Abstract # 13296 Event # 177:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 10:15 AM-10:30 AM: (Room 313) Symposium


THE INFLUENCE OF ANTHROPOGENIC ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ON THE BEHAVIOR AND WELFARE OF ZOO-HOUSED PRIMATES EVALUATED USING COGNITIVE AND BEHAVIORAL METRICS

L. M. Hopper1, K. A. Cronin2, L. M. Bernstein-Kurtycz3,4, K. E. Bonnie5 and S. R. Ross1
1Lincoln Park Zoo, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Primates, Chicago, IL 60614, USA, 2Animal Welfare Science Program, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL, 60614, USA, 3Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland, OH, 44019, USA, 4Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106, USA, 5Department of Psychology, Beloit College, Beloit, WI, 53511, USA
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     Zoo-housed primates experience a variety of anthropogenic environmental influences that may impact their behavior and welfare. One of the most-commonly studied is the presence of visitors, but primates living in urban zoos may be exposed to other anthropogenic disturbance, such as light and sound pollution. At Lincoln Park Zoo, in Chicago, we use a variety of techniques to evaluate the welfare of resident chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), gorillas (Gorilla gorilla), and Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) in response to macroenvironmental factors. Using behavioral data, we demonstrated that the apes do not avoid the perimeters of their enclosures that are closest to visitor spaces, even when visitor numbers are highest. Additionally, using long-term data for chimpanzees and gorillas housed across multiple zoos, we showed that neither species exhibited differences in the days that they gave birth despite visitor numbers being higher on weekends than on weekdays. Most recently, we measured the primates’ real-time cognitive-emotional responses to anthropogenic noise. Testing the three species’ cognitive bias via touchscreens revealed that the macaques, but not the chimpanzees or gorillas, showed a slowing in their response to emotionally-valenced stimuli during an air show, suggestive of a change in mood during this acute increase in noise levels. By using a range of techniques, we can gain the most comprehensive perspective of zoo-housed primates’ experience of anthropogenic stimuli and develop strategies to ameliorate them.