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Environmental enrichment for a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21387395     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Environmental enrichment (EE) is an integral aspect of modern zoo animal management but, empirical evaluation of it is biased toward species housed in single-species groups. Nocturnal houses, where several nocturnal species are housed together, are particularly overlooked. This study investigated whether three species (nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus; Senegal bush babies, Galago senegalensis; two-toed sloths, Choloepus didactylus) in the nocturnal house at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, UK could be enriched using food-based and sensory EE. Subjects were an adult male and female of each species. EE was deemed effective if it promoted target species-typical behaviors, behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones. Results from generalized linear mixed models demonstrated that food-based EE elicited the most positive behavioral effects across species. One set of food-based EEs (Kong(®) , termite mound and hanging food) presented together was associated with a significant increase in species-typical behaviors, increased behavioral diversity, and increased use of enriched exhibit zones in armadillos and bush babies. Although one type of sensory EE (scented pine cones) increased overall exhibit use in all species, the other (rainforest sounds) was linked to a significant decrease in species-typical behavior in bush babies and sloths. There were no intra or interspecies conflicts over EE, and commensalism occurred between armadillos and bush babies. Our data demonstrate that simple food-based and sensory EE can promote positive behavioral changes in a mixed-species nocturnal mammal exhibit. We suggest that both food and sensory EE presented concurrently will maximize opportunities for naturalistic activity in all species. Zoo Biol 29:1-17, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Authors:
Fay E Clark; Vicky A Melfi
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-3-8
Journal Detail:
Title:  Zoo biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1098-2361     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-3-9     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8807837     Medline TA:  Zoo Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Affiliation:
Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, United Kingdom. fay.clark@zsl.org.
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