Abstract # 7971 Poster # 68:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


VALIDATING WELFARETRAK® AS A TOOL TO IMPROVE THE WELFARE OF INDIVIDUAL CHIMPANZEES

K. Hall, J. Bryant, J. Whitham and L. Miller
Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513, USA
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     WelfareTrak® is a web application that gives animal care specialists the opportunity to complete weekly species-specific surveys to monitor positive and negative indicators of welfare for individual animals. WelfareTrak® generates reports and “flags” potential shifts in welfare status. The goal of the study was to validate a chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) survey designed by a panel of experts, using behavioral and physiological measures. For a three month Baseline Period, we collected 30-min focal observations three times per week and daily fecal samples from 41 subjects representing 16 institutions; followed by six months of continued data collection while using WelfareTrak®. During the Baseline Period, behavioral diversity was 0.30 (Shannon’s H, range 0.27-0.33, N=38), and was negatively correlated with fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM) concentrations, r(36)= -0.27, p<0.05, suggesting that behavioral diversity may be a useful indicator of welfare. Preliminary data from the WelfareTrak Period show that FGM concentrations were predicted by survey items “social behavior,” R2= 0.132, F(13, 42)= 4.016, p= 0.024, and “calm/relaxed,” R2= 0.150, F(13, 42)= 4.673, p= 0.014, suggesting construct validity of some survey items. The percent of time spent behaving abnormally was predicted by “performs self-directed behavior (SDB),” R2= 0.197, F(13, 42)= 5.767, p= 0.006. We aim to demonstrate that individual welfare can be improved by monitoring with WelfareTrak®.