Abstract # 5902 Event # 109:

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


J. Crast, T. J. Jones and M. A. Bloomsmith
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
     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.