Abstract # 62:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


CHANGES IN HOUSING SIZE AND LAYOUT DO NOT AFFECT BEHAVIOR IN SMALL GROUPS OF SOOTY MANGABEYS

J. Crast1, T. Jones1, M. A. Bloomsmith1, T. L. Meeker1 and C. M. Remillard2
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 2University of Georgia
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     The Yerkes National Primate Research Center houses a growing colony of sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys). Periodically, small groups are moved from a large outdoor compound into one of two types of run-housing differing in environmental design and outdoor access. To find the optimal spatial density and type of run-housing to support the mangabeys’ well-being, we investigated the effects of changing the amount of space and the type of run-housing on prosocial and agonistic behavior in eight groups of run-housed mangabeys (N=3-5 subjects/group). Using an ABA design, we recorded eight hours of data per phase over two weeks using instantaneous scans (30-second intervals, 30-minutes sessions). In experiment 1, we manipulated the number of runs available to each group, allowing double or half the space in the experimental phase (B) compared to baseline (A). In experiment 2, the groups moved from one type of run-housing to the other during the experimental phase. In both studies, neither behavioral category changed across phases (Friedman tests, p>.05). Prosocial behavior occurred more frequently than agonistic behavior in all phases of each study (z=-4.703, p<.001). The results indicate that welfare is not compromised by housing small groups of mangabeys in 1 or 2 runs or in either type of run-housing. These data will assist in making science-based management decisions about sub-groupings of mangabeys and the most efficient use of the housing facilities.