Article

Thirty Years Later: Enrichment Practices for Captive Mammals

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Abstract

Environmental enrichment of captive mammals has been steadily evolving over the past thirty years. For this process to continue, it is first necessary to define current enrichment practices and then identify the factors that limit enhancing the quality and quantity of enrichment, as well as the evaluation of its effectiveness. With the objective of obtaining this information, an international multi-institutional questionnaire survey was conducted with individuals working with zoo-housed mammals. Results of the survey showed that regardless of how important different types of enrichment were perceived to be, if providing them was particularly time-consuming, they were not made available to captive mammals as frequently as those requiring less staff time and effort. The groups of mammals provided with enrichment most frequently received it on average fewer than four times per day, resulting in less than two hours per day spent by each animal care staff member on tasks related to enrichment. The time required for staff to complete other husbandry tasks was the factor most limiting the implementation and evaluation of enrichment. The majority of survey respondents agreed that they would provide more enrichment and carry out more evaluation of enrichment if it was manageable to do so. The results of this study support the need for greater quantity, variety, frequency, and evaluation of enrichment provided to captive mammals housed in zoos without impinging on available staff time.

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... Enrichment is specific for captive animals, as their captivity simplifies what their environments may have been in the wild, and enrichment aims to bring that complexity back. This includes food, tactical, structural, auditory, olfactory, visual, and social enrichment [3]. These categories are not mutually exclusive, and commonly overlap. ...
... The growing body of literature also focuses on enrichment with specific groups of animals such as species specific [12,13] or collection of related species such as aquatics [14,15]. Lastly, reviews have also focused on animal care staff perceptions and practices [3,16,17]. These reviews have contributed invaluable insights into the impacts of enrichment for particular species, groups, and medical outcomes. ...
... This prominence of mammalian enrichment has been seen in other reviews as well, particularly in zoo contexts [2]. In this group, primates [3, and carnivores [20][21][22][23]25,31,31,39,40,[53][54][55][56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72] are the most utilized species. Second to mammals, birds make up a little over 6% of the literature. ...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental enrichment is adding complexity to an environment that has a positive impact on a captive animal as a necessity of care. Computing technology is being rapidly weaved throughout the space in both enrichment devices as well as evaluating enrichment outcomes. In this article, we present a scoping review of 102 captive animal enrichment studies and propose a contextual lens for exploring current practices. We discuss the importance of directed growth in species inclusion, transitioning beyond anthro-centric designs, and utilizing shared methodologies.
... .169 categoria de enriquecimento mais utilizada pelas instituições, de acordo com uma pesquisa realizada em 25 zoológicos na Austrália, Nova Zelândia, Cingapura e Reino Unido (Hoy et al., 2010). ...
... -Sensorial: esta categoria pode ser subdividida em quatro tipos: olfativo, auditivo, visual e tátil. Considerado como o enriquecimento sensorial mais importante (Hoy et al., 2010), a estimulação olfativa pode ser aplicada através da introdução de odores originários ou não do ambiente natural dos animais (Wells, 2009). Exemplos típicos são a aplicação de ervas, especiarias, óleos aromáticos, urina /fezes e odor corporal de presas ou coespecíficos, outros aromas derivados de animais, perfumes comerciais e essências artificiais (Clark & King, 2008;Hoy et al., 2010;Wells , 2009). ...
... Considerado como o enriquecimento sensorial mais importante (Hoy et al., 2010), a estimulação olfativa pode ser aplicada através da introdução de odores originários ou não do ambiente natural dos animais (Wells, 2009). Exemplos típicos são a aplicação de ervas, especiarias, óleos aromáticos, urina /fezes e odor corporal de presas ou coespecíficos, outros aromas derivados de animais, perfumes comerciais e essências artificiais (Clark & King, 2008;Hoy et al., 2010;Wells , 2009). O olfato desempenha um papel importante no universo felino para a comunicação intraespecífica (por exemplo, para encontrar parceiros sexuais, reconhecimento de status reprodutivo, marcação territorial) e para a localização das presas (Powell, 1997;Sunquist & Sunquist, 2002).A introdução de odores no ambiente dos gatos incentiva comportamentos envolvidos na comunicação e na territorialidade, tais como patrulhamento e marcação odorífera em spray (Mellen & Shepherdson, 1997;Skibiel et al., 2007;Szokalski et al., 2012). ...
Article
As práticas de enriquecimento ambiental visam a melhoria das condições de bem-estar dos animais mantidos em ambientes restritos, sejam estes de laboratório, produção, silvestres ou os de companhia. A presente revisão aborda desde o aspecto histórico das práticas de enriquecimento, os avanços e crescimento científico, suas classificações e aplicações de técnicas para felinos domésticos e silvestres, assim como expõe questões que ainda necessitam de investigação e melhor abordagem para atingir e proporcionar de maneira mais completa e efetiva, melhores condições de bem-estar para os animais em cativeiro.
... The term enrichment can be defined in multiple ways, one notable difference being the requirement that the enrichment actually improves the welfare of the animal (Clegg & Delfour, 2018;de Azevedo et al., 2007). For the purposes of this paper, we define environmental enrichment as any alterations made to an animal's environment for the purposes of improving its biological or cognitive welfare (see Bloomsmith et al., 1991;Hoy et al., 2010;Swaisgood & Shepherdson, 2005, for similar usage of the term enrichment). Attempts to define enrichment based on the resulting improvement in welfare, or lack thereof, are problematic because 1) it would only be appropriate to refer to a modification program as enrichment after it has been shown to be successful at some arbitrary endpoint, 2) measures of success in improving welfare have not been thoroughly assessed, well defined, or universally agreed upon, and 3) formal assessments of the success of an enrichment program are rarely conducted, so the results of the enrichment program would never be known. ...
... Instead, nonsystematic methods and subjective measures are typical, if an assessment is conducted at all. This approach leaves some question as to the effectiveness of various enrichment programs (Broom, 1988;Canali & Keeling, 2009;Clegg & Delfour, 2018;Delfour & Beyer, 2012;Hoy et al., 2010;Makecha & Highfill, 2018;Newberry, 1995), which range from simply adding objects to an enclosure to social housing (Daoudi et al., 2017;Yeater et al., 2013), training (Ramirez, 1999;Westlund, 2014), introducing scent (Nelson Slater & Hauber, 2017;Samuelson et al., 2016), or supplying more naturalistic or challenging feeding opportunities (Fernandez & Timberlake, 2019;McPhee, 2002;Wagman et al., 2018) to name a few. There is evidence that some enrichment programs may even result in an increase in unwanted behaviors, such as increased aggression (Franks et al., 2009), manipulation of the enrichment to the point in which it becomes dangerous for the animals (Hahn et al., 2000;Hare et al., 2007), or other undesirable behaviors (Bloomsmith et al., 1991). ...
... Unfortunately, few studies present research focused on the possible unintended consequences of environmental enrichment or on individual differences in animals' reactions to enrichment programs (Bayne, 2005;Carlstead, 1991;Hare et al., 2007;Hoy et al., 2010). In many dolphin facilities, enrichment programs are primarily focused on toy making (Brando et al., 2018;Clark, 2013;Delfour & Beyer, 2012;Kuczaj et al., 2002), with little scientific monitoring of behavioral interest or engagement with the toys. ...
Article
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are viewed as a highly intelligent species, capable of complex behaviors, requiring marine parks to maintain dynamic environmental enrichment procedures in order to ensure their optimal psychological and physiological well-being in human care. In this study, two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of different forms of enrichment on the behavior of bottlenose dolphins. In Experiment 1, the most successful enrichment included highly novel items, which resulted in avoidance, but also what is frequently considered positive behavioral changes including a reduction in circle swimming and an increase in social behavior. In Experiment 2, the use of choice resulted in negative unintended social consequences. These two experiments together demonstrate that the results of deploying enrichment may not be as clear-cut as previously presumed. In order to maintain positive benefits of enrichment, the results of this study suggest that unique forms of enrichment should be implemented on a variable schedule that is offered several times a year and consistently evaluated for effectiveness.
... What can be agreed upon is that enrichment can be classified into five categories: social, physical, nutritional, occupational, and sensory [8]. Enrichment programs should aim to provide captive animals with enrichment methods from each category, rather than just one [9,10], to improve animal welfare [3] and promote the natural phenotype of their wild counterparts [11]. This is achieved by meeting goals such as increasing activity levels, natural/species-specific behaviors, choice and control, and behavioral diversity [12], as well as reducing the prevalence, or onset, of stereotypic or abnormal behaviors [13]. ...
... Mehrkam and Dorey [51] found that keepers were least accurate when predicting the preferred enrichment for a reptile (eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi)) compared to other taxa. Aside from simply establishing preference, the effectiveness of an enrichment method to meet the required goals must be subjected to empirical evaluation before they can be definitively considered to be 'enriching' [10]. Januszczak et al. [39] found that using an enrichment device that was designed to present 10 live crickets (Gryllus spp.) to treerunner lizards (Plica plica) randomly over 40 min was less effective than the commonly used and simpler method of scatter-feeding. ...
... Appropriate evaluation of enrichment programs is essential so that if the intended goals are not met, alternative strategies can be devised [20,52,54]. Furthermore, within enrichment research, it is vital that researchers report nonsignificant results [23,32], as enrichment that is ineffective does little to improve welfare and is not time-nor costeffective [55], with time being the largest limiting factor of enrichment provision among keepers [10]. Following frameworks such as the SPIDER framework to Set goals, Plan, Implement, Document, Evaluate, and Readjust if needed ensures that any enrichment offered is maximizing benefits to the individual [20]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Enrichment has become a key aspect of captive husbandry practices as a means of improving animal welfare by increasing environmental stimuli. However, the enrichment methods that are most effective varies both between and within species, and thus evaluation underpins successful enrichment programs. Enrichment methods are typically based upon previously reported successes and those primarily with mammals, with one of the main goals of enrichment research being to facilitate predictions about which methods may be most effective for a particular species. Yet, despite growing evidence that enrichment is beneficial for reptiles, there is limited research on enrichment for Varanidae, a group of lizards known as monitor lizards. As a result, it can be difficult for keepers to implement effective enrichment programs as time is a large limiting factor. In order for appropriate and novel enrichment methods to be created, it is necessary to understand a species’ natural ecology, abilities, and how they perceive the world around them. This is more difficult for non-mammalian species as the human-centered lens can be a hinderance, and thus reptile enrichment research is slow and lagging behind that of higher vertebrates. This review discusses the physiological, cognitive, and behavioral abilities of Varanidae to suggest enrichment methods that may be most effective.
... Animal care professionals strategically plan and administer objects, food, caretaker interaction, or other diversified stimuli into the animals' environment to reduce abnormal patterned behaviors and increase species-specific behaviors (Eskelinen, Winship, & Borger-Turner, 2015;Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2010;Kuczaj, Lacinak, Otto, Trone, & Solangi, 2002;Mason, 1991;Newberry, 1995;Shyne, 2006). However, husbandry staff must account for evolutionary or ecological con- straints that may limit the types of enrichment that will be suitable for particular animals' social and biological needs. ...
... Enrichment programs are generally successful in reducing targeted stereotypic behaviors (e.g., Shyne, 2006;Swaisgood & Shepherdson, 2005), and results are enhanced by variability in enrichment presentation maintaining the enriching quality of devices (e.g., Kuczaj et al., 2002). Thus, video stimulation may provide a more variable means of enrichment while requiring minimal caretaker effort, which can be a limiting factor in the frequency of enrichment deployment (see Hoy et al., 2010), and enhance the cognitive component of enrichment. ...
Article
This study assessed the interest toward novel video clips as enrichment stimuli in two species of captive dolphins (Tursiops: n = 11; Steno: n = 5). Videos were played at underwater viewing windows while the animals were housed with conspecifics, and responses were subsequently analyzed based on general content of each novel video. Interest levels (i.e., percentage of time watching and behavioral rate) were compared between species and within species across video categories. While the varied video contexts did not produce significant differences among the time spent watching or behaviors observed, species differences and sex differences were noted. Rough‐toothed dolphins displayed significantly more behaviors, particularly interest and bubble behaviors, than bottlenose dolphins, with no differences observed between the species for the percentage of time spent watching. Among bottlenose dolphins, males watched the television longer, and responded behaviorally significantly more, displaying a higher rate of bubble and aggressive behaviors than females. Male rough‐toothed dolphins displayed significantly more aggressive behaviors than females, with no other sex differences noted. Overall, these data suggest that television may serve as a useful enrichment device for certain individuals and species of cetaceans, as well as a cognitive experimental tool, as long as sex, species, and individual differences are taken into consideration when interpreting results.
... What is not as apparent is the important role behavior analysis, or the Skinnerian operant conditioning-focused (e.g., reward-or reinforcement-based) approach to behavioral psychology, played in the formation of the present-day zoo. The modern zoo itself can be defined by two major behavioral advances focused on improving welfare: (1) the use of animal training procedures to increase voluntary participation in husbandry or other veterinary procedures by the zoo animals [1][2][3], and (2) the implementation of environmental enrichment to decrease detrimental and increase species-typical behaviors [4][5][6]. These advances were developed through decades of research and practices that incorporated behavioral principles to identify desirable outcomes for animals and visitors alike. ...
... Equally important for the zoo is how the visitor behaves in response to enriched animals, therefore driving the need for naturalistic devices and responses for and from the animals being enriched, respectively [77,78]. Environmental enrichment, because of its behavior analytic underpinnings, is now an animal welfare endeavor where all features of how an animal interacts with its environment are examined for their behavioral benefits [5,79]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The modern zoo has been associated with two major behavioral welfare advances: (a) the use of training to increase voluntary husbandry care, and (b) the implementation of environmental enrichment to promote naturalistic behaviors. Both practices have their roots in behavior analysis, or the operant conditioning-centered, reward-based approach to behavioral psychology. Operant conditioning served as the foundation for the development of reinforcement-based training methods commonly used in zoos to make veterinary and husbandry procedures easier and safer for animals and their caregivers. Likewise, operant conditioning, with its focus on arranging environmental antecedents and consequences to change behavior, also provided a framework for successful environmental enrichment practices. In this paper, we outline the key individuals and events that shaped two of the cornerstones of the modern zoo: (1) the emergence of reward-based husbandry training practices, and (2) the engineering of environmental enrichment. In addition, we (3) suggest ways in which behavior analysis can continue to advance zoo welfare by (i) expanding the efficacy of environmental enrichment, (ii) using within-subject methodology, and (iii) improving animal-visitor interactions. Our goal is to provide a historical and contextual reference for future efforts to improve the well-being of zoo animals.
... Familiar enrichment items included balls of various sizes and material, parts of or whole buoys in various sizes, a Frisbee, a plastic cone, a plastic icosahedron, items made of pieces of rubber hose connected with buoys, and wooden shapes covered with plastic material of different color. All familiar enrichment items were tactile (Hoy et al., 2010). Two to four of these familiar enrichment items were randomly selected and used during each post-session observation. ...
... Changing the content of the device may also have contributed to its novelty. By using fish and ice (however small the amount) in the device, it could be considered as a feeding enrichment whereas the familiar items were more tactile enrichments(Hoy et al., 2010), which may have increased the dolphin's preference.The familiar enrichment items and the new device both allowed dolphins to have partial control over their environment. And, the device provided dolphins with a problem-solving task, satisfying the first condition of Clark's (2011) definition of cognitive enrichment. ...
Article
Cognitive enrichment aims to provide animals with opportunities to use their cogni- tive skills and to promote behaviors associated with positive wellbeing. Cooperation in mammals has been recorded during various behavioral contexts such as hunting, mating, playing, and parental care. Coordinated activity, often with some level of problem‐solving action included, is required during cooperation. To investigate dol- phins’ ability for collaborative problem‐solving, an enrichment device was introduced to two adult male Indo‐Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). The device contained fish and ice and was designed to be opened by simultaneously pulling on both ends. After repeated presentation, it became apparent that only one dolphin had active interest in the device. To facilitate opportunities for problem‐solving by this individual, an alternative collaborator, a human partner, was provided. Still, both dolphins had access to the device throughout the entire experiment. After the first opening, the same dolphin was highly successful in collaborating with the human in both joined (93%) and delayed (100%) partner conditions. The device provided a novel opportunity for the dolphin to use his cognitive skills. Even though only one dolphin participated actively, both dolphins showed varying degrees of interest to the device throughout the study. Both dolphins spent an average of 48% and 16% of their time, respectively, with the device, which resulted in a significant decrease in their other two most frequently observed behaviors: swimming and poolside observation. As a novel cognitive challenge, the device may be considered as a type of cognitive enrichment.
... For nonhuman animals in zoos, enrichment is transitioning from an amenity to a necessity, with many programs forming in the last 20 years [35]. Enrichment tends to be in feeding and tactical forms, as these methods are less time consuming, financially viable, and effective for enrichment [16]. Foraging enrichment has been explored in many forms, such as automated feeders with Fennec foxes [46], contrafreeloading feeding preferences with puzzle feeders for giraffes [37], and unique feeding methods for frogs [17]. ...
... Unlike other animal nonprofits where animal care is typically handled by volunteers [20,21,22], animal enrichment in zoos is commonly performed by animal care staff. While most actively administer enrichment and view it as important, a majority face hurdles to enrichment such as time, resources, and management [16]. Along with this, adding in the additional responsibility of data collection to evaluate the enrichment can be time consuming, unstructured, and organization specific. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Animal enrichment in zoos is evolving faster than ever, with more technical approaches being found across disciplines, particularly in Animal-Computer Interaction (ACI). Captive orangutans are a unique population that are commonly im-pacted by health concerns that may be alleviated through increased physical activity. In this study protocol, we aim to examine the potential for a drone delivery system to distribute food to encourage natural foraging behaviors while minimizing animal care staff burden. We discuss conducting a survey with animal care staff and the general public to look at zoo perceptions, use case feedback, and perceptions of technology in enrichment. We also outline conducting observations of a specific population of captive orangutans to establish a baseline for a future system deployment, as well as compare to their wild counterparts.
... One way zoos aim to create stimulating and complex environments for the animals under their care is by providing environmental enrichment. There are numerous definitions for environmental enrichment, but all incorporate the idea that the environment of the animal is enhanced by providing variation in stimuli or creating opportunities of choice [3] while taking into account the species' behavioural biology and natural history [4]. Environmental enrichment is, therefore, a broad term and has many forms that can be categorised as feeding, tactile, structural, auditory, olfactory, visual, social, human-animal, and/or cognitive enrichment [5]. ...
... Evaluation of enrichment programs is essential as many factors influence the effectiveness of enrichment items [4,8]. A recent development in the field of animal welfare is the 24/7 welfare approach that advocates for an inclusive perspective across day and night, weekdays and weekends, and seasons [9]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental enrichment is widely used to improve the quality of life of animals under human care. To successfully implement enrichment programs, it is important to evaluate their effect in different enclosure types since housing conditions may change depending on external factors, such as husbandry, management, or seasonal variation. This study investigates how ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) behaviour changes with the availability of enrichment items and the type of enclosure the animals are housed in. Through observations, we compared the behaviour of the lemurs in an indoor and outdoor enclosure, both without and with enrichment items. Although we observed enrichment effects, we found that enclosure type had a bigger effect on the lemurs’ behaviour. Additionally, behavioural changes induced by enrichment items differed between indoor and outdoor enclosures. These results indicate that the effectiveness of enrichment items may depend on the enclosure in which they are provided and consequently suggest that the impact of these programs should not be generalised over enclosure types. This highlights that the evaluation of environmental enrichment programs remains important when optimising zoo animal welfare.
... This survey was developed based on gaps in the literature regarding the practical use of cognitive enrichment in zoos as well as barriers to enrichment implementation highlighted by Hoy et al., 2010. The survey was comprised of eight general topics: 1. attitudes towards enrichment and welfare; 2. current use of different types of enrichment; 3. factors affecting the use of different types enrichment; 4. logistics of implementing enrichment; 5. classification of cognitive enrichment; 6. personal beliefs and attitudes 7. job satisfaction; and 8. general demographics. ...
... Willingness alone to adopt new practice is not enough to ensure cognitive enrichment provision: time constraints, time to observe animals and limited finances were found to universally restrict the implementation of cognitive enrichment. Time constraints were also reported to impact the use of traditional enrichment [29]. This is expected as, to be able to deliver enrichment effectively, a 6-step process is suggested which involves research, planning, implementation, observation, evaluation, and readjustment [39]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Information on the practical use of cognitive enrichment in zoos is scarce. This survey aimed to identify where cognitive enrichment is being used while identifying factors that may limit its implementation and success. Distributed in eight languages to increase global range, responses to this survey (n = 177) show that while agreement on what constitutes cognitive enrichment is poor, it is universally perceived as very important for animal welfare. Carnivores were the animal group most reported to receive cognitive enrichment (76.3%), while amphibians and fish the least (16.9%). All animal groups had a percentage of participants indicating animal groups in their facility were not receiving cognitive enrichment when they believe that they should (29.4–44.6%). On average, factors relating to time and finance were rated most highly in terms of effect on cognitive enrichment use, and keeper interest was the highest rated for effect on success. Results of this study indicate that cognitive enrichment is perceived as important. However, placing the responsibility of its development and implementation on animal keepers who are already time-poor may be impeding its use. A commitment to incorporating cognitive enrichment into routine husbandry, including financial support and investment into staff is needed from zoos to ensure continued improvement to captive animal welfare.
... It is also worth noting that most of the focus on modern animal training presented within this review emphasizes positive reinforcement and similar force-free applications to effectively change behavior. Environmental enrichment can be defined as stimuli and/or events that are added to or modify an animal's environment and result in some measurable improvement in behavioral and/or physiological wellbeing/welfare (Fernandez et al., 2021a;Fernandez & Timberlake, 2008;Hoy et al., 2010;Mellen & MacPhee, 2001;Newberry, 1995;Shepherdson, 1998). Some examples of enrichment include the use of foraging devices and feeding schedules, both automated and non-automated (Andrews & Ha, 2014;Bashaw et al., 2016;Fernandez, 2010;Fernandez, 2021;Shepherdson et al., 1993), changes in enclosure presentations, including choice between enclosures Coe, 2004;Sherwin et al., 1999), and the presentation of auditory, olfactory, and/or visual stimuli Fernandez & Timberlake, 2019a;Graham et al., 2005;Platt & Novak, 1997;Wells & Irwin, 2008). ...
... Nonetheless, these enrichment practices produced an empirical approach to all aspects of exhibiting animals, including animal behavior, exhibit design, and visitor perception and behavior (Bitgood & Patterson, 1987;Coe, 1985;Forthman-Quick, 1984;Finlay et al., 1987;Maple & Finlay, 1986;Maple & Finlay, 1987;Markowitz & Spinelli, 1986). Environmental enrichment as a modern practice would emerge, where all features of how an animal interacted with their environment would be examined for its welfare benefits (Hoy et al., 2010;Mellen & MacPhee, 2001;Mench, 1998;Shepherdson, 1998). This in turn would inspire several books dedicated to the concept of environmental enrichment for animals under human care, including zoos, labs, farms, and with pets (Bender & Strong, 2019;Markowitz, 2011;Shepherdson et al., 1998;Young, 2003). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioral welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can produce beneficial behavioral welfare results. This paper examines the concept of training as enrichment through three distinct ways training procedures could enrich: (1) training facilitates enrichment usage, (2) training modifies interactions, conspecific or otherwise, and (3) training expands behavioral repertoires. Within each category, the paper focuses on past research that provides empirical support for training functioning as enrichment, as well as related areas of research that provide additional evidence. Previous studies support the claim that training is enriching, with additional research necessary to better understand how prevalent and under what conditions training procedures function as enrichment. Future training research should examine these potential enrichment effects, including methodology that allows for comparisons to traditional enrichment, the use of welfare diversity/variability indices, and the effects of learning on trainers and trainees alike.
... What isn't as apparent is the important role behavior analysis, or the Skinnerian operant conditioning-focused (e.g., reward-or reinforcement-based) approach to behavioral psychology, played in the formation of the present-day zoo. The modern zoo itself can be defined by two major behavioral advances focused on improving welfare: (1) the use of animal training procedures to increase voluntary participation in husbandry or other veterinary procedures by the zoo animals Laule & Desmond, 1998;Melfi et al., 2020), and (2) the implementation of environmental enrichment to decrease detrimental and increase species-typical behaviors Hoy et al., 2010;Shepherdson et al., 1998). These advances were developed through decades of research and practices that incorporated behavioral principles to identify desirable outcomes for animals and visitors alike. ...
... Equally important for the zoo is how the visitor behaves in response to enriched animals, therefore driving the need for naturalistic devices and responses for and from the animals being enriched, respectively (Fernandez et al., 2009;Learmonth, 2020). Environmental enrichment, because of its behavior analytic underpinnings, is now an animal welfare endeavor where all features of how an animal interacts with its environment are examined for their behavioral benefits (Fernandez, 2021a;Hoy et al., 2010). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
The modern zoo has been associated with two major behavioral welfare advances: (a) the use of training to increase voluntary husbandry care, and (b) the implementation of environmental enrichment to promote naturalistic behaviors. Both practices have their roots in behavior analysis, or the operant conditioning-centered, reward-based approach to behavioral psychology. Operant conditioning served as the foundation for the development of reinforcement-based training methods commonly used in zoos to make veterinary and husbandry procedures easier and safer for animals and their caregivers. Likewise, operant conditioning, with its focus on arranging environmental antecedents and consequences to change behavior, also provided a framework for successful environmental enrichment practices. In this paper, we outline the key individuals and events that shaped two of the cornerstones of the modern zoo: (1) the emergence of reward-based husbandry training practices, and (2) the engineering of environmental enrichment. In addition, we (3) suggest ways in which behavior analysis can continue to advance zoo welfare by (i) expanding the efficacy of environmental enrichment, (ii) using within-subject methodology, and (iii) improving animal-visitor interactions. Our goal is to provide a historical and contextual reference for future efforts to improve the well-being of zoo animals.
... The primary goal of any enrichment device is to improve the well-being of captive animals physically and psychologically (Mellen & Sevenich MacPhee, 2001). Over the past several decades, many different forms of enrichment have been used to improve the environment of animals in managed care settings, such as laboratories, zoos, and aquaria (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2009;Mellen & Sevenich MacPhee, 2001). Enrichment is broadly defined and can include physical changes within the environment, training and other interactions with humans, food puzzles, objects and toys, social enrichment, and sensory enrichment, such as scents, sounds, visual stimuli, and tactile stimuli (Hoy et al., 2009;Kuczaj, Lacinak, & Turner, 1998;Newberry, 1995;Shyne, 2006). ...
... Over the past several decades, many different forms of enrichment have been used to improve the environment of animals in managed care settings, such as laboratories, zoos, and aquaria (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2009;Mellen & Sevenich MacPhee, 2001). Enrichment is broadly defined and can include physical changes within the environment, training and other interactions with humans, food puzzles, objects and toys, social enrichment, and sensory enrichment, such as scents, sounds, visual stimuli, and tactile stimuli (Hoy et al., 2009;Kuczaj, Lacinak, & Turner, 1998;Newberry, 1995;Shyne, 2006). Enrichment devices have been productive in reducing stereotypic behavior and increasing species-typical behavior, by providing more complex environments that increase the inhabitants' choices within the environment (Markowitz, 1982). ...
Article
Environmental enrichment is critical for maintaining cognitive welfare for animals in human care but is subject to individual preferences. The interest in a video-based enrichment was assessed for a single killer whale (Orcinus orca) in human care. The adult female was presented 20 video recordings featuring cetaceans, elephants, or humans with each video presented in two conditions: (1) with sound and (2) without sound. Four additional presentations in which the television displayed a blank screen served as controls. All sessions were videotaped and coded for time spent viewing the recordings, behavioral responses, and visual laterality. The killer whale spent significantly more time at the television when programs were on screen compared to when the television was present but blank. She was more likely to watch videos accompanied by sound than those presented without sound. Videos were more likely to be viewed monocularly rather than binocularly, with a right eye preference when viewing the videos the first time they were presented. The highest rates of behavioral responses occurred during videos of cetaceans. These results demonstrate that one killer whale responded to video recordings of different stimuli, suggesting that video recordings may be used as a form of enrichment for cetaceans and that not all video content and formats are equally interesting.
... Freshwater turtles are popular pets and displays in public aquaria (Pasmans et al. 2017) and are often kept in enclosures with limited spatial and structural complexity in which they cannot fully perform innate behaviours such as exploring and foraging (Burghardt 2013), leading to development of behaviours indicative of stress including escape behaviour, self-mutilation and aggression (Warwick et al. 2013). Enriching the captive environment can provide different types of stimuli (Hoy et al. 2010) to encourage species-specific behaviours and provide more choices, thus potentially reducing boredom and promoting the wellbeing of captive animals (Hosey et al. 2013). Only a small proportion of the studies evaluating different types of enrichment have been carried out on reptiles (Rose et al. 2019;Riley and Rose 2020), with even fewer of these on turtles (Eagan 2019). ...
Article
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Recent studies showed that freshwater turtles display inter-individual differences in various behavioural traits, which may influence their health and welfare in captivity due to differences in response to husbandry and enrichment strategies and in ability to cope with the limitations of the captive environment. This study investigated a possible correlation between individual level of escape behaviour under standard enrichment conditions and level of interest in coloured objects in a group of cooters Pseudemys sp. and sliders Trachemys scripta ssp. on display at a public aquarium. Interest in different colours, colour preference and individual differences in behavioural changes in the presence of the new enrichment were also studied. Turtles categorised as 'high' and 'moderate escape behaviour' (17-34% of behavioural budget) showed more interest in coloured objects and tended to display less escape behaviour in their presence, while turtles categorised as 'low escape behaviour' (<10% of behavioural budget) were less interested in coloured objects and tended to display more escape behaviour in their presence. Overall, there was more interest in yellow than in red, white or green objects, with more contacts with coloured objects before feeding and at the start of each observation period and a preference for yellow against red objects. The individual differences in behavioural changes in the presence of the new enrichment suggested that more studies into colour preference and response to novelty in turtles would be beneficial to ensure that no individuals are unduly stressed by new enrichments.
... Enrichment has been defined as "a process for improving or enhancing zoo animal environments and care within the context of their inhabitants' behavioral biology and natural history" [7]. In the past, enrichment was mainly item based and focused on five to eight broad categories (e.g., feeding, tactile, olfactory) with the goal of providing enrichment from every category [8,9]. Although an item-based system of enrichment provides animals with events of varying degrees of stimulation, there can be a lack of understanding as to whether these events are functionally significant to the animal in question [10,11]. ...
Article
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Evaluations of enrichment are critical to determine if an enrichment program is meeting stated goals. However, nocturnal species can present a challenge if their active periods do not align with caretakers’ schedules. To evaluate enrichment for four aardvarks housed with a natural light cycle, we provided seven different enrichment items aimed at fulfilling two behavioral goals: exploring and foraging. We wanted to understand how the aardvarks used enrichment, if enrichment promoted the defined goals, and how enrichment that achieves its goals affects welfare indicators, including rates of pacing and social behaviors, behavioral diversity, and fecal glucocorticoid metabolites. Twenty-minute observations from video were performed three times a night for a total of 224 observed hours. We found significant differences in how the aardvarks used items from the two enrichment goals throughout the night, with foraging enrichment used more than exploring at first and exploring enrichment used more later. We found that items promoted their defined goals, and aardvarks showed no evidence of habituation throughout the eight-week study. The impact on selected welfare indicators provided evidence of potentially positive changes, including increased affiliative and decreased agonistic interactions accompanying increases in goal behaviors. These results contribute to the current knowledge available on the impact of goal-directed behavioral opportunities on zoo animal welfare.
... As a result, an understanding of their needs and how best to provide for their welfare is largely reliant on anecdotal information. As nocturnal animals, aardvarks are most active at times when zoo staff are not present, which can also present a challenge when providing them with behavioral opportunities that can occupy their time (Hoy et al., 2010). ...
Chapter
Decades of research and systematic management have enhanced the knowledge and capacity to create zoo habitats that provide animals with opportunities to express natural behaviors, make choices, and exert control over aspects of their environments. As the understanding of animal welfare has grown, so has the realization that positive welfare must be promoted 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and throughout an animal’s entire life. Zoo animals reside in spaces that may vary depending on time of day and time of year. In some cases, this can create challenges when it comes to assessing and improving individual animal welfare. Considering individual responses to variation in housing, and assessing the benefits of various night-time housing conditions is key if zoos are going to move beyond the more traditional practice of bringing animals into holding areas at night. Here we examine two case studies highlighting the challenges and opportunities for assessing welfare outside of traditional times and spaces. Using keeper ratings along with non-invasive measures of adrenal activity, we compared the effects of overnight access to an indoor habitat to more traditional night holding spaces for gorillas and drill monkeys. Keeper ratings are becoming more widely used as a measure of wellbeing, and we also discuss some of the challenges associated with this methodology. Second, we monitored four aardvarks using infrared video to assess how occupying different night spaces impacted behavioral and hormonal measures of their welfare. Nocturnal animals are active during time periods when zoo personnel are not typically present both to observe the individuals and to provide them with additional behavioral opportunities. Understanding how individuals utilize their space and partition their time overnight can help to ensure their needs are met even when staff members are not present. Through the exploration of these case studies, we examine how far the zoo community has come in addressing the welfare needs of animals in varying housing conditions and highlight areas in need of further attention and research.
... Individuals that can display a suite of possible behaviours depending on the environmental conditions and have the cognitive ability to assess risk in a given situation are more likely to be successful. Importantly, environmental variability is not necessarily equivalent to environmental complexity and there is extensive research on the effects of environmental complexity (often referred to as environmental enrichment) on the behaviour of captive animals (Hoy et al., 2010). Although a number of studies indicate positive effects of increased environmental complexity and variability, several studies have shown that these effects may be contextdependent (Näslund et al., 2013;Rosengren et al., 2017). ...
Article
We tested the prediction that a complex physical rearing environment would enhance short‐term spatial memory as assessed by learning ability in a spatial navigation task in juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. We reared fish in two low‐density treatments, where fish were either in bare fiberglass tanks (bare) or in tanks with physical structure (complex). We also tested conventionally reared high‐density hatchery fish to compare with these other experimental treatments. Our reason for including this third hatchery treatment is that the two low‐density treatments, aside from the manipulation of structure, followed a rearing programme that is designed to produce fish with more wild‐like characteristics. We tested individually marked fish for 7 consecutive days and recorded movement and time to exit a testing maze. Stimulus conspecific fish outside the exit of the maze provided positive reinforcement for test fish. Fish from the bare treatment were less likely to exit the start box compared with fish in the complex and hatchery treatments. However, fish in the hatchery treatment were significantly more likely to exit the maze on their own compared with both the bare and complex treatments. Hatchery fish effectively learned the task as shown by a decrease in the number of mistakes over time, but the number of mistakes was significantly greater on the first day of trials. Increasing habitat complexity with structure may not necessarily promote spatial learning ability, but differences between hatchery and experimental treatments in rearing density and motivation to be near conspecifics likely led to observed behavioural differences. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... The results of the enrichment study reveal that the more environmental enrichment techniques provided, the less stereotypical behaviours are expected to be observed. Hoy (2009) reminds that environmental enrichment techniques are time expending activities and that, sometimes, it is very difficult for the keepers to find enough time to dispend imagining, constructing and implementing those techniques. Because of this, most of the times environmental enrichment techniques don't have as much quantity, variety, frequency and evaluation as they should to guarantee an optimum welfare. ...
... The results of the enrichment study reveal that the more environmental enrichment techniques provided, the less stereotypical behaviours are expected to be observed. Hoy (2009) reminds that environmental enrichment techniques are time expending activities and that, sometimes, it is very difficult for the keepers to find enough time to dispend imagining, constructing and implementing those techniques. Because of this, most of the times environmental enrichment techniques don't have as much quantity, variety, frequency and evaluation as they should to guarantee an optimum welfare. ...
Article
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Wild animals are maintained in Zoological facilities for purposes of education, conservation, research, and recreation. Several studies have proven that the surroundings of an animal's artificial habitat, as well as environmental enrichment techniques, are factors that influence behaviour and have an impact on animals' welfare. In the present work carried out at Fota Wildlife Park, Cork, Republic of Ireland, we observed and collected information concerning three Sumatran Tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The research achievements, registered on an ethogram, seem to demonstrate a link between the enclosure features and the environmental enrichment techniques applied with the stereotypical behaviours directly observed. In fact, the obtained results show that the characteristics of the enclosures were a determining factor on the tiger's behaviour. The obtained results also depict and highlight the extreme relevance of individual ethos when choosing the environmental enrichment techniques applied in order to reduce stereotypical behaviours observed in the captive tigers.
... Furthermore, providing enrichment is often assumed to automatically enhance welfare even if it is unclear whether the animal's affective state will be improved (see reviews by Swaisgood, 2007;Würbel and Garner, 2007). Enrichment should be kept enriching by monitoring the animals' responses and looking for signs of habituation, allowing management teams to form a feedback loop which influences when, where and how the enrichment is presented again (Hoy et al., 2010;Kuczaj et al., 2002;Siegford, 2013). ...
Thesis
Welfare science is now an established discipline which enables objective measurements of animal welfare to be made. Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are a common cetacean species kept in captivity, and although questions are arising over their quality of life in this environment, very few studies have focussed on objectively measuring their welfare. This thesis aimed to address this lack of data by developing animal-based indicators of bottlenose dolphin welfare. An initial review identified potential dolphin welfare measures, before selected behavioural indicators were measured in relation to training sessions. A judgement bias test was then adapted to dolphins, where optimistic biases were significantly linked to higher frequencies of synchronous swimming in their ‘free-time’ and lower frequencies of anticipatory behaviour before training sessions, (concurring with there ward-sensitivity theory). A penultimate study showed that anticipatory behaviour predicted participation in the upcoming event, and positive Human-Animal Interactions were anticipated more than access to toys. A final, on-going experiment has developed and applied a standardised protocol for measuring dolphins’motivation during training sessions in relation to social and health-related welfare problems. Although overall welfare is still difficult to measure, this thesis has proposed some first measures of dolphin emotions and affective states. Synchronous swimming is a likely indicator of positive emotions and social support, although more research should investigate variability between contexts. Anticipatory behaviour seemed to indicate motivation for events, and we suggest it reflects reward sensitivity as in other animals : further work into frequency thresholds would render it a valuable welfare indicator. A major objective of the thesis is to stimulate more research on welfare measures for bottlenose dolphins and other cetacean species in captivity.
... Much of the research conducted on enrichment is concerned with how it affects animal behavior and is less focused on an animal's individual preferences (Mellen & MacPhee, 2001). To ensure enrichment is effective, monitoring of interactions with enrichment and assessment of the animal's preferences is necessary (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2009). ...
Presentation
Preference assessments are a valuable tool which have been used to determine favorite items in humans and nonhuman animals. In the past, these assessments were predominantly used to evaluate preference in humans with behavioral disorders to utilize favorites as positive reinforcers for behavioral management. More recent research have conducted preference assessments in nonhuman animals ranging from red-billed hornbills to Western lowland gorillas for similar purposes. Not surprisingly, the majority of nonhuman animal preference studies have been conducted with primates to evaluate food preference for training purposes. The present study sought to expand the utilization of preference assessment by using it as a tool to formally evaluate preference of environmental enrichment in Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae, n=3), cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus, n=2), and African lions (Panthera leo, n=3). To determine if their established preferences could predict long-term interaction with enrichment, the behavior of the African lions with enrichment items over the course of thirty, 24-hour trials was examined. General estimating equations revealed a significant relationship between the percentage of time the enrichment was approached first and the average duration of interaction in Study 1 to the total duration of interaction and percent of hours interacted with the item in Study 2. The results support the idea that preference assessments can be used to predict the amount of interaction with enrichment over the course of time, with preferred items being interacted with more frequently and in longer duration. In the future, a similar study design that monitors which enrichment item was first approached could be implemented as a time and cost effective way to empirically evaluate the efficacy of environmental enrichment in nonhuman primates.
... Over the past several decades, zoos have focused more on the use of environmental enrichment to promote the welfare of their animals (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2010;Markowitz & Aday, 1998;Shepherdson, 1998). One purpose of enrichment is to increase naturalistic behaviors of exhibited animals through the introduction of stimuli and/or changes in feeding opportunities. ...
Article
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The modern zoo has brought about two major advances in the behavioral welfare of their exhibited animals: (a) The use of environmental enrichment to promote naturalistic behaviors and (b) the use of training to improve voluntary husbandry care. Whereas training itself has been talked about as an effective enrichment strategy, little has been done to combine training procedures with enrichment. Typically, enrichment is treated as a trial and error process, where potential enrichment items or procedures are cycled through until successful enrichment is found. The use of shaping or other training techniques has seldom been documented to increase engagement with possible enrichment items or procedures. The following study examined the possibility of combining training and enrichment to produce continued interactions with enrichment devices. Two species of penguin, Magellanic and southern rockhopper penguins, were studied. Two measures were taken: Time spent swimming and contact with enrichment devices. The enrichment devices could be manipulated by placing fish within and hanging out of each device. During baseline sessions, no hits to either device were observed. During training sessions, several hits were recorded when fish were in the devices and overall swimming time increased during these conditions. When baseline was reintroduced without fish in the devices, contact with the enrichment devices rapidly declined and swimming time for the rockhopper penguins decreased. When the devices were reintroduced with fish but without training, the greatest number of enrichment device contacts and the highest percentage of time spent swimming were observed for the rockhopper penguins.
... Solitary play is important because, in a human-controlled environment, it allows individuals to exert a control over their own activity (Greene, Melillo-Sweeting, & Dudzinski, 2011). Enrichment has been often studied to determine its effects on captive animals and to find ways to use it efficiently (Delfour & Beyer, 2012;Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2010;Kuczaj, Lacinak, & Turner, 1998;Maiorano, 2016;Mason, Clubb, Latham, & Vickery, 2007;Shepherdson, Mellen, & Hutchins, 1998;Shyne, 2006). This tool is widely used in captive odontocetes to increase environmental stimulation and improve animal welfare (Kuczaj et al., 1998;Makecha & Highfill, 2018). ...
Article
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The number of welfare-oriented studies is increasing in captive animals, including odontocetes species that are widely kept in zoos and aquaria. However, validated welfare indicators are lacking for captive odontocetes. We studied the effect of several conditions (time of the day, delay to training, social grouping, public presence, housing pool) and stimuli (enrichment, unusual events) on the solitary behavior of Yangtze finless porpoises (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis), East Asian finless porpoises (N. a. sunameri), and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Each group exhibited different behavioral variations depending on the context. However, some common patterns were found. The frequency of solitary play increased in the 3 groups in positive conditions and decreased in negative contexts. Jumping was mostly displayed in conditions that are thought to be stressful or exciting. Stereotypical behaviors for Yangtze finless porpoises and environment-hitting behaviors for bottlenose dolphins were more frequent during social separation and less frequent when enrichment was provided, suggesting that they could indicate mild stress, lack of stimulation, or frustration. Finally, environmental rubbing seemed to be mostly displayed in quiet contexts. The frequency variation of studied behaviors depending on the context provides preliminary information on their potential use as welfare indicators.
... Offering environmental enrichment to zoo-housed animals is now standard practice in many zoos, as it is known to enhance welfare by facilitating the expression of natural behaviours [7,11,18,19]. However, in regard to the provision of enrichment and consequent evaluation of its efficacy, some animals seem better served than Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. ...
Conference Paper
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This workshop is focused on the design of novel kinds of environmental enrichment for zoo-housed reptiles, using technology to support the development of interactive systems and devices for capturing data. Participants will work virtually in small groups to ideate, reflect on and develop concepts, using a ZooJam approach, which is similar to a game jam. Briefs for participants may include lizards, snakes, turtles and crocodilians.
... Enrichment practices were assessed by asking participants two stand-alone questions and an enrichment diversity/frequency questionnaire based off a review of previous zoo and laboratory animal literature (16)(17)(18)(19). At the beginning of this section, to counter any misunderstandings about enrichment, participants were instructed that "in this study, we consider animal enrichment to be any attempt to improve animal welfare by enhancing the quality of a captive animal's care by providing stimuli necessary for psychological and physical well-being" (20). ...
Article
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Laboratory animal personnel may experience significant stress from working with animals in scientific research. Workplace stress can be assessed by evaluating professional quality of life, which is comprised of compassion fatigue (i.e., burnout and secondary traumatic stress) and compassion satisfaction. This research aimed to explore the associations between risk factors and professional quality of life in laboratory animal personnel. In a cross-sectional, convenience sample design, laboratory animal personnel were recruited from widespread online promotion. A total of 801 personnel in the United States or Canada completed an online survey regarding professional quality of life, social support, euthanasia, enrichment, stress/pain levels, and human-animal interactions. Participants worked in a wide range of settings (e.g., industry, academia), research types (e.g., basic, applied, regulatory), species (e.g., non-human primates, mice), and roles (e.g., animal caretaker, veterinarian). Data were analyzed using general linear models. Personnel who reported higher compassion fatigue also reported lower social support, higher animal stress/pain, higher desire to implement more enrichment, and less control over performing euthanasia (p's < 0.05). Higher burnout was associated with less diverse/frequent enrichment, using physical euthanasia methods, and longer working hours. Higher secondary traumatic stress was associated with more relationship-promoting human-animal interactions (e.g., naming animals) and working as a trainers (p's < 0.05). Higher compassion satisfaction was associated with higher social support, less animal stress/pain, and more human-animal interactions (p's < 0.05). Surprisingly, neither personnel's primary animal type (e.g., non-human primates, mice) nor frequency of euthanasia (e.g., daily, monthly) were associated with professional quality of life (p's > 0.05). Our findings show that the professional quality of life of laboratory animal personnel is associated with several factors. Personnel reporting poorer professional quality of life also reported less social support, higher animal stress/pain, less enrichment diversity/frequency and wished they could provide more enrichment, using physical euthanasia, and less control over performing euthanasia. Poorer professional quality of life was also seen in personnel working as trainers, at universities, and longer hours. This study contributes important empirical data that may provide guidance for developing interventions (e.g., improved social support, decreased animal stress, increased animal enrichment diversity/frequency, greater control over euthanasia) to improve laboratory animal personnel's professional quality of life.
... Often, methods of behaviour data collection are time-intensive, such as the "time budget" approach (Watters et al. 2019). However, systematic feedback and evaluation of enrichment efficacy is essential (Hoy et al. 2010). In response, a set of simple formalised approaches and methods has been developed (Mellen and MacPhee 2001;Plowman 2012;Margulis and Westhus 2008;Whitham and Wielebnowski 2009;Quirke and O'Riordan 2012), which allow zoo employees to quickly collect useful data about reactions to enrichment and to guide the enrichment programme. ...
Article
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Regularly, zoo society is urged to implement an enrichment programmes that include constant feedback in order to increase efficacy of enrichment practice. However, that work takes time for zookeepers. Our goal was to establish an enrichment programme in Moscow Zoo with all necessary steps that could be used by keepers without a strong effort. In this brief study, enrichment programme was established for one female white Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris bengalensis) and one female jaguar (Panthera onca) at Moscow Zoo. Observations were recorded from February 2015 through March 2015. The effects of three enrichment regimes were evaluated: baseline (routine regime) compared with two novel intensive regime, last two were identical for both animals: regime 1 – enrichment every day, and regime 2 – enrichment every other day. We used two simple methods to evaluate the effects of enrichments on the animals: “multi-point scan” method and SPIDER indirect scales. We found that the use of two methods for documentation of animals’ behaviour improved the accuracy of evaluations. During novel regimes, behaviour directed at enrichment of both animals increased, but changes of general activity were identified only for the tiger. The keepers have themselves developed enrichment programme, including the collecting objective empirical data, and that work has not taken a lot of their time. We suppose our experience could stimulate zoological institutions to use enrichment programme, which integrate both “SPI” and “DER” steps into daily work.
... Modern zoos manage current stock based on population management (summarized in the EAZA region as Population Management Manual -EAZA 2015), scientific principles and data, in order to maximize genetic variability over the long-term perspective (for references, see above). Additionally, all animals are managed in order to maximize the welfare of particular animals (see above), also using various enrichment methods (Stepherdson et al. 1998;Young 2003;Mason and Rushen 2006;Shyne 2006;Hoy et al. 2010;Jonas et al. 2018). These principles are often meaningful, and some associated tools are very sophisticated, but in some cases, there may be room for common sense. ...
Chapter
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Activities of zoological gardens are increasingly scrutinized by researchers other than biologists and sectors of society. While this is evident proof of the relevance of zoos in present-day societies, the historical and scientific evidence supporting today zoo conservation mission is not always well-known outside the conservation community. In this chapter, a broad overview of zoo’s evolution and present work is offered by professionals with a long-term association with the zoo world. Any evaluation of zoo activities needs to be done in the framework of present-day environmental crisis that it is not just due to ‘climatic changes’ but to the collapse of ecosystem functioning and loss of biodiversity. If, as we believe, education of new generations remains fundamental to create new societal values towards wildlife and ecosystems, zoos are essential tools for directing attention of public opinion towards the root environmental problems of our time.
... Although cetaceans are not like many terrestrial species who climb or fly onto different structures in the 3D space of their habitats, and indeed offshore species might rarely come into contact with the bottom substrate at all, these animals still need environmental variation to compensate for the time and cognitive efforts that would be spent hunting and foraging in the wild. Enrichment describes the addition of items and environmental changes to promote behavioural diversity and enhance animal welfare (Hoy et al., 2010;Delfour & Beyer, 2012). Simple, floating objects seem to be the norm for cetacean enrichment programs (Clark, 2013;Lauderdale et al., 2021), and while these objects can be engaging for cetaceans (the same way a cardboard box provides endless play possibilities for children, Delfour et al., 2017), variable and novel enrichment is a critical tool for stimulating exploration, natural behaviours and cognitive challenge. ...
Article
In order to continue its business sustainably, any industry that uses animals must largely align their ethical position with that of the general public: ‘the mainstream social ethic’. Although zoos are transitioning from entertainment venues to conservation actors, many cetacean (whale and dolphin) facilities present the animals in unnatural-looking enclosures and entertainment-driven contexts. But what is the ‘mainstream social ethic’ regarding cetacean facilities, and what might it mean for the industry’s future? The evidence is first reviewed on cetacean welfare and the purported purposes for displaying cetaceans in the past and present. The mainstream social ethic is then defined, suggesting we may be at a crossroads for this industry. Welfare has improved in the last decades but could be further enhanced through providing more choice and control in cetaceans’ environments, particularly in enrichment, training and social groupings. Sanctuary settings provide a potential environment with more choice and control, but are still in the very initial stages of development. Fundamental, structural changes to the mission, presentation of the cetaceans and business model seem to be needed to realign the public display of cetaceans with the mainstream social ethic of the times.
... Our finding that chimpanzees spent more time outdoors during the public programs is important, as some zoo studies report that primates and other animals spend increased time out of view when unfamiliar visitors observe them, suggesting that the animals avoided visitors (Chamove et al., 1988;Mallapur et al., 2005;Sekar et al., 2008). While our observations do not indicate that the chimpanzees avoided visitors, it is challenging to evaluate whether increased time spent in view or engaged in vigilance in the presence of unfamiliar humans is enriching or stressful (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2010;. Notably, five of the 47 chimpanzees were observed to be "out of view" for every data point recorded during the public programs. ...
Article
At zoos, and some sanctuaries, members of the public can observe the resident animals. Examining the characteristics and consequences of this type of human–animal encounter is important to understand public education and engagement as well as animal behavior and welfare. Zoos typically have a large and consistent visitor presence, and researchers report mixed findings regarding the effects of the visiting public on the behavior of resident primates. In contrast, public visitation at sanctuaries more often occurs sporadically and on a relatively small scale, as compared with zoos, and typically via organized tours or educational events. Owing to these differences, it is necessary to explore the effects of public programs on animals in sanctuary settings in addition to the more comprehensive efforts studying such influences in zoos. Therefore, we observed four groups of sanctuary chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) at Chimp Haven (USA) over one year, including opportunistic observations during public programs. These scheduled, but infrequent, educational events offered visitors the possibility to view chimpanzees in outdoor enclosures and sometimes included staff-led small tours and food and enrichment provision to the chimpanzees. Our aim was to determine whether the 50 chimpanzees’ behavior differed when public programs were offered at the sanctuary compared with “baseline” periods. It was found that during these programs chimpanzees spent more time in outdoor enclosures (GLMM: est. = 1.559, SE = 0.309, Z = 5.04, p < 0.001) and increased time feeding (GLMM: est. = 0.754, SE = 0.356, Z = 2.11, p = 0.034) and locomoting (GLMM: est. = 0.887, SE = 0.197, Z = 4.50, p < 0.001) compared with times when public programs were not ongoing. We rarely observed agonistic and abnormal behaviors, potential metrics of welfare, regardless of whether public programs were ongoing. Abnormal behaviors occurred too infrequently for statistical analysis. While the chimpanzees showed some differences in their behavioral repertoire during the public programs, such changes do not suggest that their welfare was compromised as a result of these activities.
... Much of the research conducted on enrichment is concerned with how it affects animal behavior and is less focused on an animal's individual preferences (Mellen & MacPhee, 2001). To ensure enrichment is effective, monitoring of interactions with enrichment and assessment of the animal's preferences is necessary (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2009). ...
Article
Environmental enrichment is an important tool utilized to improve animal welfare in zoological institutions through opportunity for mental and physical stimulation. Many past studies have focused on the impact enrichment has on animal behavior; however, none have conducted preference assessments on enrichment items to examine the relationship between animals' preferences and interaction with enrichment over a 24-hr period. Ten-minute free operant, paired-choice preference assessments were implemented in Study 1 to determine the enrichment preferences of African lions (N = 3). Following Study 1, Study 2 was conducted, which examined the behavior of African lions with enrichment items over the course of 30, 24-hr trials to evaluate the relationship between preferences established in Study 1 and long-term interaction with the enrichment. Generalized estimating equations revealed a statistically significant relationship between the percentage of time the enrichment was approached first and the average duration of interaction in Study 1 to the total duration of interaction and the percent of hours interacted with the item in Study 2. Additionally, the first 2 min of the preference data resulted in comparable statistically significant findings, demonstrating shorter preference assessments can produce similar results. The results support our prediction that preference assessments can be used to estimate the amount of interaction with enrichment over the course of time, with preferred items being interacted with more frequently and in longer duration. Information gained from this study suggests preference assessments can be a time and cost-effective tool to evaluate enrichment preference and predicted efficacy.
... Indeed, studies indicate that keepers cannot always implement enrichment practices as planned. For example, keepers are sometimes too occupied with other duties to contemplate enrichment [19] or they may not have developed the capacity to select appropriate enrichment that is beneficial for the animals [20]. Yet, despite these examples, evidence on whether enrichment practices are implemented as intended is sparse [17]. ...
Article
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The good intentions of zoos to introduce enrichment practices that stimulate animals mentally and physically are not always achievable. Changes to the policies and procedures in organisations are difficult to fulfil for a range of reasons frequently investigated in change management literature. The implementation of these changes can be the source of ineffective attempts to generate positive interventions in organisations. In this study, we investigate whether interventions to improve animal management in zoos through enrichment are subject to implementation impediments. Qualitative data gathered from interviews with 23 keepers working with big cats across 12 zoos globally provided valuable insights into the barriers and enablers to the implementation of enrichment. Keepers participated voluntarily and worked in accredited zoos across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, south-east Asia, South Africa, and the United States of America. Thematic analysis of the data revealed five key themes that described some of the challenges zoos and keepers experience when implementing enrichment for big cats, in their words: “let’s just be cautious”, “purely surviving”, “struggle to understand the goal”, “can’t always provide what you should”, and “judge the effectiveness”. These themes provide additional insights into potential areas for improvement, including greater attention to the benefits of enrichment for animal mental health and increased transparency around enrichment objectives in zoos.
... A significant barrier for enrichment evaluation is the considerable workload placed on animal carers [18], who, we believe, have a crucial role to play in assessing effectiveness. We propose, therefore, that technological interventions should automatically log animals' interactions both numerically and by video [14,28]. ...
Conference Paper
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Many studies of animal-computer interaction (ACI), including those for enrichment, have found that animals' initial responses to a technological intervention are followed by lower levels of usage as the product ceases to be new. The "novelty effect" has been identified and discussed in human-computer interaction research. The related concept of "habituation" is described in the literature on animal behaviour and enrichment. However, the field of ACI has yet to engage with the novelty effect and habituation as phenomena that have important implications for ACI design and evaluation. In this paper, we examine three ACI interventions that illustrate how the novelty effect can manifest in ACI studies. We provide an overview of current knowledge on the novelty effect and habituation, and we discuss how this knowledge can guide the deployment and evaluation of ACI interventions. These considerations will strengthen ACI methods and contribute to designing technology that has enduring applicability and interactional value for animal users.
... These devices can offer modification in the structure of the food dish or in the way by food resources are offered (Jobim, 2011). Sensory enrichment is the increase of complexity of sensorial stimuli through new objects (mirrors, televisions, balls, or other toys), natural or artificial sounds (animal vocalizations) or odors (of con-specific animals or predators) (Hoy, Murray, & Tribe, 2009). Finally, cognitive environmental enrichment is a practice that encourages the animal to face unpredictable situations that mimic nature, for instance the use of food-containing devices that require from the animal the ability to handle a puzzle to get the food (Coutinho, 2012). ...
Article
Animal welfare is critical to buffer stress in captive animals and to ensure the reliability of data from studies. The most usual environmental enrichment technique (EE) for social non-human primates is the social enrichment. However, some experimental protocols require keeping individuals isolated, thus demanding other types of EE. We tested in six adult Callithrix jacchus females, single housed for experimental purpose, the stress buffering efficacy of a structural enrichment protocol (SEP) and SEP in combination with a foraging enrichment (FSEP) using fecal cortisol and behaviors to infer stress levels. Both types of EE improved welfare in different ways, while cortisol levels decreased with both EE as compared to the baseline, autogrooming, and piloerection increased after FSEP probably due to the new foods. Therefore, these findings support alternative practices of EE when social animals are living in isolation and reinforce the positive role of structural and food enrichment for decreasing stress markers. It also encourages studies on welfare with females, since its use as an animal model has increased .
... Enrichment presented on an intermittent basis is more likely to maintain its beneficial qualities and, therefore, it has been recommended that enrichment be presented on a variable basis [25]. In line with enrichment practices for other animals under professional care [54,55], most respondents indicated that they scheduled their enrichment on a semi-random basis. Previous research has also suggested that novel objects are important additions to enrichment programs because they elicited increased attention [25]. ...
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In recent decades, animal welfare science has evolved to utilize a multidisciplinary approach to assess the welfare of animals in accredited zoos and aquariums. Science-based animal welfare assessments have become an essential component of management programs and widespread application is expected by animal care professionals. Management practices for bottlenose dolphins in accredited facilities incorporate several programs that potentially impact animal welfare including environmental enrichment and animal training. Additionally, habitat characteristics, such as the dimensions of the habitat, have been proposed to affect welfare. While accredited facilities are required to meet high standards of care, habitat characteristics and management practices are not standardized across locations. Knowledge and subsequent application of these practices and habitat characteristics can enhance our understanding of factors associated with positive welfare. As part of a larger study of dolphin welfare titled “Towards understanding the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums” (colloquially called the Cetacean Welfare Study), survey data were collected from 86 bottlenose dolphins in 40 habitats at 38 facilities in seven countries. The major aims of this paper are to provide general descriptive information regarding dolphin management in accredited zoos and aquariums and to provide supplemental context to the other research published from the Cetacean Welfare Study data set. This paper provides a review of current habitat characteristics and management practices at those 38 accredited zoos and aquariums. These data enabled the identification and quantification of how cetacean management practices differed between participating facilities accredited by the Alliance for Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Variables were selected based on their potential association with welfare including the physical habitat, environmental enrichment, and training programs. The variables were also used for subsequent research in this collection of related papers to investigate important connections between potential indicators of welfare and habitat characteristics, environmental enrichment, and training programs.
... The goals of enrichment are to promote engagement, increase behavioral diversity, provide opportunities for behavioral choice, and give the animals control over their environment [3][4][5][6]. To achieve these objectives, environmental enrichment programs can incorporate enrichment types that function to stimulate cognitive, visual, auditory, feeding, and social systems [7]. ...
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Environmental enrichment can be used to improve the welfare of dolphins in zoos and aquariums. Bottlenose dolphins under professional care are typically provided with a range of enrichment that has a variety of features and levels of complexity at various frequencies. In the present study, a subset of data from a larger study entitled “Towards understanding the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums” (colloquially called the Cetacean Welfare Study) was used to examine the relationship between activity level and enrichment buoyancy as well as enrichment provisioning schedules. Survey data were collected from accredited zoos and aquariums related to the types of enrichment provided to the dolphins and the frequency and duration they were supplied. Non-invasive bio-logging devices were used to record the dolphin kinematics one day per week over the course of two five-week data collection periods. Activity level related positively with the total duration of time non-stationary enrichment was provided. In addition, providing a larger number of enrichment types each between 26% and 50% of the days in a month (i.e., rotating many different types of enrichment across days on a moderate schedule) was positively related to activity level. Activity level was negatively related to the number of times sinking enrichment was provided. Understanding how the temporal schedule and features of various types of enrichment are related to activity levels will aid in developing progressively more effective enrichment programs.
... Lack of time has also been identified as a major barrier to the adoption of non-aversive handling methods for laboratory mice [101] and refined euthanasia methods [102]. Likewise, in the zoo community, technicians often feel constrained by lack of time [103] or lack of institutional support rather than lack of personal motivation to implement enrichment [104]. Despite being viewed by zoo professionals as an essential husbandry practice, enrichment is often treated as a luxury due to practical barriers to its implementation [104]. ...
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Environmental enrichment has been widely studied in rodents, but there is no consensus on what enrichment should look like or what it should achieve. Inconsistent use of the term “enrichment” creates challenges in drawing conclusions about the quality of an environment, which may slow housing improvements for laboratory animals. Many review articles have addressed environmental enrichment for laboratory rats and mice (Rattus norvegicus and Mus musculus). We conducted a metareview of 29 review articles to assess how enrichment has been defined and what are commonly described as its goals or requirements. Recommendations from each article were summarised to illustrate the conditions generally considered suitable for laboratory rodents. While there is no consensus on alternative terminology, many articles acknowledged that the blanket use of the terms “enriched” and “enrichment” should be avoided. Environmental enrichment was most often conceptualised as a method to increase natural behaviour and improve animal welfare. Authors also commonly outlined perceived risks and requirements of environmental enrichment. We discuss these perceptions, make suggestions for future research, and advocate for the adoption of more specific and value-neutral terminology.
... This study demonstrated this social interaction was rewarding enough to lead to the development of anticipatory behaviors when the interaction followed a reliable signal (23). Besides the quality of an animal's relationship with its caretakers, keeper presence is one of the major factors that influences daily conditions animals experience (106). Keeper presence is often associated with positive events for the animal, and animals are generally highly attuned to cues related to their keepers (26,105,107). ...
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Animal-based measures reflecting the welfare state of individuals are critical for ensuring the well-being of animals under human care. Anticipatory behavior is one potential animal-based measure that has gained traction in recent years, as it is theorized to relate to animals' reward sensitivity. It is of particular interest as an assessment for animals living under human care, as the predictability of the captive environment lends itself to the development of this class of behaviors. Animals are likely to exhibit anticipation in locations related to the anticipated event, often in temporally predictable time frames, and before specific contexts they experience in their day-to-day management. In this sense and under certain circumstances, anticipatory behaviors are likely to drive observed behavioral or space use patterns of animals under human care. Drawing conclusions from such data without identifying anticipation may result in misleading conclusions. Here we discuss how space, time, and context are related to patterns of anticipatory behaviors in animals under human care, how unidentified anticipation may alter conclusions regarding animal behavior or welfare under certain circumstances.
... One strategy for promoting general activity is with environmental enrichment [7][8][9]. Environmental enrichment can be defined as stimuli and/or procedures that are added to or modify an animal's environment and result in some measurable improvement in the behavioural and/or physiological well-being (i.e., welfare or wellness) of an exhibited animal [10][11][12][13]. Some examples include the use of foraging devices and feeding schedules, both automated and non-automated [14][15][16][17][18][19][20], changes in enclosure presentations, including choice between enclosures [21,22], the presentation of auditory, olfactory, and/or visual stimuli [23][24][25][26][27], and the use of operant conditioning and various other animal training practices [28,29]. ...
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Penguins are considered among the most popular animals for zoo and aquarium visitors to observe. Swimming is considered a desirable activity, both for the visitor experience and the welfare of the penguins. However, little is known about the amount of time exhibited penguins spend swimming, or how such swimming is related to regular feeding events. We examined the effects of introducing live prey in the form of trout on 22 Humboldt penguins living at the Woodland Park Zoo. Of primary interest was how the live feeds changed (1) daily and hourly swimming activity, and (2) variability in enclosure use. We hypothesized that the live feedings would increase swimming activity prior to and during the delivery of the live trout, as well as create an overall increase in total swimming activity for live feed days compared to non-live feed days. We also predicted that the penguins would be more likely to use the entire exhibit around these live feeds, since they are likely to chase fish throughout the exhibit. Penguins did show an increase in swimming activity in the hour prior to and during the live feed, with a small decrease in swimming activity following the live feed when compared to non-live feed days. There was also a more than 30% increase in the total swimming activity for live feed days when compared to all other non-live feed days. In addition, a single measure of variability in enclosure use (entropy) showed greater overall enclosure use for the live feed days compared to the non-live feed days. These results demonstrate that live fish can be a useful way of enriching the behavioural welfare of Humboldt penguins.
... Because of such effects in humans, it has been hypothesised that passive exposure to music might have similar effects on non-human animals (hereafter animals). There is growing attention being paid to the utility of passive music exposure for improving animal welfare or productivity in a broad range of captive environments Hoy et al., 2010;Krohn et al., 2011;Wells et al., 2002) because it is cost-effective, instantaneous, and easy to implement. Consequently, the number of studies that examine the impact of passive music exposure on animals is increasing by the year, leading to a common view that music is likely good for animal welfare. ...
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Music can have powerful effects on human health and wellbeing. These findings have inspired an emerging field of research that focuses on the potential of music for animal welfare, with most studies investigating whether music can enhance overall wellbeing. However, this sole focus on discovering what effects music have on animals is insufficient for advancing scientific and practical understanding of how music can be used as an enrichment tool and can also lead to problems in experimental design and interpretation. This paper argues for a different approach to the study of music for welfare, where music is used to address specific welfare goals, taking account what animals hear in music and selecting or creating ‘musical’ compositions that test current hypotheses about how music is able to influence animal behaviour and physiology. Within this conceptual framework, we outline the process through which perceptual abilities influence welfare outcomes and suggest reframing music for welfare research as Auditory Enrichment Research which adopts a targeted approach that does not purpose music as an all-round welfare enhancer but rather investigates whether auditory enrichment can ameliorate specific welfare problems based on species-specific perceptual abilities, needs, and welfare goals. Ultimately, we hope that these discussions will help to bring greater unification, vision, and directionality in the field.
... However, captive settings often lack sufficient complexity to allow the expression of a species-typical behavioral repertoire (Mallapur 2008;Newberry 1995;Young 2003). For this reason, environmental enrichment has become a key component of the management of captive animals (Maple and Perdue 2013), as it is considered an important means of improving animal welfare by providing opportunities for physical, affective and cognitive stimulation (Fernández and Martin 2021;Hoy et al. 2010;Mellor 2015). The extensive variety of enrichment strategies used in non-human primates includes sensory stimulation (Carter et al. 2021;Vaglio et al. 2021), social housing (Chipangura et al. 2020), motor or manipulative engagement (Costa et al. 2018), and more recently, cognitive stimulation (Coleman and Novak 2017;Dutton et al. 2018;Lutz and Novak 2005), which also includes the use of digital electronic devices (Clark 2017;Clark et al. 2019;Gray et al. 2018;Grunauer and Walguarnery 2018;Kim-McCormack et al. 2016). ...
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Foraging devices are effective enrichment tools for non-human primates, as they provide both cognitive and manipulative stimulation that may enhance these animals’ welfare. We assessed the behavioral effects of a novel tool-based enrichment on 14 chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes ) housed at Fundació Mona (Girona, Spain). The device consisted of a vertical maze filled with food rewards, which chimpanzees could extract by using tools. We conducted behavioral observations in two conditions over an approximately 2.5-month period: when the food maze was loaded (12 enrichment days), and when it was empty (12 baseline days). Data were collected using 2-min scan sampling and untimed-event focal sampling during two daily sessions of 80 min each. We expected that the chimpanzees’ interest in the enrichment would decrease over time, but that its use would be linked to an increase in the occurrence of species-typical behaviors, a reduction in negative indicators of welfare, and changes in social behaviors. We found that participation widely varied among subjects, being higher in females and decreasing through time. Furthermore, participation was linked to an increase in tool use and a decrease in inactivity, but also to an increase in aggression-related behaviors. In contrast, participation had no effect on the occurrence of abnormal behaviors, social proximity or affiliation-related behaviors. Finally, we detected an increase in self-directed behaviors only when subjects actively interacted with the device. We conclude that, in future studies, these types of devices should be evaluated for longer periods of time and more attention should be paid to individuals’ preferences and abilities.
... Due to their relatively small sizes (adult body length and adult weight range from 14 to 19 cm and 250-400 g, respectively), even under laboratory conditions it is easier to provide marmosets with large extended family group environments so that they can retain their normal social interaction modes Mansfield, 2003;Miller et al., 2016). To further mimic marmosets' natural environment and ensure their wellbeing, the following measures should be employed: structural considerations for their home cage and holding rooms (e.g., providing the possibility for audio-visual interactions between family and group members as well as a suitable environment to interact and perform various mutual actions such as grooming and food sharing); enrichment (by placement of rocks, leaves, plants, ropes, and tunnels in home cages) (Buchanan-Smith, 2011;Bayne and Würbel, 2014); foraging (e.g., providing outdoor space for sun light exposure and novel foods) (de França Santos et al., 2021); and multimodal stimulation (e.g., group housing, providing mirrors, interaction with investigators, and playing animals sounds in home cages) (Hoy et al., 2010). Moreover, similar to other non-human primates, to assess the marmosets' wellbeing, animals should be regularly monitored for body weight, alertness, food and water consumption, movement/gait/coat, etc . ...
Article
Social-cognitive processes facilitate the use of environmental cues to understand others, and to be understood by others. Animal models provide vital insights into the neural underpinning of social behaviours. To understand social cognition at even deeper behavioural, cognitive, neural, and molecular levels, we need to develop more representative study models, which allow testing of novel hypotheses using human-relevant cognitive tasks. Due to their cooperative breeding system and relatively small size, common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) offer a promising translational model for such endeavours. In addition to having social behavioural patterns and group dynamics analogous to those of humans, marmosets have cortical brain areas relevant for the mechanistic analysis of human social cognition, albeit in simplified form. Thus, they are likely suitable animal models for deciphering the physiological processes, connectivity and molecular mechanisms supporting advanced cognitive functions. Here, we review findings emerging from marmoset social and behavioural studies, which have already provided significant insights into executive, motivational, social, and emotional dysfunction associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders.
... Is there an easier way?" [63]. Today, animal care staff always have more to do than their allocated time allows [64]. To be accepted by them, technical apparatus must not only clearly benefit the animals, but must also save them time. ...
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The purpose of this perspective paper and technology overview is to encourage collaboration between designers and animal carers in zoological institutions, sanctuaries, research facilities, and in soft-release scenarios for the benefit of all stakeholders, including animals, carers, managers, researchers, and visitors. We discuss the evolution of animal-centered technology (ACT), including more recent animal-centered computing to increase animal wellbeing by providing increased opportunities for choice and control for animals to gain greater self-regulation and independence. We believe this will increase animal welfare and relative freedom, while potentially improving conservation outcomes. Concurrent with the benefits to the animals, this technology may benefit human carers by increasing workplace efficiency and improving research data collection using automated animal monitoring systems. These benefits are balanced against cultural resistance to change, the imposition of greater staff training, a potential reduction in valuable animal-carer interaction, and the financial costs for technology design, acquisition, obsolescence, and maintenance. Successful applications will be discussed to demonstrate how animal-centered technology has evolved and, in some cases, to suggest future opportunities. We suggest that creative uses of animal-centered technology, based upon solid animal welfare science, has the potential for greatly increasing managed animal welfare, eventually growing from individual animal enrichment features to facility-wide integrated animal movement systems and transitions to wildlife release and rewilding strategies.
Article
The term “psychological well-being” is used in reference to husbandry with animals in human care settings such as research, agriculture, and zoos. This article seeks to clarify and conceptualize the term based upon two approaches that draw from several bodies of literature: the experimental analysis of behavior, experimental psychology, animal welfare and husbandry, farm animal behavior, zoo husbandry, and ethology. One approach focuses on the presence of problem behavior such as stereotypies, depressive-like behavior, and aggression, and emphasizes the conditions under which aberrant behavior in animals under human care occurs. The second approach examines what might be considered wellness by emphasizing opportunities to engage with its environment, or the absence of such opportunities, even if problematic behavior is not exhibited. Here, access to an interactive environment is relatively limited so opportunities for operant (voluntary) behavior could be considered. Designing for operant behavior provides opportunities for variability in both behavior and outcomes. Operant behavior also provides control over the environment, a characteristic that has been a core assumption of well-being. The importance of interactions with one’s environment is especially evident in observations that animals prefer opportunities to work for items necessary for sustenance, such as food, over having them delivered freely. These considerations raise the importance of operant behavior to psychological well-being, especially as benefits to animals under human care.
Article
The effect of olfactory stimuli as a means of environmental enrichment is underexplored in canids. The crab-eating fox is the most abundant wild canid in zoos, but few studies have addressed the reaction of this species to olfactory cues. This study sought to investigate the reaction to olfactory stimuli in crab-eating fox with the aim of increasing their well-being. Four potentially attractive olfactory stimuli (meat, cheese, rat urine, and egg) were presented outside the enclosures in five-minute sessions. The reactions of the crab-eating foxes were filmed and analyzed using the focal animal method. All behaviors were recorded pre (Basal), during (Exp), and post (Pos) stimulus. Behavioral responses were classified as positive (P+), negative (N-), and other (Ot). The average times recorded for each category of behavior in each phase were analyzed. Olfactory stimuli significantly increased P+ responses by up to 18.2 times (p <0.001) during Exp, concomitant with a 2.3-fold increase in N- responses (p <0.03). The category of Ot behaviors declined from the Basal (p <001) for the Exp and remained low in the Pos (p <001) in relation to the Basal. Only the category of P+ behaviors remained increased (p <0.001) in relation to the Basal, while the category of N- behaviors returned to baseline values (p> 0.05) after the withdrawal of the stimulus. Olfactory enrichment, as investigated in other species of mammals, was effective and led to a sustained increase in well-being, but the exposure time must be balanced so as not to elicit negative behaviors. The method used is innovative, low cost, and flexible. This is the first published study of olfactory enrichment for crab-eating foxes.
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Dog‐dog playgroups have become increasingly popular interventions in shelter settings as a means of providing enrichment and enhancing well‐being for dogs in shelters, especially for those experiencing long‐term stays. This is occurring across the United States despite debate—and limited empirical evaluation—on playgroup effectiveness. However, playgroups vary greatly in their form and function—that is, how shelters implement them and their intended purpose. This chapter reviews common programs for conducting playgroups in shelters and explores methods for selecting appropriate candidates, monitoring interactions, and balancing both physical and behavioral health. The scientific literature on the benefits of play for dogs’ well‐being and considerations for evaluating playgroups as an enrichment strategy are discussed.
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Cephalopods have become an archetype for invertebrate cognition, sentience and welfare studies. Their convergence with so-called ‘higher’ vertebrates (birds, mammals) in memory, learning, problem-solving, tool use and likely sentience has made biologists completely rethink the nature and commonality of cognition in the animal kingdom. Cephalopods are a model in many areas of biological sciences, often key attractions in public aquaria and kept in private collections, as well as being important for the future of aquaculture. Modern animal welfare practice should demand that, in addition to maintaining good environmental parameters (e.g. water quality), sufficient environmental, cognitive and social stimulation are provided in a design that fully engages an organism’s cognitive, sensory and motor abilities. Cephalopods’ abilities are far-ranging and must be considered when providing captive care, to not only provide adequate welfare and well-being but to also ensure normal development, allowing confidence in results obtained from their use in experimental settings or conservation programmes. Their sensory capability, inter- and intraspecific communication, personalities and life histories require thoughtful and specific environmental design. Here, we outline their cognitive abilities and likely captive conditions and suggest how their abilities can be appropriately stimulated.
Article
A common goal of captive animal institutions is to create environments that allow for the most naturalistic behavior from their animals. Behavioral data is often used as a measure of how an animal is thriving in its current environment. Obtaining this data can be very difficult and time-consuming. New technological advances, such as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, may allow for data collection to be automated. RFID tags placed on the wingband of 16 little blue penguins housed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, as well as 8 antennae placed in their habitat, continuously recorded individual penguin swimming behavior. The continuous data collected via the RFID system reveals individual patterns of swimming behavior among indoor and outdoor pool areas, as well as relationships between swimming and water temperature, and temporal factors. Additionally, the effectiveness of an enrichment item meant to increase swimming time is evaluated using the RFID system. The presence of the RFID system allows for continuous, reliable data collection that can provide valuable insight regarding the quantifiable relationship between little blue behavior, environment, and overall health.
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Scientific Foundations of Zoos and Aquariums - edited by Allison B. Kaufman January 2019
Article
Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioural welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can produce beneficial behavioural welfare results. This paper examines the concept of training as enrichment through three distinct ways training procedures could enrich: (i) training facilitates enrichment usage; (ii) training modifies interactions, conspecific or otherwise; and (iii) training expands behavioural repertoires. Within each category, the paper focuses on past research that provides empirical support for training functioning as enrichment, as well as related areas of research that provide additional evidence. Previous studies support the claim that training is enriching, with additional research necessary to better understand how prevalent and under what conditions training procedures function as enrichment. Future training research should examine these potential enrichment effects, including methodology that allows for comparisons to traditional enrichment, the use of welfare diversity/variability indices, and the effects of learning on trainers and trainees alike.
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This book brings together a range of scientific perspectives from biomedical research on stress and welfare, and assesses new approaches to conceptualizing and alleviating stress. While much of the focus in on conventional farm animals, there is also consideration of fishes, laboratory animals and zoo animals. The 30 contributors include leading authorities from North America, Europe, New Zealand and Australia. This book is invaluable for advanced students and researchers in animal behaviour, animal welfare, animal production, veterinary medicine and applied psychology. For more information see the CABI Publishing online bookshop (http://www.cabi.org/Bookshop/).
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GAP analyses are tools used to inform us about the short-comings of a scientific area or necessities in social–economic problems. In the last 20 years, environmental enrichment as an area of scientific investigation has come of age; this can be clearly seen by the number of publications produced in this area. For example, a search on the database The Web of Science©, using the keywords “environmental enrichment”, from 1985 to 2004 produced 744 articles. In this study we analysed these 744 articles and classified them by year into: type of environment (e.g., zoo, farm and laboratory); taxonomic classification (e.g., mammal, bird, etc.); type of enrichment (e.g., food, sensory, etc.); subject area (e.g., neurosciences and agriculture); country of publication; and gathered data on experimental design (e.g., sample sizes). Furthermore, we collected similar data on animal well-being and animal conservation for comparative purposes (keywords: “animal well-being” and “animal conservation”). The results from this study show that the number of environmental enrichment studies has been steadily increasing from a low level in the 1980s until 1999, when there was a noticeable acceleration in the number of articles published. Largely, this acceleration was a response to the growing interest in environmental enrichment by neuroscientists. The data also show a relative lack of, and recent decline in, publications in the area of agriculture. Thus, the data suggest a need for more research on enriching the lives of farm animals. Environmental enrichment publications over the 20 years of the study corresponded to 27% of all animal well-being publications in the period. One interesting comparison between enrichment and animal well-being revealed the virtual absence of research in animal well-being by neuroscientists. The detailed results of this study will help in identifying gaps in our knowledge about environmental enrichment, and how experimental designs might be improved.
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Environmental enrichment is a vague concept referring to improvements to captive animal environments. Some authors have applied the term to an environmental treatment itself, without any concrete evidence that the treatment represented an improvement for the animals. Others have used the term when the main beneficiaries may have been people rather than their captive animals. The criteria used to assess enrichment have also varied according to animal use (e.g. laboratory, farm or zoo animals). In this paper, environmental enrichment is defined as an improvement in the biological functioning of captive animals resulting from modifications to their environment. Evidence of improved biological functioning could include increased lifetime reproductive success, increased inclusive fitness or a correlate of these such as improved health. However, specifying an appropriate endpoint is problematic, especially for domestic animals. Potential methods of achieving enrichment that require further investigation include presenting food in ways that stimulate foraging behaviour and dividing enclosures into different functional areas. The quality of the external environment within the animals' sensory range also deserves greater attention. A common shortcoming of attempts at environmental enrichment is the provision of toys, music or other stimuli having little functional relevance to the animals. Failure to consider the effects of developmental factors and previous experience can also produce poor results. Environmental enrichment is constrained by financial costs and time demands on caretakers, and providing live prey to enrich the environment of predators raises ethical concerns. Future research on environmental enrichment would benefit from improved knowledge of the functions of behaviour performed in captivity and more rigorous experimental design.
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Cross-institutional studies that combine non-invasive physiological measures of stress responses and the assessment of individual differences in behaviour and temperament have great potential as tools for assessing the well-being of zoo animals and for identifying key environmental stimuli relevant to well-being. In addition, such studies allow comparison of animals under a wide variety of conditions and enable researchers to obtain sufficiently large samples sizes for statistical data analyses. Faecal corticoid measurements, a method recently developed to monitor adrenal activity in wildlife and domestic species, can be obtained non-invasively as part of the normal husbandry routine. While basic techniques still need improvement, and interpretation of the acquired measures can be challenging, assessment of faecal corticoid concentrations can provide a useful indicator of stress responses under a variety of captive conditions. Here we report on three studies that illustrate this approach and the results that can be obtained. An on-going study reveals significant differences in the pattern of variability of faecal corticoid concentrations between polar bears that are reported by keepers to perform stereotypic behaviour and those that do not. In another study, faecal corticoid measures indicated that stress responses to certain extraneous noises might interfere with the breeding of Hawaiian honeycreepers in captivity. In a study of clouded leopards, higher faecal corticoid concentrations were measured when cats were kept on public display or near potential predators compared to individuals maintained off exhibit or in the absence of visible predators. The findings of an on-going experimental study suggest a causal relationship between the provision of additional hiding spaces and a decline in faecal corticoid concentrations in clouded leopards.
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The zoo scientific community was among the first to focus attention on captivity-induced stereotypic behaviors, their causes, and methods of eradication. Environmental enrichment has emerged recently as the main husbandry tool for tackling this problem. An increasing number of research publications have attempted to evaluate the effectiveness of enrichment in reducing stereotypic behavior and to develop further concepts to explain how effective enrichment works. A review and meta-analysis of this literature indicates that enrichment is a successful technique for reducing stereotypic behavior in zoo animals. Enrichment was associated with significant reduction in stereotypy performance about 53% of the time. Published enrichment and stereotypy research is lacking for most zoo species, with most studies on large, charismatic, and often endangered species, but it is unclear whether stereotypies are more prevalent in these species. In addition, problems with scientific methods and data presentation, quantitatively detailed in this work, severely limit the conclusions drawn from zoo research. Further understanding of what kinds of enrichment works and what doesn't will require greater attention to experimental design, sample size, statistical analysis, and better descriptions of enrichment properties and the form of stereotypy. We recommend that future studies focus on increasing sample size (e.g., through multi-institutional studies), appropriate repeated measures design (e.g., with multiple baseline and experimental phases), providing full statistical information about the behavioral changes observed (including standard error), and ultimately the development of a predictive science for enrichment, stereotypies, and wellbeing. Zoo Biol 0:1–20, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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Before implementing an environmental enrichment program for nonhuman primates, several issues should be considered. The assignment of enrichment tasks can be made to caretakers, a dedicated "enrichment technician," volunteers, students or individuals with training in behavioral science. Determining the enrichment techniques to be used must take into account personnel time available; the species, age, sex, and individual histories of the nonhuman primates; and experimental protocols for which animals are being maintained. Identifying the most beneficial way to use the available personnel time must be tailored for each institution. To meet federal regulations, records must be kept of the environmental enhancements available to each nonhuman primate. Good record-keeping will allow appropriate evaluation of the program. This evaluation should involve the animals' responses to the enrichment opportunity, cost and durability of enrichment items, human and nonhuman safety considerations, and personnel required. The well-being of captive nonhuman primates will be most improved if well-informed decisions are made in developing and managing environmental enrichment programs.
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Many aspects of the research animal's housing environment are controlled for quality and/or standardization. Of recent interest is the potential for environmental enrichment to have unexpected consequences such as unintended harm to the animal, or the introduction of variability into a study that may confound the experimental data. The effects of enrichment provided to nonhuman primates, rodents, and rabbits are described to illustrate that the effects can be numerous and may vary by strain and/or species. Examples of parameters measured where no change is detected are also included because this information provides an important counterpoint to studies that demonstrate an effect. In addition, this review of effects and noneffects serves as a reminder that the provision of enrichment should be evaluated in the context of the health of the animal and research goals on a case-by-case basis. It should also be kept in mind that the effects produced by enrichment are similar to those of other components of the animal's environment. Although it is unlikely that every possible environmental variable can be controlled both within and among research institutions, more detailed disclosure of the living environment of the subject animals in publications will allow for a better comparison of the findings and contribute to the broader knowledge base of the effects of enrichment.
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Although the accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums have all committed to enhancing the welfare of nonhuman animals, acceptable standards and best practices are still under debate. Currently, experts from zoos and the field hold widely divergent opinions about exhibition and management standards for elephants. Standards and practices for managing nonhuman primates provide a model for other nonhuman creatures exhibited in zoos and aquariums. Examining the key issues for primates demonstrates the value of applying scientific data before promulgating standards. The field of applied behavior analysis provides a wealth of information to frame the debate. Animal behaviorists have contributed to an emerging science of animal welfare, which may provide a foundation for empirical zoo management, standards, and practices.
Article
A discrimination apparatus was introduced into the cage of two mandrills (Papio sphinx) in the Washington Park Zoo. Besides testing the animals’ discrimination abilities, this apparatus provided interactions between zoo visitors and the mandrills. Although the apparatus was available to both animals, the male did not allow the female access. This report describes space usage and changes in principal behaviors as a function of introducing the apparatus. General activity levels of both animals were increased; however, stereotypic behaviors were reduced as trials progressed. The introduction of novel stimuli and response possibilities enhanced space usage while reducing activities typically attributed to boredom.
Article
Enrichment of the environments of captive primates is currently of interest as both a basic and an applied research question, particularly when social and inanimate enhancements are used simultaneously. We measured the behavioural effects of two intensities of inanimate enrichment on 12 unimale-multifemale groups and 12 all-male groups from three cohorts of three to four-year-old rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Half of the groups received a simple, inexpensive enrichment programme while the other groups received a more complex and costly combination ofphysical andfeeding enhancements. Observations were conducted on 93 subadults of both sexes during their initial year of group housing. Intensity of enrichment did not differentially affect the amount of time subjects spent in any of the activities analysed. Subjects that received the more complex programme spent only 8.3 per cent of their time using the extra enhancements. Therefore, there was little demonstrated benefit of the more costly enrichment programme. The three cohorts differed in the amount of time that they spent inactive, behaving agonistically, playing and located near a group mate. A planned comparison of one cohort that had been single-housed without visual access to social groups, to the two cohorts that had visual access to social groups during single caging, revealed differences in play and socially-located behaviour, which may have been due to differences in extra-cage conditions two years prior to the present study. When primates are housed socially with conspecifics as 'social enhancements', the relatively simple inanimate enrichment programme we used was as effective as the more costly programme. When enrichment resources are limited, inanimate enrichment efforts should be focused on monkeys that are not socially enriched.
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Behavioural enrichment for primates at London Zoo. TM's, tube, gum tree, gibbons plus background etc.
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This paper summarises recent findings on the causation of stereotypic behaviours and other abnormal repetitive behaviours (ARBs) in captive animals: primarily motivational frustration and/or brain dysfunction, with possible contributory roles also being played by habit-formation and ‘coping’ effects. We then review the extent to which ARBs occur in zoos and similar, estimating that at least 10000 captive wild animals are affected worldwide. We argue for ‘zero tolerance’ of such ARBs, because stress and poor welfare raise ethical issues, while abnormal behavioural phenotypes and possibilities of impaired brain development challenge both the indirect (e.g. educational) and the direct, intrinsic conservation value of affected animals. We then consider five potential means by which ARBs may be tackled: genetic selection; pharmacological treatment; the reinforcement of alternative behaviours; punishment; and environmental enrichment. All except punishment have potentially useful roles to play, but enrichment is the preferred approach: it is most likely to tackle the problems underlying stereotypic behaviours, and thence to improve both welfare and behaviour with few unwanted side-effects. Nevertheless, in zoos, environmental enrichment to date has only had partial success, with no study managing to abolish ARBs in all its subjects—suggesting either that the enrichments currently being used are never quite optimal, or that by the time they are tackled, ARBs have become resistant to change. We suggest some ways in which the effectiveness of enrichments may be enhanced; propose that certain properties of ARBs may usefully help evaluate their likely ‘treatability’; and emphasise that if improving welfare is more important than just reducing ARB, then additional measures are needed in order to first, reliably identify those individuals most at risk from poor welfare, and then, to fully evaluate the welfare impact of enrichments. This paper also emphasises, with examples, the enormous potential value of zoo-derived data for helping understand how taxon, ecological niche, rearing history, and current housing together affect animals’ responses to captivity.
Article
The chaining of elephants at night is a common management strategy in zoos, yet the costs and benefits of such a strategy are relatively unknown. A study of three unchained female African elephants was undertaken to document their nocturnal behavior. The subjects were observed between the hours of 1800 and 0800 for 10 weeks in the summer of 1992 (total of 172 hr) and 14 weeks in the summer of 1994 (total of 153 hr). Scan data were collected every 5 min to gather information on activity budgets, social proximity, and space utilization. All-occurrence data were collected on social and non-social behaviors. In each year of the study, the subjects spent equivalent amounts of time eating, lying, standing, and walking. Additionally, subjects spent half of their time within one body length of another animal and utilized all three available enclosures. Social and non-social behaviors were frequent, and these data plus the activity profiles reveal the animals generally were most active between the hours of 1800 and 2400 and 0600 and 0700. The findings suggest that the use of no restraints is currently an effective strategy for this elephant group. The high activity levels observed during many of the early evening hours suggest that zoos could permit increased activity and social interactions by extending the hours when the elephants are unchained. Zoo Biol 18:101–109, 1999. © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
Environmental enrichment is a simple and effective means of improving animal welfare in any species - companion, farm, laboratory and zoo. For many years, it has been a popular area of research, and has attracted the attention and concerns of animal keepers and carers, animal industry professionals, academics, students and pet owners all over the world. This book is the first to integrate scientific knowledge and principles to show how environmental enrichment can be used on different types of animal. Filling a major gap, it considers the history of animal keeping, legal issues and ethics, right through to a detailed exploration of whether environmental enrichment actually works, the methods involved, and how to design and manage programmes. The first book in a major new animal welfare series Draws together a large amount of research on different animals Provides detailed examples and case studies An invaluable reference tool for all those who work with or study animals in captivity This book is part of the UFAW/Wiley-Blackwell Animal Welfare Book Series. This major series of books produced in collaboration between UFAW (The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare), and Wiley-Blackwell provides an authoritative source of information on worldwide developments, current thinking and best practice in the field of animal welfare science and technology. For details of all of the titles in the series see www.wiley.com/go/ufaw. © 2003 Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW). All rights reserved.
Article
Both the US Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Canadian Council on Animal Care Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals specify that suitable enrichment and social interaction with con-specifics should be considered when planning adequate housing for all laboratory animal species. In response to this dictum, the University of Notre Dame established an Environmental Enrichment Committee to develop, implement and assess an overall enrichment programme that encompasses all species housed at the Freimann Life Science Center. Although many enrichment strategies had been used prior to the formation of the committee, having the facility director formally authorize a committee gave the members credibility with the Principle Investigators, resources for programme development and time allotments for meetings and observations. The committee members began their assignment by defining the committee goals and responsibilities. Six categories for the enrichment strategies were established: social interaction, burrowing opportunities, perches and ramps, foraging opportunities, gnawing opportunities and food treats. A programme was developed to encompass the use of techniques within these categories with the animals that would benefit from them. Our experience is that the Environmental Enrichment Committee is an effective vehicle for the development and implementation of enrichment strategies.
Article
It is important for us to be able to understand the behaviour of primates in zoos for at least three reasons: firstly as a means towards ensuring their welfare, secondly to use that understanding to ensure a positive zoo experience for zoo visitors, and thirdly so that results of basic research undertaken on zoo primates can be properly evaluated. Often, however, the results of studies of how the zoo environment affects primate behaviour are not easy to interpret. We should recognize that the zoo environment is only one of a number of environments in which primates live, and should identify in which ways the zoo environment is different from those other environments. Here, it is suggested that the zoo environment may be defined in terms of three dimensions: regular presence of large numbers of unfamiliar humans, restricted space, and being managed. Individually all three of these can also be found in other, non-zoo environments, but all three together are characteristic of zoo environments. This paper is an initial attempt to compare studies of primate responses to the variables associated with each of these three dimensions across different primate environments. It is concluded that there is a need for at least two different types of study in future: comparisons across a range of primate environments using the same species and measures, and studies of the interactions between the three dimensions identified for zoo environments. # 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
The brief tenure of environmental enrichment has been influenced both directly and indirectly by the field of psychology, from the work of B.F. Skinner to that of Hal Markowitz. Research on enrichment supports the supposition that an enriched environment does indeed contribute to a captive animal’s well-being. Critical elements of effective environmental enrichment are 1) assessing the animal’s natural history, individual history, and exhibit constraints and 2) providing species-appropriate opportunities, i.e., the animal should have some choices within its environment. This paper presents a historic perspective of environmental enrichment, proposes a broader, more holistic approach to the enrichment of animals in captive environments, and describes a framework or process that will ensure a consistent and self-sustaining enrichment program. Zoo Biol 20:211–226, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
The turn of the century appears to be a good time to examine the role of zoos and aquariums, both in the past and present, and to predict what role these organizations will play in animal management and conservation in the future. In this review three main trends are considered: (1) the loss of wildlife habitats and, therefore, wildlife, (2) the increase in the number of animal-welfare and animal-rights organizations, and (3) the continued urbanization of the Earth's human population. Several predictions and positive action points are given for each trend and if these are taken on board and developed, zoos and aquariums of the future may become leaders in conservation, education and science.
Article
The nocturnal behavior of a stable group of female, African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) was studied to: (1) examine their behavior as a function of hour of night; (2) qualitatively compare the elephants' activity budgets to those reported in a previous study; and (3) document the presence of aggressive and stereotypic behaviors that might necessitate a change in their management. The elephants were systematically observed at least five times per week for 10 weeks between 17:00 and 08:00. Instantaneous focal samples of behavior, location, and proximity were taken every minute on a rotating basis, and all observed occurrences of social behavior were recorded. The hour of night affected elephant activity: significant relationships were found between hour of night and percent of time they spent feeding, lying, and standing. The overall activity budgets of the elephants were similar to the activity budgets reported in a previous study, although differences were evident in lying, stereotypic, and social behaviors. These differences might be a function of age. Affiliative behaviors accounted for 57% of the elephants' social behaviors, and agonistic behaviors among the elephants occurred infrequently and caused no injuries. Additionally, the elephants used all areas to which they had access. These findings provide compelling evidence that unrestricted social access during the night is the appropriate management strategy for these elephants. The results from the present study also highlight the importance of replicating existing studies and using multiple behavioral measures to make decisions regarding the welfare and management of stable groups of captive elephants. Zoo Biol 25:173–186, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
Zoo and aquarium research presents many logistic challenges, including extremely small sample sizes and lack of independent data points, which lend themselves to the misuse of statistics. Pseudoreplication and pooling of data are two statistical problems common in research in the biological sciences. Although the prevalence of these and other statistical miscues have been documented in other fields, little attention has been paid to the practice of statistics in the field of zoo biology. A review of articles published in the journal Zoo Biology between 1999–2004 showed that approximately 40% of the 146 articles utilizing inferential statistics during that span contained some evidence of pseudoreplication or pooling of data. Nearly 75% of studies did not provide degrees of freedom for all statistics and approximately 20% did not report test statistic values. Although the level of pseudoreplication in this dataset is not outside the levels found in other branches of biology, it does indicate the challenges of dealing with appropriate data analysis in zoo and aquarium studies. The standardization of statistical techniques to deal with the methodological challenges of zoo and aquarium populations can help advance zoo research by guiding the production and analysis of applied studies. This study recommends techniques for dealing with these issues, including complete disclosure of data manipulation and reporting of statistical values, checking and control for institutional effects in statistical models, and avoidance of pseudoreplicated observations. Additionally, zoo biologists should seek out other models such as hierarchical or factorial models or randomization tests to supplement their repertoire of t-tests and ANOVA. These suggestions are intended to stimulate conversation and examination of the current use of statistics in zoo biology in an effort to develop more consistent requirements for publication. Zoo Biol 0:1–14, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
This meta-analysis reports the effect enrichment has on the occurrence of stereotypic behavior exhibited by captive zoo mammals. The analysis also identifies which types of enrichment are most effective, which groups of animals benefit the most, and which types of stereotypes are most affected by environmental enrichment. The analysis included 54 studies that yielded 63 effect size statistics. Fifty-seven of sixty-three effect sizes went in the predicted direction (90%), with the animals participating in less stereotypic behavior during the enrichment condition than in the baseline condition. The mean effect size (correlation coefficient r) was 0.46. The combined P-value using both fixed and random effects methods was reveled to be <0.0000001. A file drawer N-value was calculated to identify the number of unretrieved studies (with a combined effect size of zero) that would be needed to nullify the results of this analysis. The file drawer N-value was 1,726, suggesting that it is highly unlikely that the significant results reported in this analysis are nullified by studies that remain in file drawers. Based on these results it was concluded that enrichment substantially reduces the frequency of stereotypic behavior exhibited by mammals living in zoo environments. Zoo Biol 0:1–21, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Article
A survey of papers published in Zoo Biology between 1989 and 1994 showed that 40% of papers were behavioural studies, but only 35% of these reported basic research. Most papers were authored by zoo researchers (58%), either with or without an academic collaborator. A similar survey of Animal Behaviour in 1993–1994 revealed only three zoo-based studies, even though 160 of the 344 studies published used captive animals. Possible reasons why so few academic researchers study the behaviour of zoo animals are discussed, including the perception that zoo populations are abnormal, the current theoretical emphasis in behavioural biology on functional rather than causal explanations of behaviour, and the methodological difficulties of zoo work. Nevertheless, examples are given of published basic behavioural work undertaken in zoos, and the conclusion drawn that more structured collaboration between zoo and academic researchers is necessary to make full use of zoos' research potential.
Article
Zoo research presents many statistical challenges, mostly arising from the need to work with small sample sizes. Efforts to overcome these often lead to the misuse of statistics including pseudoreplication, inappropriate pooling, assumption violation or excessive Type II errors because of using tests with low power to avoid assumption violation. To tackle these issues and make some general statistical recommendations for zoo researchers, the Research Group of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) conducted a workshop. Participants included zoo-based researchers, university academics with zoo interests and three statistical experts. The result was a BIAZA publication Zoo Research Guidelines: Statistics for Typical Zoo Datasets (Plowman [2006] Zoo research guidelines: statistics for zoo datasets. London: BIAZA), which provides advice for zoo researchers on study design and analysis to ensure appropriate and rigorous use of statistics. The main recommendations are: (1) that many typical zoo investigations should be conducted as single case/small N randomized designs, analyzed with randomization tests, (2) that when comparing complete time budgets across conditions in behavioral studies, G tests and their derivatives are the most appropriate statistical tests and (3) that in studies involving multiple dependent and independent variables there are usually no satisfactory alternatives to traditional parametric tests and, despite some assumption violations, it is better to use these tests with careful interpretation, than to lose information through not testing at all. The BIAZA guidelines were recommended by American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) researchers at the AZA Annual Conference in Tampa, FL, September 2006, and are free to download from www.biaza.org.uk.
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