Abstract # 5902 Event # 109:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: Session 17 (Mary Gay) Oral Presentation


EFFECTS OF ENHANCED ENRICHMENT IN RUN-HOUSED SOOTY MANGABEYS

J. Crast, T. J. Jones and M. A. Bloomsmith
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
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     Experimentally assessing enrichment is necessary for effectively enhancing the psychological wellbeing of nonhuman primates. We studied the effects of enhanced enrichment on the activity and behavior of run-housed sooty mangabeys (Cercocebus atys), including the addition of substrate/bedding (hay) and extra perching, manipulanda, foraging devices, and food items. We observed 54 mangabeys using focal sampling and an ABA design (A=baseline; B=enhanced enrichment). Each subject was observed for a total of two hours across two-week phases. We analyzed the duration and frequency of locomotion, eating, object manipulation, rifling the substrate, self-grooming, affiliative, agonistic, tension, and abnormal behaviors across ABA phases using repeated-measures MANOVA with follow-up pairwise t-tests at alpha=0.002. Eating and object manipulation increased significantly during Phase B, both associated with use of the extra enrichment. Self-grooming, affiliative, and agonistic behaviors declined in Phase B (the latter marginally so), while locomotion, tension, and abnormal behaviors were unchanged. Consistent rates of locomotion across phases may be due to the available space in run-housing; tension and abnormal behaviors may have occurred at rates too low to detect a difference across phases. Overall, the magnitudes of significant behavioral changes were small but consistent and in species-appropriate directions; e.g., the time devoted to feeding doubled, from six minutes to 12 minutes per hour. Thus, the enhanced enrichment had a positive effect on run-housed mangabeys by increasing enrichment-related activity and decreasing aggression.