Abstract # 13363 Poster # 161:

Scheduled for Friday, August 23, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


UTILIZING VIDEO CONFERENCE TECHNOLOGY AS A TOOL FOR PAIR INTRODUCTION FOR RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

C. Stull1,2, A. Heagerty1,2 and K. Coleman1,2
1505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2OHSU - Oregon National Primate Research Center
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     Pair housing is known to promote welfare for monkeys in captivity. However, finding compatible partners can be challenging. The goal of this study was to determine whether video conference apps could allow observers to gauge the response of potential social partners before animals have physical contact. As a first step, we examined whether animals would pay attention to an unfamiliar conspecific using the Zoom video conference app. Our subjects were 18 pairs of rhesus macaques who had no prior visual or physical contact with each other. Both individuals of the pair were given iPads on which they were simultaneously able to observe the other for 10 minutes with Zoom, and each monkey’s behavior was recorded. Videos were scored using instantaneous and all-occurrence sampling every 20 seconds. Behaviors recorded include vigilance and social behaviors (lipsmack, present, grimace). Monkeys were vigilant to the screen 33.3% of the time. Further, they exhibited social behaviors directed towards the screen in 7.4% of intervals. These results are similar to data obtained during 10-minute observations of 598 pair introductions. In those observations, individuals displayed the equivalent social behaviors in 9.56% of intervals. While preliminary, these results suggest that at least some animals will attend to and interact with a conspecific on an iPad. We are evaluating whether this app may be useful for predicting pair compatibility prior to a physical introduction.