Abstract # 69:

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


THE EFFECT OF AVAILABLE SPACE ON A GROUP OF CAPTIVE GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA) AND CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES) LIVING IN A NATURALISTIC ZOO SETTING

M. A. Shender and S. R. Ross
Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, IL 60614, USA
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     Home ranges used by wild apes do not compare to even the most ambitious captive ape environments. This proportionate mismatch of available space raises important questions about the degree to which artificial environments are able to support species-typical patterns of travel. We used detailed group scan sampling methods to estimate daily travel distances (DTD) for gorillas (n=11) and chimpanzees (n=6) living in a naturalistic zoo exhibit in a temperate climate (Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL). Each enclosure has large glass sliding doors connecting the inside and outside exhibits. The doors are open and closed depending on temperature, allowing the apes to approximately double their space during the warmer days. 1,703 hours of data were collected over four years, between 2009 and 2012, using a map-interface overlaid on a tablet computer. A two-factor ANOVA revealed chimpanzees travelled greater distances than gorillas [F (1, 13) =6.55, P=0.015] and that DTD was higher when access to the additional outdoor space was available [F (1, 13) =20.36, P=0.000]. A species by interaction effect indicated that chimpanzees specifically increased their DTD when provided additional space to roam [F (1, 13) =5.23, P=0.029]. Although the travel distances for captive apes are still less than those recorded for apes in the wild, these results indicate that mean daily travel rates of apes in captivity can be increased with access to more space.