Abstract # 3115 Event # 224:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 10:45 AM-11:00 AM: Session 30 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


BEHAVIOR OF FEMALE PAIRS VARIES BETWEEN PROTECTED CONTACT AND FULL CONTACT PAIR HOUSING IN RHESUS MACAQUES BUT NOT LONGTAILED MACAQUES

K. C. Baker1, C. M. Crockett2, G. H. Lee2, B. C. Oettinger2, V. A. Schoof3 and J. P. Thom2
1Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA, 2Washington National Primate Research Center, 3Tulane University
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Pair housing in laboratory macaques usually involves co-housing in connected adjacent cages.  However, tactile contact can also be provided by means of barred or perforated panels that permit physical interaction but prevent entry into pair-mates’ cages.  Behavioral outcomes may differ between these housing configurations and between species.  To explore the interaction between these factors, 200 hours of behavioral data were collected on 12 pairs of adult female longtailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at the Washington National Primate Research Center and seven pairs of adult female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) housed at the Tulane National Primate Research Center.   Data were collected on stable pairs housed in protected contact and then in full contact; behavior was compared using Wilcoxon matched pairs tests (?=0.05).  Across all subjects, presence of the panel appeared to restrict the expression of social grooming between partners (Z=2.30), and was associated with higher levels of locomotor stereotypy (Z=2.11) and tension-related behavior (Z=2.27).   When species were analyzed separately, these patterns were significant only in rhesus macaques.  These results suggest that for female rhesus macaques, pairing via protected contact should be implemented only if required for specific research or management reasons.  However, it does not appear to be inferior to full contact for longtailed macaques and therefore should not be abandoned as a behavioral management strategy in broader application. Supported by NIH RR00166 and RR00164.