Abstract # 2479 Event # 139:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 21, 2008 11:00 AM-11:10 AM: Session 15 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Oral Presentation

To See or not to See: Factors Affecting Captive Capuchin Visibility (Cebus apella robustus)

S. M. Dampier1,2
1Palm Beach Zoo, 1301 Summit Boulevard, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405, USA, 2The Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia
     Captive animals are affected by their surroundings, including exhibit design, visitors, and social groupings. Although the effects of captivity have been studied in a variety of species and circumstances, several factors remain largely unexamined. The effect that visitors have on the visibility of captive animals has not been well established. Furthermore, why animals prefer some areas of their habitat over others is often unclear. Crested capuchins (Cebus apella robustus) housed at the Palm Beach Zoo are on exhibit on an island with several areas not visible to the public that also provides them with the choice of being arboreal or terrestrial. Several factors were examined to determine the effect they have on the visibility of the capuchins and their preference for being arboreal versus terrestrial. The capuchins were found to spend a greater percentage of their time visible to the public when crowd densities were higher [c2(1)=26.12, p<0.01]. Furthermore, the capuchins were increasingly likely to be arboreal as the number of wild green iguanas (Iguana iguana) present on the island increased [c2trend (1)5.418, p<0.05].