Zoo biology [journal]
- Hair plucking, stress, and urinary cortisol among captive bonobos (Pan paniscus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Aug 17.
Hair plucking has been observed in many captive primate species, including the great apes; however, the etiology of this behavioral pattern is poorly understood. While this behavior has not been reported in wild apes, an ethologically identical behavior in humans, known as trichotillomania, is linked to chronic psychosocial stress and is a predominantly female disorder. This study examines hair plucking (defined here as a rapid jerking away of the hair shaft and follicle by the hand or mouth, often accompanied by inspection and consumption of the hair shaft and follicle) in a captive group of bonobos (N = 13) at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio. Plucking data were collected using behavior and all-occurrence sampling; 1,450 social and self-directed grooming bouts were recorded during 128 hr of observation. Twenty-one percent of all grooming bouts involved at least one instance of plucking. Urine samples (N = 55) were collected and analyzed for the stress hormone cortisol. Analyses of urinary cortisol levels showed a significant positive correlation between mean cortisol and self-directed plucking for females (r = 0.88, P < 0.05) but not for males (r = -0.73, P = 0.09). These results demonstrate an association between relative self-directed hair plucking and cortisol among female bonobos. This is the first study to investigate the relationship between hair plucking and cortisol among apes. Overall, these data add to our knowledge of a contemporary issue in captive ape management. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Optimal-rearing density for head-starting green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Aug 17.
While ex situ conservation programs of juvenile green turtles (Chelonia mydas Linnaeus, 1758), before release to natural habitats, have been conducted in several countries, the optimal-stocking density for husbandry has not yet been reported. The optimization of stocking density was the main purpose of this study. The 15-day-old post-hatching turtles (29.30 ± 0.05 g body weight) were reared in round fiberglass tanks at various stocking densities including 20 turtles/m(3) (20TM), 40 turtles/m(3) (40TM), 60 turtles/m(3) (60TM), and 80 turtles/m(3) (80TM), over an 8-week trial. Water quality, survival, growth performance, feed utilization, aggressive behavior, fecal digestive enzymes, and hematological parameters were compared between the treatments, and were used as indicators of a successful captive rearing program. The water quality across the four treatments was in the standard range, but a high-stocking density reduced the quality significantly. No mortality was observed in any treatment group. Superior growth and feed utilization were only observed with the 40TM treatment, relative to the others (P < 0.05). The turtles in this group had no aggressive behavior, as indicated by observing hind limb biting. This treatment manipulated the level of proteolytic activity of pepsin and trypsin in response to density stressor, but not amylase, lipase, and chymotrypsin. The 40TM treatment also maintained the hematological characteristics, indicating no negative effects on health status. Overall, the findings indicate that the captivity program of post-hatching turtles at 40 turtles/m(3) is the preferred option in their head-started propagation, as well as in public displays in zoos or aquaria. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Plumage variation and social partner choice in the greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus). [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Aug 15.
There is evidence that plumage coloration is related to mate choice in several different bird species. However, the relationship between plumage coloration to mate or other social partner choice has rarely been investigated in flamingos. This is important to study because we know plumage coloration can be an indicator of welfare. We assessed plumage color score in relation to sex, age, and social partner choice over a 9-month period in a flock of 34 adult greater flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) living at Disney's Animal Kingdom(®) . When looking at primary social partners, redder males were more likely to have primary social partners compared to less red males. In addition, primary social partners tended to have similar color scores to each other. These findings provide insight into one factor that might influence social partner choice in greater flamingos living in ex situ situations. Future studies should investigate how these results relate to reproductive success as part of ex situ management. Zoo Biol. XX:1-6, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- Instructions for Contributors. [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Jul; 35(4):365-6.
- Announcements. [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Jul; 35(4):364.
- Erratum. [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Jul; 35(4):363.
- Erratum. [Journal Article]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Jul; 35(4):362.
- Husbandry and enclosure influences on penguin behavior and conservation breeding. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Aug 3.
Multi-zoo comparisons of animal welfare are rare, and yet vital for ensuring continued improvement of zoo enclosures and husbandry. Methods are not standardized for the development of zoo enclosures based on multiple indicators, and case study species are required. This study compares behavior and breeding success to various enclosure and husbandry parameters for the Humboldt penguin, Spheniscus humboldti, for the development of improved enclosure design. Behavioral sampling was completed at Flamingo Land over a period of 8 months. Further data on behavior, enclosure design, and breeding success were collected via questionnaires, visits to zoos, and literature review. Breeding success was primarily influenced by colony age and number of breeding pairs, suggesting an important social influence on reproduction. Across zoos, there was also significant variation in behavior. The proportion of time spent in water varied between zoos (2-23%) and was used as an indicator of physical activity and natural behavior. Regression models revealed that water-use was best predicted by total enclosure area per penguin, followed by land area, with some evidence for positive influence of pool surface area per penguin. Predominantly linear/curvilinear increases in our biological indicators with enclosure parameters suggest that optimal conditions for S. humboldti were not met among the selected zoos. We propose revised minimum conditions for S. humboldti enclosure design, which exceed those in the existing husbandry guidelines. We present a framework for the evaluation of zoo enclosures and suggest that a rigorous scientific protocol be established for the design of new enclosures, based on multivariate methods. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- An investigation of the auditory perception of western lowland gorillas in an enrichment study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Aug 3.
Previous research has highlighted the varied effects of auditory enrichment on different captive animals. This study investigated how manipulating musical components can influence the behavior of a group of captive western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) at Bristol Zoo. The gorillas were observed during exposure to classical music, rock-and-roll music, and rainforest sounds. The two music conditions were modified to create five further conditions: unmanipulated, decreased pitch, increased pitch, decreased tempo, and increased tempo. We compared the prevalence of activity, anxiety, and social behaviors between the standard conditions. We also compared the prevalence of each of these behaviors across the manipulated conditions of each type of music independently and collectively. Control observations with no sound exposure were regularly scheduled between the observations of the 12 auditory conditions. The results suggest that naturalistic rainforest sounds had no influence on the anxiety of captive gorillas, contrary to past research. The tempo of music appears to be significantly associated with activity levels among this group, and social behavior may be affected by pitch. Low tempo music also may be effective at reducing anxiety behavior in captive gorillas. Regulated auditory enrichment may provide effective means of calming gorillas, or for facilitating active behavior. Zoo Biol. XX:1-11, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- A survey of bonobo (Pan paniscus) oral contraceptive pill use in North American zoos. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Zoo Biol 2016 Jul 28.
Contraception is an essential tool in reproductive management of captive species. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Reproductive Management Center (RMC) gathers data on contraception use and provides recommendations. Although apes have been given oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) for at least 30 years, there have been no published reports with basic information on why the pill is administered, formulations and brands used, and effects on physiology and behavior. Here, we report survey results characterizing OCP use in bonobos (Pan paniscus) housed in North American zoos, as well as information accumulated in the RMC's Contraception Database. Of 26 females treated, there have been no failures and nine reversals. The most commonly administered OCP formulation in bonobos contained ethinyl estradiol (EE) 35 μg/norethindrone 1 mg. Few females on combined oral contraceptives (COCs) were given a continuous active pill regimen; a hormone-free interval of at least 5 days was allowed in most. Crushing the pill and mixing with juice or food was common. Females on COCs seldom experienced breakthrough estrus or bleeding, while these conditions were sometimes observed for females on continuous COCs. All females on COCs exhibited some degree of perineal swelling, with a mean score of 3 or 3+ most commonly reported. Behavioral changes included less sexual behavior, dominant females becoming subordinate, and a negative effect on mood. No appreciable change in weight was noted. Taken together, these results indicate that OCPs are an effective and reversible contraceptive option for bonobos that can be used by zoos and sanctuaries to limit reproduction. Zoo Biol. XX:XX-XX, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.