Abstract # 71:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 03:45 PM-03:55 PM: Session 9 (Meeting Room 1DE) Oral Presentation

Wounding incidence in isosexual pairs of adult rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) during introduction and in varying pair housing conditions

B. C. Oettinger1, K. C. Baker1, K. Neu2, C. Griffis2, V. Schoof3, M. Maloney1, A. Clay2 and M. Bloomsmith2
1Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Rd., Covington, LA 70433, USA, 2Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 3Department of Anthropology, Tulane University, Covington, Louisiana
     The aim of this study was to compare the incidence of wounding in isosexual rhesus macaques paired in three styles of housing: continuous full contact (FC), intermittent full contact (IC: frequent separation), and protected contact (PC: separation by a partition permitting limited physical contact). Ninety-two socially experienced, currently singly-housed females (4-20 y) and 28 males (4-13 y) at two National Primate Research Centers were first placed into a brief introductory PC (IPC) period (1-2 weeks) prior to the three long-term (two month) study phases occurring in counterbalanced order. Wounds ranging from small abrasions to those requiring veterinary intervention (hereafter termed ‘severe’) were recorded. During IPC, 33% of subjects received wounds, 5% in FC, 10% in PC, and 2% in IC. For severe wounds only, the respective values were: 4% IPC, 2% FC, 5% PC, 0% IC. Repeated measures ANOVA showed no sex difference [F(1,28)=1.10; NS] in a wounding index based on frequency and severity of wounds for each phase, nor was a main effect of study phase [F(2,56)=0.05; NS] or an interaction effect [F(2,56)=0.60; NS] detected. Since there were no differences in the wounding indices across conditions, the risk of wounding may not need to be factored into the comparison of wellbeing between the styles of pair housing studied here. These results also suggest that the common hesitance to introduce males may be unfounded.