Abstract # 51:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


VALIDATING THE USE OF ACCELEROMETRY FOR BEHAVIORAL MONITORING OF A ZOO-HOUSED PYGMY LORIS (NYCTICEBUS PYGMAEUS) AND POTTO (PERODICTICUS POTTO)

G. Fuller1,2, P. Dennis1,2,3, C. Kuhar1,2 and K. E. Lukas1,2
1Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, OH 44109, USA, 2Case Western Reserve University, 3The Ohio State University
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Circadian patterns of activity may be informative about the health of captive primates, but in practice it can be difficult to perform 24-hour observations in zoos. The aim of this study was to validate the use of accelerometry for automated activity monitoring in a pygmy loris and potto at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Two subjects were fitted with small pet harnesses to which an ActiSleep monitor was attached. The accelerometer recorded activity counts in 30-second epochs over 38 hours for the potto and 97 hours for the loris. Continuous, focal observations were used to compare behavior with and without the accelerometer. Overall behavior patterns were unaffected by the harness, but visual inspection of means revealed that while wearing the accelerometer the potto spent less time feeding and the loris spent more time performing self-directed behaviors. We used discriminant function analysis to determine whether activity counts predicted concurrent behaviors. The discriminant function correctly identified rest 90% of the time for the potto and 99.1% for the loris, but action (i.e., anything but rest) was classified correctly only 44.9% and 39.1% of the time for the potto and loris, respectively. Significant results were not obtained using more fine-grained activity types (e.g., feed, climb) or speeds of movement. Our results indicate that accelerometry may provide useful information about the gross activity patterns of lorisids despite their slow-moving locomotor style.