Abstract # 13377 Poster # 151:

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


BEDDING AS AN ENRICHMENT STRATEGY IN GROUP-HOUSED MAURITIAN CYNOMOLGUS MACAQUES (MACACA FASCICULARIS)

M. Janavaris1,2, L. Bader1,2, K. Coleman1,2 and P. Kievit1,2
1Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2Oregon Health and Science University
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     The research community continually strives to improve well-being for non-human primates by providing opportunities for animals to express species-specific behaviors such as foraging. In the wild, macaques spend a large part of their day foraging; this behavior is greatly reduced in captivity. Bedding (pine shavings substrate) has been shown to increase foraging behavior in rhesus macaques. However, few studies have examined other benefits of bedding, including its potential in reducing sound levels. We examined the use of bedding in two groups (n=12, 14) of male Mauritius cynomolgus macaques (2-3 years old). We performed focal observations on four animals from each group bi-weekly for 10 weeks. Bedding was added for a week at a time, alternating between bedding and non-bedding conditions. We hypothesized that bedding would increase foraging and decrease undesired behaviors such as aggression and self-grooming. As predicted, there was a significant increase in foraging (Z=-2.38, p=0.017) and a decrease in self-grooming (Z=2.52, p=0.012) when bedding was present. No significant difference was observed in contact aggression. There was also evidence to suggest that the bedding helped to dampen sound. Dosimeter readings taken during both conditions revealed lower peak sound levels when bedding was present (Mann Whitney U=11.4, p=0.02). These results suggest that bedding is an effective enrichment strategy that can improve welfare of group-housed macaques.