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The impact of exhibit type on behaviour of caged and free-ranging tamarins

By Kayley Bryan, Samantha Bremner-Harrison, Eluned Price, Dominic Wormell

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The lack of appropriate stimuli associated with captive environments has been documented to cause several behavioural and physiological issues in captive species, including loss of natural behaviours, psychopathologies and decreased reproductive success. Providing free-ranging, naturalistic exhibits that replicate elements of a species’ natural environment is advocated as a means of promoting and preserving the natural behavioural repertoire in captive species. Exhibition of natural behaviour is considered beneficial to conservation in terms of animal health and welfare, reintroduction success, education and research. This study assessed differences in behaviour of emperor and pied tamarins housed in free-ranging and caged exhibits at Durrell Wildlife Park to determine the impact of exhibit type. Free-ranging tamarins were expected to exhibit a repertoire of behaviours more similar to that of wild tamarins based on their access to a more naturalistic and complex environment. Data was collected on a variety of behaviours, including activity, substrate use and communication, using instantaneous and one-zero sampling at 30s intervals. Findings indicated that both free-ranging and caged tamarins exhibited natural behaviours; however, there were significant differences in mean rates of behaviours between conditions. Free-ranging tamarins exhibited significantly higher rates of locomotion (emperors: P

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 193
Pages 77-86
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  2. Captivity
  3. Free range husbandry
  4. Monkeys