Captive animals may lose the ability to recognize their natural predators, making conservation programs more susceptible to failure if such animals are released into the wild. Collared peccaries are American tayassuids that are vulnerable to local extinction in certain areas, and conservation programs are being conducted. Captive-born peccaries are...
Article
Full-text available
The factors underlying the ‘zoo visit effect’ (changes in animal behaviour/physiology in response to visitor presence) are still poorly understood, despite it being widely investigated. The present study examined the effect of zoo visitors on the behaviour of 17 different species of mammals at the Belo Horizonte Zoo, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The behav...
Poster
Full-text available
Ageing like the growth rate may vary between individuals and for that reason, the concept of biological age, as distinct of chronological age is accepted and studied. In humans, the apparent age has been used as a tool to verify age-related diseases and even predict mortality. Usually, this evaluation is made through photos of the subjects and seve...
Conference Paper
The speed of ageing like growth rate may vary between individuals and for that reason, the concept of biological age, as distinct from chronological age is accepted and studied. Individuals who look older than their chronological age develop the diseases of aging earlier. Usually, this evaluation is made through photos of the subjects and several c...
Article
The breeding practices adopted and the equipment typically found in animal facilities produce sounds at frequencies within the auditory range of the mice (1 to 100 kHz), which can cause hearing and other non-hearing effects. Another aspect that could potentially affects the welfare of experimental animals would be their impaired health condition, s...
Article
Full-text available
Free-range sloths living in an urban environment are rare. In this study, the opinions, attitudes, and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus were investigated through short, structured interviews of people in the pubic square where the sloths live, in addition to informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions. A qu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Free-range sloths living in an urban environment is rare. In this study, human opinions, attitudes and interactions with a population of Bradypus variegatus in a public square were investigated. A questionnaire was applied to people in the square where the sloths reside, and informal, opportunistic observations of human-sloth interactions were made...
Article
Full-text available
All habitats have some level of noise but anthropogenic sounds such as those produced by traffic are structurally different from natural sounds, and could cause organisms living in noisy urban areas to modify their vocal communication. We compared temporal and spectral parameters of contact calls in black tufted-ear marmosets (Callithrix penicillat...
Presentation
Zoo animals are daily exposed to large crowds of visitors and the sounds produced by them, which are proven to have a significant contribution to noise levels in this venue. However, soundscapes in zoos are much more complex than just visitor sounds, and the impact of different sources of sound has not been properly explored. In humans, the stressf...
Article
The way in which individuals use their surrounding space can be key to understanding species’ sociobiology. We studied the social spacing of the lizard Tropidurus montanus. Males were found to have larger home ranges than females. Male body size was not associated with home range area, and the number of females associated with a male’s home range w...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise pollution is increasing and can constrain acoustic communication in animals. Our aim was to investigate if the acoustic parameters of loud calls and their diurnal pattern in the black-fronted titi monkey (Callicebus nigrifrons) are affected by noise produced by mining activity in a fragment of Atlantic Forest in Brazil. We insta...
Article
Full-text available
Acoustic communication is highly influential in the expression of social behavior by anuran amphibians, transmitting information about the individual’s physical condition and motivation. We studied the phonotactic (approach movements) responses of wild and captive male golden mantella frogs to conspecific wild and captive playback calls to determin...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptations to captivity that reduce fitness are one of many reasons, which explain the low success rate of reintroductions. One way of testing this hypothesis is to compare an important behavioural response in captive and wild members of the same species. Thanatosis, is an anti-predator strategy that reduces the risk of death from predation, which...
Article
Full-text available
New World primates feature a complex colour vision system. Most species have polymorphic colour vision where males have a dichromatic colour perception and females can be either dichromatic or trichromatic. The adaptive value of high allelic diversity of opsins, a light sensitive protein, found in primates’ eyes remains unknown. Studies revealing t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mining activity generatesnoise through explosions, traffic, machinery, alert signals, etc. Noise affects the behavior of many species that depends on acoustic communication. Our objective was to verify if the noise produced by truck traffic affects rufous-collared sparrow vocalizations. Data were collected in an Atlantic forest fragment located clo...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise is very different from natural sounds, and could cause organisms living in noisy areas to modify their vocal communication. We assessed the influence of noise on black tufted-ear marmoset acoustic communication. Spontaneously produced phee vocalizations were recorded in two areas: a noisy urban park, located in Belo Horizonte, M...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic noise is becoming more prevalent in the world and has been shown to affect many animal species, including birds. The impact of such noise was measured in Neotropical urban parks to assess how it affects avifauna diversity and species richness. We sampled bird species, and concurrently measured sound pressure (noise) levels (L eq ; equ...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of streets on biodiversity is an important aspect of urban ecology, but it has been neglected worldwide. Several vegetation attributes (e.g. street tree density and diversity) have important effects on biodiversity and ecological processes. In this study, we evaluated the influences of urban vegetation—represented by characteristics of...
Data
The 60 point counts selected within 20 categories of influences of herbaceous and arboreal vegetation and streets through the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil). (TIF)
Data
Variation of the average variety of land use types of the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil) within buffers with different sizes. (TIF)
Data
Definition of predictor variables. (PDF)
Data
Multivariate additive models showing the influences of urban environmental variables on taxonomic data and functional diversity indices of the bird community inhabiting the streets of the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil). SRic: Species richness; SAbund: Species abundance; FRic: Functional richness; RaoQ: Rao’s Quadratic Inde...
Data
Sensitivity analysis performed for species richness, species abundance, Functional Richness (FRic) and Rao’s Quadratic Entropy (RaoQ) of the bird community inhabiting the streets of the southern region of Belo Horizonte. Only predictor variables located outside the range of 0.05 and -0.05 (black lines) were considered. It is possible to observe the...
Data
Candidate models defined for the response variables related to the bird community inhabiting the streets of the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), highlighting models with ΔAICc < 2.0. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
The composition of the urban vegetation that comprises the green infrastructure of a highly urbanized Neotropical city was mapped and described in order to assess how it can be used to preserve and maintain urban biodiversity. Supervised classification was used, followed by Map Algebra methodology, to identify the elements that comprise the green i...
Article
Full-text available
In this study we investigated the eye colour of human commercial models registered in the UK (400 female and 400 male) and Brazil (400 female and 400 male) to test the hypothesis that model eye colour frequency was the result of negative frequency-dependent selection. The eye colours of the models were classified as: blue, brown or intermediate. Ch...
Research
Full-text available
Record courtship and copulation of the Eurolophosaurus nanuzae.
Article
Full-text available
Environmental enrichment is a technique that may reduce the stress of nonhuman animals in captivity. Stress may interfere with normal behavioral expression and affect cognitive decision making. Noninvasive hormonal studies can provide important information about the stress statuses of animals. This study evaluated the effectiveness of different env...