Abstract # 120:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 10:15 AM-10:30 AM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


L. Reamer1, C. F. Talbot1,2, L. M. Hopper1,2,3, M. C. Mareno1, K. Hall 1,2, S. F. Brosnan1,2, S. P. Lambeth1 and S. J. Schapiro1
1Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 650 Cool Water Dr., Bastrop, TX 78602, USA, 2Department of Psychology & Language Research Center, Georgia State University, 3Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Lincoln Park Zoo
     A literature review and summary of expert recommendations conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concluded that captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) should have a minimum of 250 ft2 per animal. However, few quantitative data exist to assess the effects of quantity of space and animal density on the behavior of captive chimpanzees. The current study assessed the behavior of chimpanzees living in areas that were either smaller or larger than the new recommended living area. We collected 601 hours of group scan data from 167 subjects living in either: corrals that exceeded the new living area recommendations (416-654 ft2/individual; N=109); or primadomes™ with less available space than the recommendations (172-244 ft2/individual; N=58). Activities recorded included feeding, inactivity, locomotion, agonism, grooming, social play, self-grooming, self-directed play, and abnormal behavior. There were no significant behavioral differences between the animals living in the corrals or in primadomes™, except for social play, t(165)=3.088, p=0.002. Chimpanzees played approximately 0.7% and 0.2% of the time in corrals and primadomes™, respectively. Overall, our data suggest that the behavioral differences between living in a primadome™ (<250 ft2/chimpanzee) or a corral (>250 ft2/chimpanzee) are negligible. Both primadomes™ and corrals are highly enriched spaces, emphasizing that quality of the space available to captive chimpanzees may be more important than quantity of space available.