Abstract # 160:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 14 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation

Comparison of Behavioral Patterns among Seven Juvenile Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) under Differing Housing Configurations: A Pilot Study

A. M. West1,2, S. P. Leland1,2, J. M. Erwin3,4, C. K. Shaver2, W. L. Wagner2 and M. C. St. Claire2
1BIOQUAL, Inc., Dept. of Primate Psychology, Rockville, MD, USA, 2BIOQUAL, INC., Department of Primate Biology and Medicine, Rockville, MD, USA, 3Foundation for Comparative and Conservation Biology, Needmore, PA, USA, 4Consultant, Needmore, PA, USA
     As part of a program to document environmental enrichment and assure psychological well-being in laboratory chimpanzees, behaviors of seven juveniles were systematically recorded. Data from two sample periods were compared when the subjects were an average age of 33 (PH1) and 42 (PH2) months. During PH1, five individuals were housed in direct social contact situations (one triad, and one dyad), while two were individually housed. During PH2, all seven subjects were housed individually under an IACUC-approved protocol. The change from social to individual housing was expected to result in substantial increases in all forms of atypical behavior. During each phase, 180 point-samples were collected using a five-minute point sampling technique over a fifteen-day period. Throughout both phases, an average of >90% of the observation samples included no instance of atypical behavior (PH1=94.9%, PH2=90.2%). Rocking was the only pattern that occurred in all individuals under both conditions, but only increased substantially in three individuals that had previously been socially housed. The rate of atypical behavior actually decreased by 3.3% for one individual previously housed in the triad. Results show that there was not a consistent increase of atypical behaviors among individuals separated from peers during PH2. This indicates that individual variation may account for the dissimilarity of exhibited atypical behaviors rather than social separation, at least under the conditions in this facility.