Abstract # 55:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION PROCEDURES AID IN MEETING COLONY MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH GOALS IN RHESUS MACAQUE (MACACA MULATTA) AND SOOTY MANGABEY (CERCOCEBUS ATYS) COLONIES

S. A. Chikazawa, A. D. Cerqueda, K. L. Cummings, J. A. Scarbrough, S. M. McKinney, C. N. Docampo and M. M. Crane
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Division of Animal Resources, Lawrenceville, GA 30043, USA
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     The ability to consistently and accurately identify monkeys in large social breeding groups is an essential component of the Yerkes National Primate Research Center’s colony management and research programs. At Yerkes, three different methodologies are used to identify colony animals: (1) visual identification of animals based on unique characteristics; (2) tattoos of the animal’s alphanumeric code; and (3) RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) microchips. The most expedient way to identify an individual monkey is to recognize the animal’s unique physical and behavioral characteristics; however, this method requires a significant time investment in personnel training. All colony animals are tattooed on the chest with their alphanumeric identifier. Viewing the animal’s chest tattoo is effective, but difficulties can arise due to fading of the tattoo, or impaired visibility based on the animal’s location in the housing enclosure. Implantation of a RFID microchip allows for both unambiguous identification and ease of use, but requires the subject to be in close proximity to an electronic scanner. All three approaches have advantages and challenges. We have found that by appropriately incorporating all these techniques into our colony management practices, we can positively identify all monkeys as required for colony management and research purposes.