Abstract # 2464 Event # 75:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 04:45 PM-04:55 PM: Session 9 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation

Observational methods for monitoring abnormal behavior in caged macaques

J. M. Sullivan1, K. K. Schultz1, M. J. Heinecke1, R. J. Colman1 and K. C. Baker2
1Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, 1220 Capitol Ct, Madison, Wisconsin 53715, USA, 2Tulane National Primate Research Center
     All facilities housing captive nonhuman primates monitor abnormal behavior. To determine the efficiency of common observation techniques, we retrospectively compared two concurrently implemented sampling methods for assessment of abnormal behaviors within the macaque colony (Macaca mulatta and M. fascicularis) at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center. Behavioral observations of 1202 indoor-housed individuals (25 per room on average) were performed utilizing 2-minute focal animal sampling and 5-minute scan sampling. Five abnormal behaviors were observed; frequency of occurrence was recorded: pacing (PA), saluting (SA), hair-pulling (HP), self-injurious behavior (SIB), flipping (FP), bizarre posturing (BP). Scan sampling identified 395 (32.9%) animals PA, 6 (0.5%) instances of SIB, 40 (3.3%) cases of SA, 4 (0.3%) occurrences of HP, 17 (1.4%) animals FP, and 19 (1.6%) animals exhibiting BPs. Focal animal sampling found 452 (37.6%) animals PA, 16 (1.3%) instances of SIB, 71 (5.9%) cases of SA, 28 (2.3%) occurrences of HP, 14 (1.2%) animals FP, and 46 (3.8%) animals exhibiting BPs. Descriptively, focal animal sampling identified more cases of PA, SIB, SA, HP, and BP. Only FP was identified more frequently by scan sampling. Of particular interest, arguably the two most severe forms of abnormal behavior, SIB [c2(1)=21.0] and HP [c2(1)=54.4] were identified far more frequently [ps<0.001] by focal animal sampling compared to scan sampling (62.5% and 85.7% respectively). These data support focal animal assessments of abnormal behavior.