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Evaluation of environmental and intrinsic factors that contribute to stereotypic behavior in captive rhesus macaques ( Macaca mulatta)

By D. H. Gottlieb, A. Maier, K. Coleman

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Full body repetitive behaviors, known as motor stereotypic behaviors (MSBs), are one of the most commonly seen abnormal behaviors in captive non-human primates, and are frequently used as a behavioral measure of well-being. The main goal of this paper was to examine the role of environmental factors (i.e., foraging enrichment and socialization) and intrinsic factors (i.e., temperament and origin) in the development of MSB in rhesus macaques living in cages. MSB was assessed during short annual observations in which a trained observer recorded a monkey's behavior for 5 min, followed by a 3-min novel object test. Data were collected over 11 years, totaling 9805 observations. We compared MSB for animals with and without foraging enrichment, and across three socialization conditions: full contact pairing, protected contact socialization (partners physically separated by widely spaced bars), and single housing. In addition, we evaluated whether individual differences in response to a novel object and ancestral origin (i.e., China vs. India), predicted MSB expression during the annual observations. Data were analyzed using generalized mixed effects modeling, with the best fitting models chosen using Akaike Information Criterion. Subjects were at lowest risk for MSB when a foraging device was present ( p

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 171
Pages 184-191
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.08.005
Language English
Author Address Oregon National Primate Research Center, Oregon Health & Science University, 505 NW 185th Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97006,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal housing
  4. Animals
  5. APEC countries
  6. Asia
  7. Cages
  8. China
  9. Commonwealth of Nations
  10. Developing countries
  11. Effect
  12. Enrichment
  13. Environment
  14. Evaluation
  15. Evolution
  16. Foraging
  17. India
  18. Macaques
  19. Mammals
  20. models
  21. Monkeys
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. Primates
  24. temperament
  25. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed