Abstract # 6121 Event # 251:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 20, 2015 01:30 PM-01:45 PM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


VOCALIZATIONS AS INDICATORS OF CHIMPANZEE WELFARE

A. Fultz, A. Yanagi and C. Tolliday
Chimp Haven, Inc., 13600 Chimpanzee Place, Keithville, LA 71047, USA
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     Chimpanzees respond to different situations with a variety of vocalizations. Vocalizations vary with state of mind, social context and environment. Five male chimpanzees, age 38 to 42 (mean=40) moved from a 343.74 m2 foot outdoor playground area near other chimpanzees to a more isolated 12,000 m2 forested habitat. All occurrences of vocalizations were recorded during instantaneous scan samples conducted for another study. Frequency, type of vocalization, and context were recorded. A total of 113 vocalizations were recorded (94 playground, 19 habitat). Vocalizations recorded included screams, food calls, hoo calls, laughing, waow alarm barks, pant hoots, and pant grunts. No vocalizations of cry, whimper, pant, or cough threat were heard in either condition. The average frequency of hoo calls per individual, which are associated with distress, was higher in the playground (Mdn = 0.90) than in the habitat (Mdn = 0.10), N = 5 pairs, T = 0, P = 0.042, r =-0.64, while pant hoots, which are associated with social excitement, tended to be higher in the playground (Mdn = 0.30) than in the habitat (Mdn = 0.00), N = 4 pairs, T = 0, P = 0.068, r = -0.58. Vocalizations recorded in the playground often followed the fighting or vocalizing of nearby chimpanzee groups (68.63%). This preliminary study suggests that vocalizations could be explored as another possible indicator of chimpanzee welfare.