Abstract # 13443 Poster # 154:

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


DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF A SYSTEMATIC ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS IN ZOOS, SANCTUARIES, AND RESEARCH FACILITIES THAT HOUSE NONHUMAN PRIMATES

E. G. Schoenbeck, M. B. Dutton, A. J. Novak, B. Meidam, P. J. Pierre and A. J. Bennett
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, 22 N. Charter Street, Madison, WI 53715, USA
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     In the US the housing and care for most nonhuman primates (NHP) falls under federal regulation and oversight. Written environmental enrichment plans (EEP) are required for facilities licensed or registered with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for NHP exhibition or research. Uniform assessment tools to guide decisions about selection and refinement of standards and practices are largely missing, however. We previously proposed (Dutton et al., 2018) a novel approach to EEP evaluation and refinement. The approach focuses on an EE domain that is relatively neglected with respect to consistency in practice and detail in standards: the non-social, non-structural EE that includes sensory, manipulative, and cognitive stimulation and engagement. For this study we requested EEPs from 162 USDA-certificate holders, receiving them from 21 of 82 research centers, 11 of 50 zoos, and 4 of 30 sanctuaries. Plan analysis followed our previously-described method. Provision of manipulanda was the most commonly used EE strategy (95% of facilities), followed by foraging objects (89%), puzzles (77%), mirrors (73%), radio (66%), television (61%), foraging substrate (39%), and computer-based devices (16%). EEP composite scores did not differ by facility type, F(2,41)=0.32, p=0.73. Mean scores, of a 130 possible maximum, were: zoos (M=83.5+/-SD=32.5); research facilities (M=78.0+/-SD=25.4); and sanctuaries (M=72.7+/-SD= 30.5). Overall, our results illustrate how a systematic approach to assessment can aid identification and development of best practices that transcend facility type.