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Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2673-5636
Published by MDPI Homepage  [246 journals]
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 499-512: An Improvement in Enclosure Design Can
           Positively Impact Welfare, Reduce Aggressiveness and Stabilise Hierarchy
           in Captive Galapagos Giant Tortoises

    • Authors: Léa Fieschi-Méric, Charlotte Ellis, Francesca Servini, Benjamin Tapley, Christopher J. Michaels
      First page: 499
      Abstract: The interest in the welfare of zoo animals, from both the public and the scientific community, has long been biased towards mammals. However, growing evidence of the complex behavioural repertoires of less charismatic animals, such as reptiles, reveals the necessity to better comply with their welfare needs in captivity. Here, we present the effects of an enclosure change towards a more natural habitat in captive Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.) held at ZSL London Zoo. Using behavioural observations, we found that the tortoises habituated to their new enclosure in six days. This represents the first quantification of habituation latency to a new enclosure in a reptile model to our knowledge—which is important information to adapt policies governing animal moves. The tortoises expressed time budgets more similar to those of wild individuals after their transition to the new enclosure. Interestingly, the hierarchy between the individuals was inverted and more stable after this change in environment. The tortoises interacted less often, which led to a decrease in the frequency of agonistic encounters. We also found that higher ambient sound volume was associated with increased likelihood of interactions turning into fights. Taken together, our results demonstrate the potential of appropriate enclosure design to improve reptile welfare.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040037
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 513-531: A Model for Accurate Determination of
           Environmental Parameters in Indoor Zoological and Botanical Gardens
           Supporting Efficient Species Management

    • Authors: León Latif Corral-Pesquera, Jonathan García-Manchón, Pablo Morón-Elorza
      First page: 513
      Abstract: The detailed evaluation of environmental parameters can be a great tool for the optimal selection and location of vegetable species, not only in vegetable production facilities and greenhouses but also in zoological and botanical gardens, which frequently maintain delicate and exotic plant species with strict environmental requirements in immersive exhibits where conditions can vary remarkably. This study, developed at an indoor zoological garden (Biodomo—Parque de las Ciencias de Granada, Spain), evaluates a sampling protocol for the determination of seven environmental parameters: daily light integral (DLI) was determined at nine different locations of the facility using a portable Light Quantum SQ-500 sensor; air temperature, atmospheric pressure, and air relative humidity were measured using a fixed ATMOS14 sensor; and soil temperature, soil water content, and soil conductivity were determined using a fixed TEROS12 sensor. Values recorded for DLI showed statistically significant variations across the nine different sampling locations, as well as between the different months in all sampling spots. Significant variations were also detected across the 12 months of study for the rest of environmental parameters evaluated, and correlations were found between the studied parameters, with the correlation between soil and air temperature the strongest (rs = 0.758) and soil temperature significantly superior to air temperature. The methodology described in this study can be easily reproduced in similar indoor zoological and botanical facilities, increasing the knowledge of the environmental conditions, and allowing corrections that could improve species selection, location, and management.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-10-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040038
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 532-544: Over 25 Years of Partnering to Conserve
           Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Rana chiricahuensis) in Arizona, Combining Ex
           Situ and In Situ Strategies

    • Authors: Tara R. Harris, Whitney L. Heuring, Ruth A. Allard, Audrey K. Owens, Shaula Hedwall, Cat Crawford, Christina Akins
      First page: 532
      Abstract: The Phoenix Zoo has partnered with US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, US Forest Service, and other organizations for more than 25 years to help recover Chiricahua leopard frogs (Rana [=Lithobates] chiricahuensis) in Arizona, USA. This federally threatened species faces declines due to habitat loss and degradation, long-term drought, disease, and invasive species. Over 26,000 larvae, froglets, and adults, as well as 26 egg masses produced by adults held at the Phoenix Zoo have been released to the wild, augmenting and/or re-establishing wild populations. Chiricahua leopard frog-occupied sites in Arizona have increased from 38 in 2007, when the species’ recovery plan was published, to a high of 155 in the last five years, as a result of ex situ and in situ conservation efforts. As one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the United States, communication among partners has been key to sustaining it. Recovery strategies and complex decisions are made as a team and we have worked through numerous management challenges together. Though Chiricahua leopard frogs still face significant threats and a long road to recovery, this program serves as a strong example of the positive effects of conservation partnerships for native wildlife.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-10-28
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040039
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 545-554: Fatty Acid Profiles in Managed Care Green and
           Kemp’s Ridley Turtles over Time

    • Authors: Hayley S. Jones, Larry J. Minter, Craig Harms, Doug Bibus, Liz Koutsos, Kimberly Ange-van Heugten
      First page: 545
      Abstract: To understand fatty acid status and the potential impact of sample storage, dried blood spot (DBS) samples were collected from fourteen green turtles and ten Kemp’s ridleys undergoing rehabilitation. Half the DBS samples from each animal species were collected in 2021 and sent for immediate analysis while the other half were collected in 2017 from different animals and stored at −80 °C for 4 years before analysis. The blood fatty acid profiles in both species during rehabilitation differed visually from prior wild turtle data. Essential fatty acids linoleic (18:2w6) and linolenic acid (18:3w3) were higher in green turtles than in Kemp’s ridleys but both were approximately half of the percentage previously found in wild turtles. No difference in arachidonic acid between species in rehabilitation were found but percentages were approximately 10% of wild representatives. Sea turtle diets in rehabilitation management may need to be evaluated to ensure species-specific fatty acid balance. Twenty-eight of the 36 individual fatty acids tested were found and all seven fatty acid groupings were detected. When analyzed by storage time, 11 individual fatty acids and four fatty acid groups differed (p = 0.05). When compared by species, 14 individual fatty acids and three groups differed. Current data suggest DBS samples may be best utilized when analyzed immediately.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-10-31
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040040
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 555-572: Behavioural Impact of Captive Management
           Changes in Three Species of Testudinidae

    • Authors: Jessica T. Turner, Alexandra L. Whittaker, David McLelland
      First page: 555
      Abstract: Reptile behaviour and welfare are understudied in comparison with mammals. In this study, behavioural data on three species (Astrochelys radiata, Stigmochelys pardalis, Aldabrachelys gigantea) of tortoises were recorded before and after an environmental change which was anticipated to be positive in nature. The environmental changes differed for each population, but included a substantial increase in enclosure size, the addition of substrate material, and a change in handling procedure. A tortoise-specific ethogram was created to standardise data collection. Focal behaviour sampling was used to collect behavioural data. Changes in the duration of performance of co-occupant interaction and object interaction in the leopard (Stigmochelys pardalis) and Aldabra (Aldabrachelys gigantea) tortoises were observed following the environmental changes. The Shannon–Weiner diversity index did not yield a significant increase after the changes but had a numerical increase which was relatively greater for the leopard tortoise group, which had experienced the greatest environmental change. The leopard tortoises also demonstrated changes in a greater number of behaviours compared to the other species, and this was sustained over the study period. However, this included a behaviour indicative of negative affect: aggression. Whilst we are unable to conclude that welfare was improved by the management changes, there are suggestions that behavioural diversity increased, and some promotion of positive social behaviours occurred.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-07
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040041
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 573-580: Ex Situ Breeding Program with Wild-Caught
           Founders Provides the Source for Collaborative Effort to Augment
           Threatened New England Cottontail Populations

    • Authors: Jessie Brown, Lauren Puccia
      First page: 573
      Abstract: As part of a science-based conservation strategy for the New England cottontail (NEC), Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZ), located in Providence, Rhode Island, participates in a NEC ex situ breeding program in partnership with the NEC Population Working Group. RWPZ’s role is to not only breed vulnerable cottontail rabbits for eventual release to bolster wild populations, but also to help foster research on a species that is hard to observe naturally. RWPZ was the first to breed this species in a zoological facility, playing a significant role in the survival of New England’s only native rabbit.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040042
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 581-585: Head-Starting and Conservation of Endangered
           Timber Rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus horridus) at Roger Williams Park

    • Authors: Gabriel Montague
      First page: 581
      Abstract: The timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus horridus) is extinct in Rhode Island and Maine with populations in the remaining New England states afforded endangered species status. Lou Perrotti, Director of Conservation and Research at Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZ), has long been a champion of these unloved animals in peril and spearheaded a program at the zoo in fall 2010 to work on the recovery of this endangered snake species. Partnering with multiple state agencies was required to begin saving this maligned native species, which had seen massive population reductions. The program began with accepting adults of varying size and sex suffering from skin lesions believed to be Snake Fungal Disease from multiple New England states. Depending on the severity of the infection, the animals were treated and then released. As the program evolved, it became a goal to not only treat affected adults and determine the overall health of declining New England populations but to begin a head-start program with one of the state conservation partners. Head-starting refers to when neonates are either born in a zoological facility or captured in the wild and raised under managed care until a desired size is reached. They are then released back to the wild, giving them a better chance for survival. The area where the snakes are kept at the zoo allows for temperature manipulation to simulate a natural temperature change and allow for the brumation of individuals. Once the appropriate size is reached, a radio transmitter is surgically implanted to allow radio telemetry tracking after release. The head-starting strategy has been a success, with individuals being found years later, suggesting they are surviving in the wild. Due to the sensitive nature of this program, some data and names of partners have been purposely omitted.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-14
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040043
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 586-615: Behavioural Changes in Zoo Animals during the
           COVID-19 Pandemic: A Long-Term, Multi Species Comparison

    • Authors: Naomi Frost, Anne Carter, Martin Vernon, Sarah Armstrong, Naomi Davies Walsh, Michael Colwill, Lorna Turner-Jepson, Samantha J. Ward, Ellen Williams
      First page: 586
      Abstract: Visitors are a prominent feature of the zoo environment and lives of zoo animals. The COVID-19 pandemic led to repeated and extended closure periods for zoos worldwide. This unique period in zoological history enabled the opportunity to investigate the consistency of behavioural responses of zoo animals to closures and subsequent reopenings. Bennett’s wallabies (Notamacropus rufogriseus), meerkats (Suricata suricatta), macaws (red and green: Ara chloropterus; blue and yellow: Ara ararauna; military: Ara militaris) and rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus) held at four zoological collections in the United Kingdom were studied during COVID-19 closures and subsequent reopening periods. Facilities were closed for three time periods during 2020 and 2021: March–June/July 2020; November–December 2020; January–April/May 2021. Behavioural data were captured during closures (maximum n = 3) and reopening periods (maximum n = 3) during five-min scans using instantaneous scan sampling with a one-minute inter-scan interval. General linear models (GLMs) and general linear mixed models (GLMMs) were used to investigate the relationship between observed behaviours and open/closed periods. Changes were observed in behaviour between open and closure periods in all species, and in some instances changes were also observed over time, with animals responding differently to different closure and reopening periods. However, no overt positive or negative impacts of the closures or reopening periods were identified for these species. The study species may have different relationships with zoo visitors, but no clear differences were seen across the species studied. The unique opportunity to study animals over a long period of time during repeated closure periods enabled a greater understanding of the impact of zoo visitors on animals. As with other work in this sphere, these data support the adaptability of zoo animals to zoo visitors. This work contributes to the growing field of research undertaken during the COVID-19 periods and enhances our understanding of the impact that these zoological closures had on a wider body of species in a number of facilities.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040044
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 616-623: Euthanasia Complications in Non-Domestic

    • Authors: Caitlin Hepps Keeney, Tara M. Harrison
      First page: 616
      Abstract: There are very few studies describing euthanasia complications in non-domestic species. The goal of this study was to survey veterinarians to determine what complications may commonly occur during the euthanasia of non-domestic species. An online survey was sent to seven professional organization listservs containing veterinarians most likely to practice on non-domestic species. Forty-one cases of euthanasia complications were reported. The most common taxa reported were mammals, (23/41, 56%), followed by avian (8/41, 20%), reptile (7/41, 17%), and fish (3/41, 7%). Most animals were reported to have been anesthetized prior to euthanasia (28/41, 68%). The most common method of euthanasia was pentobarbital (27/41, 66%). The reported euthanasia complications included “took an excessive amount of euthanasia solution” (12/41, 29%), “heart would not stop” (9/41, 22%), “animal awoke at a later time” (4/41, 10%), “a secondary method of euthanasia was required” (4/41, 10%), and “other” (12/41, 29%). This study reports complications that can occur during the euthanasia of non-domestic species. The concept of dysthanasia, a euthanasia with an undesirable outcome, has not been previously discussed in the context of zoo, wildlife, aquarium, and exotic pet practice. Strategies to reduce dysthanasia from both animal and human perspectives are explored, including alternative euthanasia techniques, principal-based euthanasia, and mental health implications.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040045
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 624-640: What’s Black and White and Pink All
           Over' Lesser Flamingo Nocturnal Behaviour Captured by Remote Cameras

    • Authors: Paul E. Rose, Jess Chapman, James E. Brereton, Lisa M. Riley
      First page: 624
      Abstract: The study of animal behaviour is important for the development of husbandry and management practices for zoo-housed species. Yet, data are typically only collected during daylight hours, aligning with human work schedules rather than animal activity patterns. To remedy this, 24 h data collection is needed. This study investigated the behaviour of a captive flock of lesser flamingos to understand temporal changes in their time-activity patterns. Two remote camera traps were placed around the birds’ outdoor enclosure and one within the indoor house. Counts of birds visible within specific enclosure zones were recorded from photographic data. Behaviour was defined as active or inactive, and modified Spread of Participation Index (SPI) was used to calculate enclosure zone occupancy. Results indicated that lesser flamingos are active overnight, and to a similar amount as in the daytime. Proportions of birds observed as active were significantly higher at later times of the day (i.e., dusk) when compared to the number of active birds in the morning. Enclosure usage was diverse and indoor and outdoor zones could be used by different numbers of birds at different times of the day. Variation in enclosure usage may indicate the changing needs of the flamingos when housed indoors overnight and when they have night-time access to an outdoor enclosure. This research has identified the need for further research into the nocturnal behaviour and space use of lesser flamingos and suggests the need for 24 h research in captive birds, and other zoo-held species, especially when species are locked indoors or face behavioural restriction overnight due to biosecurity measures surrounding zoonoses outbreaks, e.g., Avian Influenza.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040046
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 641-652: Southern Sea Otter Rehabilitation: Lessons
           and Impacts from the Monterey Bay Aquarium

    • Authors: Leilani Konrad, Jessica A. Fujii, Sandrine Hazan, Andrew B. Johnson, Karl A. Mayer, Michael J. Murray, Teri E. Nicholson, Michelle M. Staedler, Colleen Young
      First page: 641
      Abstract: As biodiversity continues to decline across the globe, conservation of wildlife species and the ecosystems they inhabit is more important than ever. When species dwindle, ecosystems that depend on them are also impacted, often leading to a decrease in the life-giving services healthy ecosystems provide to humans, wildlife, and the global environment. Methods of wildlife conservation are complex and multi-faceted, ranging from education and advocacy to, research, restoration, and rehabilitation. Here, we review a conservation program focused on helping recover the federally listed threatened southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population. We describe the development of unique rehabilitation methods and steps taken to advance the program’s conservation impact. Understanding this evolution can inform conservation efforts for other vulnerable species and their ecosystems.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040047
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 653-664: Comparison of Hematocrit and Biochemical
           Analytes among Two Point-of-Care Analyzers (EPOC and i-STAT Alinity v) and
           a Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in the African Savanna Elephant
           (Loxodonta africana) and the Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium
           simum simum)

    • Authors: Hayley S. Stratton, Kimberly D. Ange-van Heugten, Larry J. Minter
      First page: 653
      Abstract: This study compared hematocrit measured with the EPOC and i-STAT Alinity v point-of-care analyzers and manual measurement of packed cell volume in managed African savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana) and southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum simum). Biochemical analytes were also measured with the EPOC, i-STAT Alinity v, and a veterinary diagnostic laboratory in the same animals. Analytes assessed included blood urea nitrogen, chloride, creatinine, glucose, ionized calcium, potassium, and sodium. There were no differences for hematocrit values for African savanna elephants or southern white rhinoceros (p ≤ 0.05). In African savanna elephants, there were no differences between the EPOC and i-STAT Alinity v analyzers for any measured analytes except ionized calcium. When compared to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory, there were differences for a majority of the biochemical analytes measured on the EPOC and i-STAT Alinity v analyzers in African savanna elephants. In southern white rhinoceros, there were differences for a majority of analytes among all three analyzers. While differences existed among the portable analyzers and a veterinary diagnostic laboratory for biochemical analytes in both species, these numerically small differences are unlikely to be clinically significant. For routine health care of African savanna elephants and southern white rhinoceros, these point-of-care analyzers may be a useful alternative to commercial analyzers for the parameters evaluated.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-24
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040048
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 665-676: Pakistan Zoo Visitors’ Perceptions
           toward Zoos and Large Native Carnivores

    • Authors: Abid Ali, Sehrish Mehmood, Ishtiaq Ullah, Eduardo J. Fernandez, Muhammad Numan Khan, Mujeeb Ullah, Kiran Saleem, Muhammad Osama, Fahad Shahzad, Sarah L. Spooner
      First page: 665
      Abstract: A primary goal of zoos is to educate their visitors about global conservation efforts. Studying visitors’ perceptions and attitudes towards captive and wild endangered species helps target conservation messaging. This is especially important in countries, such as Pakistan, where hunting and human–wildlife conflict pose the greatest threats to species. While there have been some studies about Pakistan’s rural communities’ perceptions, few studies have examined the perceptions of Pakistan’s zoo visitors. We present data from exit surveys (n = 304) collected at three of the largest zoos in Pakistan (Lahore: an established zoo, Peshawar: a newly built zoo, and Jungle Kingdom: a theme park and zoo). Zoo location was a significant predictor for a range of attitudes, suggesting that the way a zoo presents itself strongly impacts visitor perceptions. Perceptions of learning were influenced by high biodiversity appreciation but a low confidence in knowledge about animals. Support for keeping animals in captivity was most likely when animal welfare was perceived as good and amongst respondents who valued biodiversity. Zoo-goers, regardless of location, demonstrated high levels of interest in animals and environmental concerns. However, the primary visit motivator was spending time with family and friends.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-11-28
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040049
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 677-687: Immunoglobulin A and Physiologic Correlates
           of Well-Being in Asian Elephants

    • Authors: Anneke Moresco, Natalia Prado, Maura Davis, Amy L. Schreier, Taylor S. Readyhough, Sharon Joseph, Charlie Gray, Janine L. Brown
      First page: 677
      Abstract: Zoological institutions aim to continually improve the lives of the animals under their stewardship. To this end, bull elephants are now increasingly maintained in all-male groups to mimic social conditions observed in the wild. While cortisol is the most frequently used “stress” biomarker, secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) as a measure of health and positive affect, and the social hormone, oxytocin, are increasingly viewed as additional markers of welfare. The introduction of a pair of bull elephants to an existing group of three bull elephants at Denver Zoo presented an opportunity to assess sIgA, oxytocin and cortisol in response to the socialization process. In this study, sIgA varied greatly between individuals and did not correlate with cortisol but did correlate with salivary oxytocin. sIgA and oxytocin concentrations differed the most between social and solo situations during the introduction period compared to before bulls were introduced, and after a stable group had been formed. In contrast to findings in some species, sIgA and oxytocin were higher when housed alone than socially. Nonetheless, these results suggest that sIgA and oxytocin may be involved in social engagement and establishment of new social dynamics, and thus provide more insight into overall welfare states.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-12-01
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3040050
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 4 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 300-315: Analysis of Circulating Fatty Acid Profiles
           in Free-Ranging and Managed Care Marine Toads (Rhinella marina) with a
           Comparison of Whole-Blood Vial and Whole-Blood Dried Blood Spot Card

    • Authors: Melissa L. Witt, Larry J. Minter, Troy N. Tollefson, Frank Ridgley, Kimberly Treiber, Dustin Smith, Doug Bibus, Heather Scott, Kimberly Ange-van Heugten
      First page: 300
      Abstract: This study provides novel data on circulating concentrations of whole-blood fatty acids (FAs) in marine toads (Rhinella marina) via dried blood spot (DBS) card technology as a potential amphibian model species. Free-ranging (n = 10) animals were compared to managed populations fed two diet strategies for 60 days (n = 6 per diet). Thirty-six individual FAs were analyzed, with 28 found in significant reportable quantities. Eight FA groupings were represented. Traditional whole-blood vial (WBV) FA percentages were also collected and compared to DBS after managed care for 60 days. Results showed eleven individual FAs and four FA groups were higher in free-ranging toads (n = 10; p ≤ 0.05), while three FAs and three groups were higher in managed care (n = 12; p ≤ 0.05). FA concentrations compared between DBS cards and WBV at day 60 generally agreed, although two individual FAs and one grouping were higher in DBS (p ≤ 0.05). When free-ranging FAs were analyzed by sex, four individual FAs and two groupings were higher in females, while four individual FAs and one grouping were higher in males. Understanding normal FA circulating levels and how husbandry changes them may impact amphibian health. Additionally, DBS cards may provide a convenient sampling tool for fieldwork.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-06-27
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030024
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 316-327: Is Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Wounding
           Frequency Affected by the Presence Versus Absence of Visitors' A
           Multi-Institutional Study

    • Authors: Robin Elana Salak, Christina Cloutier Barbour
      First page: 316
      Abstract: Visitor effect studies have had inconsistent results, due in part to the inability to control for all confounding variables such as time of day, seasonal weather patterns, and so forth. This study represents the first instance where chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) wounding frequencies were investigated across extensive time periods in the presence and complete absence of visitors, thus eliminating many visitor-related variables. Additional variables were eliminated through the zoo selection process, based on institutional responses to a 29-question survey, providing a novel approach to the question of visitor effects. The aim of this study was to determine if visitors were associated with a change in chimpanzee wound event frequencies across four 51-day time conditions, three of which occurred prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and one during the first wave of pandemic-related zoo closures. We analyzed the archival records of 21 chimpanzees housed at three U.S. zoos. Due to the small number of wound events across all study windows, frequencies of “no wound” events were analyzed. A chi-square goodness of fit test was performed to determine whether the frequency of “no wound” events was equal between the “open” and “closed” trials. Results indicate that the frequencies did not differ, suggesting that chimpanzee welfare, as it relates to wounding, may not be adversely affected by zoo visitors.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-07-01
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030025
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 328-348: Comparing Space Use and Fecal Glucocorticoid
           Concentrations during and after the COVID-19 Closure to Investigate
           Visitor Effects in Multiple Species

    • Authors: Ashley N. Edes, Nathan C. Liu, Eli Baskir, Karen L. Bauman, Corinne P. Kozlowski, Helen L. Clawitter, David M. Powell
      First page: 328
      Abstract: We used the COVID-19 pandemic closure at the Saint Louis Zoo to examine visitor effects on space use and glucocorticoid levels in banteng, grizzly bears, polar bears, and western lowland gorillas. The study was divided into four six-week phases: closure in spring 2020, reopening in summer 2020, fall 2020, and spring 2021 as a seasonal comparison. Space use data were collected using video, and fecal samples were assayed for glucocorticoids. Generalized linear models were used to examine differences in zone occupancy and glucocorticoids between phases. The banteng spent more time near visitors, and glucocorticoids were only temporarily elevated in two of five animals when visitors returned. The grizzly bears spent more time in their habitat than in the den, and the polar bear spent more time near viewing areas after visitors returned. Glucocorticoids did not differ significantly between the closure and reopening for any bears. The gorillas spent less time close to visitors immediately after reopening but this effect waned by fall; glucocorticoid data were not available. Overall, based on space use and glucocorticoid levels, we suggest visitor effects on the gorillas are neutral, on the grizzly bears are neutral or positive, and are positive on the banteng and polar bear.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-07-05
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030026
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 349-356: Does the Absence of Zoo Visitors during the
           COVID-19 Pandemic Impact Gorilla Behavior'

    • Authors: Mary Masman, Clarice Scarpace, Angelina Liriano, Susan W. Margulis
      First page: 349
      Abstract: Whether or not primates are behaviorally affected by the presence of visitors in a zoo setting is a question of great relevance to zoo animal well-being. The situation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic provided an unusual opportunity to examine how the absence of visitors impacts behavior. We took advantage of this opportunity to study the behavior of a gorilla troop during periods of no-visitors compared to our long-term database on gorilla behavior during normal zoo operations. While there were notable individual differences in response to visitors, we found no significant relationship between presence of visitors and behavior. These results suggest that the presence of visitors does not have a significant impact on behavior and well-being of zoo-housed gorillas.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-07-07
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030027
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 357-365: Comparison of Whole Blood Fatty Acid Profiles
           between Lionfish (Pterois spp.) in Wild and Managed Care Environments

    • Authors: Nicholas G. Dannemiller, Emily F. Christiansen, Craig A. Harms, Larry J. Minter, Kimberly D. Ange-van Heugten
      First page: 357
      Abstract: Suboptimal nutrition may contribute to lionfish (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) health issues in managed care environments. This study’s objective was to establish and compare whole blood fatty acid profiles in wild and aquarium lionfish. Whole blood samples were dried onto specialized high-quality paper cards from wild, invasive lionfish harvested off the North Carolina coast (n = 16) and lionfish managed by the North Carolina Aquariums (n = 12). Blood fatty acid profiles were analyzed from dried blood spots. Aquarium lionfish had significantly (p < 0.05) higher linoleic (18:2ω6) and eicosapentaenoic (20:5ω3) acid levels than wild lionfish. Similarly, aquarium lionfish had significantly (p < 0.05) lower saturated fatty acids and arachidonic (20:4ω6) to eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5ω3) ratios than wild lionfish. Total omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as the ratio of these two fatty acid groups, were similar between wild and aquarium lionfish. Gut content analysis of wild lionfish diets included reef-dependent and schooling fish while aquarium lionfish diets were pelagic fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and commercial gel diets with nutrient supplements. This study reports whole blood fatty acid profiles in lionfish, providing comparative macronutrient data that may be useful for improving their nutrition and welfare in aquariums.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-07-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030028
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 366-397: Confronting Back-of-House Traditions:
           Primates as a Case Study

    • Authors: Sabrina Brando, Jon Coe
      First page: 366
      Abstract: This review commentary focuses on traditional management practices and facility design with suggested improvements in non-public primate management areas, often called “back-of-house”, (henceforth BOH) in zoos, sanctuaries, and research facilities. Progress has been made toward improving animal quality of life in larger, more naturalistic, and enriched indoor and outdoor display areas. However, the quality of life in BOH areas has improved little in comparison. Basic management, regulatory, structural, and spatial BOH environments are lagging, especially in the developing world, and animals may be confined in less enriching spaces for substantial periods of the 24 h day. We reviewed traditional management policy and practice, as well as newer training, enrichment, and welfare policies and actions, and suggested alternatives for structural environments and spatial environments. The suggestions included using more animal-friendly construction materials and animal–computer interaction, providing greater control of the ambient environment and choice of access to multiple areas by the animals themselves, and designing for optimal animal wellbeing at all times, including when caregivers are no longer present. Case studies focused on primates were included. We concluded by suggesting a new, integrated design model based not upon rote standards and old models but building on empirical foundations while embracing empathy and innovation.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-07-26
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030029
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 398-408: Zoo Closure Does Not Affect Behavior and
           Activity Patterns of Palawan Binturong (Arctictis binturong whitei)

    • Authors: Katherine Finch, Megan Leary, Lisa Holmes, Leah J. Williams
      First page: 398
      Abstract: Exploring the interaction between humans and animals has become increasingly important in the evaluation of well-being for species housed in zoos and aquaria. The COVID-19 pandemic saw the global closure of zoos and aquaria to visitors. Chester Zoo, U.K., was no exception, with the charity shutting its doors for the longest period in its 90-year history. Whilst access to site was strictly limited to essential animal care staff, recent investment in networked infrared CCTV camera systems allowed some species to be monitored remotely during this extraordinary period of zoo closure. Here, we used this equipment to investigate whether zoo closure influenced activity patterns and behavior of two adult Palawan binturong, Arctictis binturong whitei. The cameras facilitated behavioral monitoring over 24 h enabling the collection of a full activity budget, which revealed a natural crepuscular activity pattern. Overall, visitor presence was found to have a neutral effect on this species, with no significant difference observed in time spent engaging in den use, vigilance or travel behaviors during zoo open and zoo closed conditions. A neutral visitor effect was found when evaluating behavior over a 24 h period and during hours which the zoo would normally be open to visitors (10:00–16:30). This research presents new information on this elusive and understudied species in captivity, and promotes investment in monitoring equipment which enables more comprehensive behavioral sampling than traditional visitor-effect methods.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-08-01
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030030
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 409-419: Members of the Pod: Do Marine Mammal Trainers
           Perceive a Bond with the Animals They Care For'

    • Authors: Thomas Welsh, Sabrina Brando, Geoff Hosey, Samantha J. Ward
      First page: 409
      Abstract: Animals under human care interact with their caretakers, potentially resulting in human–animal bonds (HABs), which can enhance wellbeing for both. Previous research has suggested that keepers perceive bonds with their animals, but investigation of a different zoo role working with one species has not yet been completed. Here, we investigate the animal trainers’ perception of HABs with captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A modified Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale (LAPS) was used to measure the strength of perceived HABs between trainers and both dolphins and companion animals in their care. LAPS questionnaires were completed by 128 trainers from 35 different collections worldwide. Most respondents perceived themselves to have a bond with a dolphin, although LAPS scores for attachment to dolphins (DA) were significantly lower than for companion animals (CA). Female LAPS scores were significantly higher than males for both DA and CA. Multiple regression demonstrated that the facility and trainer gender were significant predictors of CA. LAPS scores for trainers were comparable to those for zoo animals, which reflects a strong attachment to the dolphins they work with. However, this attachment was not as strong as for their companion animals, and was influenced by the collection they worked for.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-08-05
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030031
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 420-441: An Approach to Assessing Zoo Animal Welfare
           in a Rarely Studied Species, the Common Cusimanse Crossarchus obscurus

    • Authors: Danielle Free, William S. M. Justice, Sarah Jayne Smith, Vittoria Howard, Sarah Wolfensohn
      First page: 420
      Abstract: Objective welfare assessments play a fundamental role in ensuring that positive welfare is achieved and maintained for animals in captivity. The Animal Welfare Assessment Grid (AWAG), a welfare assessment tool, has been validated for use with a variety of both domestic and exotic species. It combines both resource- and animal-based measures but relies heavily on knowledge of the species to effectively assess welfare. Many zoo species are understudied in the wild due to their cryptic nature or habitat choice; therefore, the published literature needs to be supported with captive behavioural observations and zoo records. Here we adapted previously published AWAG templates to assess the welfare of Crossarchus obscurus. A total of 21 factors were identified, and the final template was used to retrospectively score the welfare of two male and two female C. obscurus at Marwell Zoo, UK, validating the use of this process for preparing a welfare assessment for a species where the published literature is scarce.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-08-24
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030032
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 442-447: Digit Entrapment Due to Plastic Waste in a
           Verreaux’s Eagle Owl (Bubo lacteus)

    • Authors: Lindsay Thomas, Phillipa Dobbs, Samantha Ashfield
      First page: 442
      Abstract: Plastic waste has become a hot topic in sustainability and conservation, helped in part by popular documentaries which have highlighted the issue to the general public. Much of the current literature focuses on the effect of microplastics in the marine environment, with very little information on macroplastic interactions or the terrestrial environment. In this report, the management of digit constriction due to macroplastic debris in a Verreaux’s eagle owl (Bubo lacteus) is presented, and the role of zoos in decreasing littering behaviour both within the collection and in the wider global context is discussed.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-09-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030033
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 448-462: Teamwork Makes the String Work: A Pilot Test
           of the Loose String Task with African Crested Porcupines (Hystrix

    • Authors: Jordyn Truax, Jennifer Vonk, Joy L. Vincent, Zebulon Kade Bell
      First page: 448
      Abstract: Comparative researchers have heavily focused their studies of social cognition on species that live in large social groups, while neglecting other potential predictors of social cognition. African crested porcupines (Hystrix cristata) are relatively rare among mammals in that they are cooperative breeders that pair for life. Little is known about their social cognition, but they are good candidates for exploring cooperative behavior due to the need to coordinate behavior to cooperatively raise young. Cooperation, as defined in this study, is the process by which two or more participants perform independent actions on an object to obtain a reward for all parties. Humans are thought to outperform all other species in the frequency and magnitude of cooperative behaviors. Yet, only by studying a variety of species can researchers fully understand the likely selection pressures for cooperation, such as cooperative breeding. Here, we pilot tested the feasibility of the popular loose-string task with a mated pair of African crested porcupines, a task that required the porcupines to cooperatively pull ropes to access an out of reach platform baited with food rewards. Other species presented with this task were able to work together to receive rewards but did not always demonstrate understanding of the role of their partner. The porcupines achieved success but did not appear to coordinate their actions or solicit behavior from their partner. Thus, similar to other species, they may achieve success in this task without taking their partner’s role into account. This study demonstrates that the loose string task can be used to assess cooperation in porcupines. However, further experiments are needed to assess the porcupine’s understanding of their partner’s role under this paradigm.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-09-16
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030034
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 463-487: Collaborative Conservation by Botanical
           Gardens: Unique Opportunities for Local to Global Impacts

    • Authors: Aireona B. Raschke, Kimberly V. Pegram, Natalie A. Melkonoff, Jeny Davis, Steven A. Blackwell
      First page: 463
      Abstract: Conservation organizations with common missions can find strength and synergy in collaboration. Collaboration can also be challenging, especially finding the right partnerships or organizations to lead. Within the “ecosystem” of conservation organizations, botanical gardens have a unique array of resources and expertise which make them ideal candidates for leadership or partnership in collaborative conservation efforts. We will explore this idea by examining four conservation initiatives at Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix, AZ, USA) that approach collaborative conservation on regional, state, and international scales. On a regional scale, Metro Phoenix EcoFlora and the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance lead landscape-level conservation by providing a structure for more than 60 official conservation partners, by generating data, and through public engagement needed in a rapidly developing region. On the state scale, Great Milkweed Grow Out is an initiative for pollinator conservation that provides expertise, materials, and opportunities for a wide range of partners across Arizona. Desert Botanical Garden’s endangered plant species conservation efforts provide expertise and resources through horticulture and seed preservation for threatened and endangered plants across the US and internationally. We will share the structure of each program where applicable, how they came to fruition, and their successes. Through each case study, we will highlight the ways positioning within a botanical garden has benefitted the program and success in collaboration. We will also highlight unique challenges. Botanical gardens provide unique opportunities, and they should not be overlooked when seeking a conservation partner or leader.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030035
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 488-498: Effects of Sex and Whole Life Cycle UVB
           Irradiation on Performance and Mineral and Vitamin D3 Contents in Feeder
           Crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus)

    • Authors: Christopher J. Michaels, Amanda Ferguson, Jade Newton-Youens, Robert Harland, Ross Hickles
      First page: 488
      Abstract: Captive insectivore nutrition is challenging due to the differing nutritional profiles of wild and captive diets and an incomplete understanding of both. Ultraviolet B (UVB)-irradiation has recently been explored as a means of improving prey-insect vitamin D3 and Ca content. Although short-term irradiation has been successful in some species, it has been unsuccessful in black field crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus)—a commonly cultured feeder insect. We exposed crickets to UVB irradiation from hatchling to adult stages and measured the vitamin D3 and mineral contents of crickets by sex. We did not detect vitamin D3 (detection limit 0.5 iU/g) or an effect of UVB irradiation on mineral content under either UV+ or UV− conditions. We identified large differences between sexes in Ca, K, Mg and P (females higher) and Cu, Fe, S and Zn (males higher), likely linked to reproductive investment. The differences do not straddle the minimum recommended concentrations of minerals for vertebrate growth and thus may be most relevant to animal nutrition in contexts of particular sensitivity or need. We demonstrate a UV-linked trade-off in cricket performance between individual cricket size and the numbers of crickets produced and characterise the energy costs associated with UVB provision. Our results do not support the use of UVB lighting for G. bimaculatus to improve nutrition but demonstrate previously unreported differences in the nutritional profiles between sexes in this species.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-09-19
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3030036
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 3 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 147-157: Does Observer Presence Modify the Behavior
           and Enclosure Use of Captive Edwards’ Pheasants'

    • Authors: Rhiannon Amy Hoy, James Edward Brereton
      First page: 147
      Abstract: It is well known that captive animals alter their behavior and space use when observed by visitors, with the concept coined the ‘visitor effect’. The ‘observer effect’, described as any alteration in behavior and enclosure use as a result of a quiet, stationary observer, has been less studied. This study investigates the observer effect in two pairs of Edwards’ pheasants (Lophura edwardsi) and their offspring at Sparsholt College, United Kingdom. The impact of an observer (as opposed to camera) on behavior and enclosure use of pheasants was observed, using instantaneous focal sampling. Enclosure use was measured by converting both enclosures into unequal zones and then assessing the evenness of enclosure use through modified Spread of Participation Index. Poisson regression analysis was used to investigate observer impact, alongside the additional variables of keeper and visitor presence, temperature, and individual bird differences. Overall, the behaviors of resting and clustering were significantly increased during observer presence, whereas feeding and locomotion were significantly decreased. The behaviors of preening and standing were not affected by observer presence, though they were influenced by keeper and visitor presence. Enclosure use was also affected by observer presence, though the effect size was small. This suggests that pheasants may perceive the presence of humans near their enclosures as a potential threat, and may alter their behavior to reduce detection, similar to their wild counterparts. Animal researchers should consider the potential impact of observer presence on their subjects, particularly when observing species such as pheasants.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-04-07
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020012
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 158-169: Does Handling for Public Talks in Zoos Affect
           the Behaviour of Captive Mexican Red-Kneed Spiders Brachypelma

    • Authors: Charlotte Gresham, Fiona Mathews, Amanda Ferguson, Jamie Mitchell, Lisa Clifforde, Dave Clarke, Lewis J. Rowden
      First page: 158
      Abstract: Zoos include invertebrates in visitor interaction sessions to educate and spread conservation messages to the public. Yet, the welfare implications of these encounters on invertebrates are unstudied. Empirical studies reveal negative effects of handling on vertebrate species, thus providing reason to investigate impacts on invertebrates. Mexican red-kneed spiders Brachypelma hamorii are regularly handled by keepers for public talks at the Zoological Society of London, London Zoo. This study investigates whether handling affects the spiders’ 24-h activity and enclosure usage. Three spiders were filmed under infrared light for 24 h following being handled, and on control (no-handling) days. The proportion of time that spiders spent under cover or exhibiting locomotion, limb-interaction, and object-interaction behaviour was recorded using instantaneous scan sampling. The spiders spent, on average, significantly more time under cover (7.8% increase) and exhibited significantly more limb-interaction behaviour (1.4% increase) on handling days. Handling for public talks therefore affects the behaviour and enclosure use of these captive Brachypelma hamorii. Although it is not yet possible to infer welfare implications, the presence of these behavioral responses suggests that protocols to monitor the behaviour of invertebrates following handling should be developed, and further behavioral studies are warranted to validate potential stress indices.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-04-11
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020013
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 170-176: A Giraffe in the Botanic Garden of Pisa
           (Tuscany, Northern Italy)

    • Authors: Gianni Bedini, Simone Farina
      First page: 170
      Abstract: The Botanic Garden of Pisa was established in 1543 as a teaching tool and research facility. As with the vast majority of its sister institutions, it focuses on plant collections. However, for a short time in the first half of the XIX century, the Botanic Garden exhibited a living giraffe, a cow, and a calf. Due to the transient nature of the exhibition, it could have easily gone unnoticed but for the fortuitous representation of the animals in a drawing of the same period and for sparse notes archived in the libraries of Pisa University. Furthermore, a XIX-century publication on the morphological and behavioural traits of three antelopes indirectly suggests that those animals had been kept in the Botanic Garden for research purposes. This paper presents the evidence of the living animal display in the Botanic Garden of Pisa and the context in which it was collected.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-04-12
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020014
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 177-183: Impact of Broad-Spectrum Lighting on Recall
           Behaviour in a Pair of Captive Blue-Throated Macaws (Ara glaucogularis)

    • Authors: Zoe Bryant, Eva Konczol, Christopher J. Michaels
      First page: 177
      Abstract: Many birds, including macaws, are highly visual animals able to detect a wide band of light wavelengths ranging into ultraviolet A, but in captivity, full-spectrum lighting is not universally employed. Where purpose-made bird lighting is used, this is typically made with the provision of ultraviolet B radiation and vitamin D3 synthesis in mind. Limited research in this field suggests behavioural and physiological benefits of broad-spectrum lighting provision, but more work is needed to broaden the taxonomic scope and to investigate its impacts on understudied areas of husbandry, including behavioural management. We compared the duration of time a bonded pair of blue-throated macaws at ZSL London Zoo opted to remain in an inside den after being recalled from an outdoors flight aviary, with and without the presence of artificial lighting in the form of High Output T5 Fluorescent lamps, which are rich in UVA and UVB wavelengths as well as those visible to humans. We hypothesized that the birds would remain inside for longer when T5 lighting was on, as they would be more visually comfortable. Using randomization analyses, we show that, over 54 trials split between winter and spring, the mean duration spent inside after recall increased from 81.04 to 515.13 s with the presence of the lighting unit, which was highly statistically significant. Our results are likely to be explained by much higher visibility of indoor surroundings creating a more hospitable indoor environment for the birds and will have implications for captive macaw management.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-04-13
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020015
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 184-197: Baseline Behavioral Data and Behavioral

    • Authors: Jemma E. Dias, Charlotte Ellis, Tessa E. Smith, Charlotte A. Hosie, Benjamin Tapley, Christopher J. Michaels
      First page: 184
      Abstract: Animal behavior and welfare science can form the basis of zoo animal management. However, even basic behavioral data are lacking for the majority of amphibian species, and species-specific research is required to inform management. Our goal was to develop the first ethogram for the critically endangered frog Xenopus longipes through observation of a captive population of 24 frogs. The ethogram was applied to produce a diurnal activity budget and to measure the behavioral impact of a routine health check where frogs were restrained. In the activity budget, frogs spent the vast majority of time swimming, resting in small amounts of time devoted to feeding, foraging, breathing, and (in males) amplexus. Using linear mixed models, we found no effect of time of day or sex on baseline behavior, other than for breathing, which had a greater duration in females. Linear mixed models indicated significant effects of the health check on duration of swimming, resting, foraging, feeding, and breathing behaviors for all frogs. This indicates a welfare trade-off associated with veterinary monitoring and highlights the importance of non-invasive monitoring where possible, as well as providing candidates for behavioral monitoring of acute stress. This investigation has provided the first behavioral data for this species which can be applied to future research regarding husbandry and management practices.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-04-19
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020016
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 198-222: Bird Welfare in Zoos and Aquariums: General
           Insights across Industries

    • Authors: Jocelyn M. Woods, Adrienne Eyer, Lance J. Miller
      First page: 198
      Abstract: Animal welfare is a priority across accredited zoological institutions; however, historically, research has been prioritized for mammals. Bird-focused studies accounted for less than 10% of welfare research in zoos and aquariums over the last ten years. Due to the lack of scientific publications on bird welfare, zoo scientists and animal practitioners can look to other industries such as agriculture, laboratories, and companion animal research for insight. This qualitative review highlights findings across industries to inform animal care staff and scientists on the welfare needs of birds within zoos and aquariums. Specifically, the review includes an overview of research on different topics and a summary of key findings across nine resources that affect bird welfare. We also highlight areas where additional research is necessary. Future welfare research in zoos and aquariums should prioritize studies that consider a diversity of bird species across topics and work to identify animal-based measures with empirical evidence. Moving forward, research from other industries can help develop innovative research on bird welfare within zoos and aquariums.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-05-05
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020017
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 223-237: Behaviour of Zoo-Housed Red Pandas (Ailurus
           fulgens): A Case-Study Testing the Behavioural Variety Index

    • Authors: Caterina Spiezio, Mariangela Altamura, Janno Weerman, Barbara Regaiolli
      First page: 223
      Abstract: The red panda is listed as “endangered” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, due to the rapid population decline. Improving our knowledge on the red panda biology and ethology is necessary to enhance its husbandry and breeding in zoos. Behavioural variety, intended as the presence of a wide array of species-specific behaviour, has been considered a positive welfare index in zoo-housed animals. The aim of this study was to describe the behaviour of two pairs of zoo-housed red pandas, one of them with an offspring, and to investigate the behavioural variability using the Behavioural Variety Index (BVI). Behavioural data from two zoo-living male–female pairs were collected. A continuous focal animal sampling method was used to collect individual and social behaviours of the two pairs. Forty-eight 30 min sessions per subject were carried out. For the BVI, a list of species-specific behaviours previously reported in the red panda was prepared and compared with the behavioural repertoire of the subjects of the study. First, species-specific behaviours were recorded, and no abnormal behaviour was reported. The percentages of time spent on different activities (e.g., routine behaviours, exploratory/territorial behaviours, consumption behaviours, locomotive behaviours, social behaviours, maternal behaviours) were similar to time budgets reported in the red panda, with routine behaviours (resting, comfort and vigilance) being the most performed in both pairs. Moreover, the BVI suggested that each red panda performed on average 73% of the behaviours described in previous literature on this species. In conclusion, studying the behavioural variety of red pandas in zoos can be a useful tool for assessing their welfare as well as improving our knowledge on the behavioural repertoire of a species that is difficult to observe in the wild.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-05-13
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020018
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 238-245: Seasonal Pattern in Serum Estradiol,
           Progesterone, and Prolactin Concentrations in Rescued Wild Female
           Taiwanese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla pentadactyla)

    • Authors: Bharti Arora, Kurtis Jai-Chyi Pei, Andre Ganswindt
      First page: 238
      Abstract: Pangolins are under severe threat of surging poaching rates globally; therefore, there is a demand to ascertain reproductive measures to ensure captive breeding and management strategies. Due to the absence of substantial information on the pangolin, endocrinology and reproductive physiology studies around the globe are merely based on captive observations that have failed to report the chronographs and hormonal cyclicity of the reproductive events. This study attempts to evaluate the annual pattern of reproductive steroids (estradiol-17β and progesterone) and prolactin in 16 wild female Taiwanese pangolins rehabilitated by Pingtung Rescue Center of Endangered Wild Animals, Taiwan. Novel immunoassays, i.e., chemiluminometric assays, have been used to quantify the serum reproductive steroids and contribute to a better understanding of the endocrine correlates of function in the Taiwanese pangolin. The hematological findings were characterized by monthly median concentration. The circulating reproductive hormones demonstrated seasonal reproductive activity by confirming a peak in serum estradiol concentrations in December and considerably higher progesterone concentrations in November/December, and March/April. The rise in prolactin in December and peak values in April suggest participation in the ovulatory process and mating. Collectively, these findings can help maximize the reproductive efficiency of pangolin species in captivity, i.e., by timely pairing and prioritizing the care of the breeding pairs to optimize breeding efforts and, therefore, effectively support conservation breeding programs and restore the natural population in the ecosystems.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-05-28
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020019
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 246-255: Location, Location, Location! Evaluating
           Space Use of Captive Aquatic Species—A Case Study with Elasmobranchs

    • Authors: Alexis M. Hart, Zac Reynolds, Sandra M. Troxell-Smith
      First page: 246
      Abstract: The space use of captive animals has been reliably used as a tool to measure animal welfare in recent years. However, most analyses of space use focus primarily on terrestrial animals, with very little emphasis placed on the space use of aquatic animals. By comparing the space use of these animals to their natural histories and what would be expected of them physiologically, a general assessment of their overall welfare can be obtained. Using the Zoomonitor program, this study investigated the space use of five elasmobranch species housed in a captive aquatic environment: a blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus), a nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), a smooth dogfish (Musteluscanis), a bonnethead shark (Sphyrna tiburo), and a blacknose shark (Carcharhinus acronotus). The exhibit was delineated into five different zones: three represented the animal locations along the X/Y axis (‘Exhibit Use’), and two zones were related to the Z-axis (‘Depth Use’). The location of each individual on both the X/Y and Z axes was recorded during each observation. Heat maps generated from the Zoomonitor program were used in conjunction with the Spread of Participation Index (SPI) to interpret the data. It was found that while all the individuals used their given space differently, the Exhibit Use was relatively even overall (the SPI values ranged from 0.0378 to 0.367), while the Depth Use was more uneven (the SPI ranged from 0.679 to 0.922). These results mostly reflected what would be expected based on the species’ natural histories. However, for the smooth dogfish, the observed Exhibit Use and activity patterns revealed a mismatch between the anticipated and the actual results, leading to further interventions. As demonstrated here, space use results can be utilized to make positive changes to husbandry routines and enclosure designs for aquatic individuals; they are thus an important additional welfare measure to consider for aquatic species.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-06-07
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020020
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 256-270: Behavioral Changes of Brown Bears (Ursus
           arctos) during COVID-19 Zoo Closures and Further Reopening to the Public

    • Authors: Aleksei A. Podturkin
      First page: 256
      Abstract: Visitor effect studies have been of keen interest for decades, but there have been only anecdotal opportunities to investigate the impact of the prolonged absence of visitors on animal welfare in zoos. In some zoos, bears are actively involved in animal–visitors interaction through begging, which gives them some degree of control over gaining food rewards throughout the day when visitors are present. Prolonged visitor absence may, therefore, represent a loss of control and have a negative impact on the bears’ welfare. In this study, we investigate the behavior of four brown bears (Ursus arctos) in three zoos to see how the animals’ behavior changed depending on the presence and absence of the public during zoo closures in 2020 related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bears’ behavior was assessed using activity budget analysis and novel object tests. The results showed that the bears behavior varied between facilities and that there was no effect of visitor presence for the individuals who had access to indoor holding space. The results of the study are discussed in terms of choice and control and their impact on the wellbeing of bears in zoos.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-06-11
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020021
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 271-288: Communication from the Zoo: Reports from
           Zoological Facilities of the Impact of COVID-19 Closures on Animals

    • Authors: Violet Hunton, Jessica Rendle, Anne Carter, Ellen Williams
      First page: 271
      Abstract: Zoos engaged in a range of communication types with prospective visitors during the temporary closures necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This study sought to (1) investigate social media reports and public responses to zoo-animal-related posts over a one-year period during COVID-19 lockdowns; (2) understand the use of reporting language in news articles concerning animal responses during zoo closures, and to investigate whether this differed across species; and (3) investigate how keepers perceived general animal behavior, and how they perceived animal behavior in keeper–animal interactions, during the COVID-19 facility closures. Data were collected from BIAZA-accredited zoos’ Facebook pages (March 2020 to March 2021) and news reports (Google search outputs from 20 March to 5 April 2021). Keeper perceptions were captured via questionnaires (May to August 2021). Data were collected on taxa, the reported behavioral changes and the language used in media communications. In Facebook posts and news reports, mammals were more frequently represented than was expected (p < 0.05). Behavioral responses were more frequently negative (p < 0.05) and less frequently positive or neutral (p < 0.05). Keepers reported overall behavioral changes, as well as changes during their own interactions with animals. On Facebook, mammals were described using a combination of behavioral descriptions and anthropomorphic terms, which were used more frequently than was expected (p < 0.05). In the news reports concerning primate species, anthropomorphic descriptions were used more frequently than expected (p < 0.05), while behavioral descriptions were used less frequently than expected (p < 0.05). The reports regarding the Carnivora were the reverse of this. This study enabled an understanding of the impact of the temporary closures on the animals, and how this impact was communicated to the public. The findings may reflect the relationships that humans have with animals and the need for communication methods that will capture visitors’ interest and induce empathy with the various species.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020022
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 289-299: The More the Merrier' Zoo Visitors’
           Affective Responses and Perceptions of Welfare across an Increase in
           Giraffe Density

    • Authors: Wilson C. Sherman, Darren E. Minier, Caterina N. Meyers, Michelle L. Myers
      First page: 289
      Abstract: Zoos strive to create experiences that inspire positive feelings toward animals which lead to conservation behaviors in their visitors. However, concerns regarding the welfare of animals living in zoos present a challenge in creating positive zoo experiences and promoting the conservation agenda and moral authority of these cultural institutions. This research explores connections between zoo visitors’ positive affective responses and their assessments of animal welfare before and after two giraffes were introduced to a group of four giraffes in a multi-species savannah exhibit. A self administered questionnaire was completed by 499 visitors to the Conservation Society of California’s Oakland Zoo. The questionnaire measured visitors’ predispositions, affective responses, and assessments of animal welfare. Results suggest that visitors’ assessments of animal welfare, positive affective experience, and predisposition are positively correlated. Further, visitor assessments of animal welfare are generally more positive after the addition of new giraffes. Although visitors tended to report that the giraffes were very healthy and well cared for, they responded less positively when asked about how happy the giraffes were and how adequately sized their exhibit was. The findings suggest that understanding and improving zoo visitors’ assessments of animal welfare is important in improving positive experiences and conservation education outcomes during a visit to the zoo.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-06-15
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3020023
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 2 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 19-31: Assessment of Feeding Behavior of the
           Zoo-Housed Lesser Anteater (Tamandua tetradactyla) and Nutritional Values
           of Natural Prey

    • Authors: Valentín Zárate, Jesica R. Mufari, Lucía G. Abalos Luna, Daniel P. Villarreal, Juan M. Busso
      First page: 19
      Abstract: Very little information is available to zoo managers on the nutritional preferences of the lesser anteater, a highly specialized predator. By studying lesser anteater feeding behavior, we expect to contribute to improved management decisions and individual welfare experiences. We studied the response of zoo-housed lesser anteaters (n = 7) to feeders with live ants (Acromyrmex lundi) and termites (Cortaritermes fulviceps), and we also evaluated the nutritional values of these prey. We individually evaluated each lesser anteater (3 sessions), recording activities by camera. We ground insect samples into a coarse meal and evaluated in vitro biochemical parameters (humidity, lipids proteins, ash, and carbohydrates). Lesser anteaters spent more time with termites than with ants and consumed more termites. Ant meal presented a higher protein and lipid content than termite meal (35.28 ± 0.18% vs. 18.19 ± 0.34% and 16.95 ± 0.13% vs. 6.54 ± 0.31%, respectively), and carbohydrate digestibility was higher in termites. These findings indicate an association between the level of insect consumption and nutritional and digestibility values. This is the first exploration of lesser anteater responses to the presence of social insects in feeders and may serve to guide the study of food preferences in captivity.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-01-05
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010002
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 32-43: Overlooked and Under-Studied: A Review of
           Evidence-Based Enrichment in Varanidae

    • Authors: Darcy Howard, Marianne Sarah Freeman
      First page: 32
      Abstract: Enrichment has become a key aspect of captive husbandry practices as a means of improving animal welfare by increasing environmental stimuli. However, the enrichment methods that are most effective varies both between and within species, and thus evaluation underpins successful enrichment programs. Enrichment methods are typically based upon previously reported successes and those primarily with mammals, with one of the main goals of enrichment research being to facilitate predictions about which methods may be most effective for a particular species. Yet, despite growing evidence that enrichment is beneficial for reptiles, there is limited research on enrichment for Varanidae, a group of lizards known as monitor lizards. As a result, it can be difficult for keepers to implement effective enrichment programs as time is a large limiting factor. In order for appropriate and novel enrichment methods to be created, it is necessary to understand a species’ natural ecology, abilities, and how they perceive the world around them. This is more difficult for non-mammalian species as the human-centered lens can be a hinderance, and thus reptile enrichment research is slow and lagging behind that of higher vertebrates. This review discusses the physiological, cognitive, and behavioral abilities of Varanidae to suggest enrichment methods that may be most effective.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-01-17
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010003
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 44-55: Environmental Enrichment Factors Associated
           with the Activity Level of Bottlenose Dolphins under Professional Care

    • Authors: Lisa K. Lauderdale, Kenneth Alex Shorter, Ding Zhang, Joaquin Gabaldon, Jill D. Mellen, Douglas A. Granger, Michael T. Walsh, Lance J. Miller
      First page: 44
      Abstract: Environmental enrichment can be used to improve the welfare of dolphins in zoos and aquariums. Bottlenose dolphins under professional care are typically provided with a range of enrichment that has a variety of features and levels of complexity at various frequencies. In the present study, a subset of data from a larger study entitled “Towards understanding the welfare of cetaceans in zoos and aquariums” (colloquially called the Cetacean Welfare Study) was used to examine the relationship between activity level and enrichment buoyancy as well as enrichment provisioning schedules. Survey data were collected from accredited zoos and aquariums related to the types of enrichment provided to the dolphins and the frequency and duration they were supplied. Non-invasive bio-logging devices were used to record the dolphin kinematics one day per week over the course of two five-week data collection periods. Activity level related positively with the total duration of time non-stationary enrichment was provided. In addition, providing a larger number of enrichment types each between 26% and 50% of the days in a month (i.e., rotating many different types of enrichment across days on a moderate schedule) was positively related to activity level. Activity level was negatively related to the number of times sinking enrichment was provided. Understanding how the temporal schedule and features of various types of enrichment are related to activity levels will aid in developing progressively more effective enrichment programs.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-01-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010004
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 56-68: Environmental Education in Zoos—Exploring
           the Impact of Guided Zoo Tours on Connection to Nature and Attitudes
           towards Species Conservation

    • Authors: Matthias Winfried Kleespies, Viktoria Feucht, Martin Becker, Paul Wilhelm Dierkes
      First page: 56
      Abstract: In recent decades, zoos have been increasingly transformed into education centers with the goal of raising awareness about environmental issues and providing environmental education. Probably the simplest and most widespread environmental education program in the zoo is the guided tour. This study therefore aims to test whether a one hour zoo tour has an influence on the participants’ connection to nature and attitude towards species conservation. For this purpose, 269 people who had voluntarily registered for a zoo tour were surveyed before and after the tour. In addition to the regular zoo tour, special themed tours and tours with animal feedings were included. The results show a positive increase in connection to nature and a strengthening of positive attitudes towards species conservation for all tour types. For nature connectedness, in particular, people with an initial high connection to nature benefitted from the special themed tours and the tours, including animal feedings. For attitudes towards species conservation, no difference was found between the tour types. The results prove the positive influence of a very simple environmental education program, even for people with a preexisting high level of connection to nature and positive attitude towards species conservation.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-02-04
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010005
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 69-70: Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Journal of
           Zoological and Botanical Gardens in 2021

    • Authors: JZBG Editorial Office JZBG Editorial Office
      First page: 69
      Abstract: Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...]
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-02-09
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010006
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 71-88: Do Birds of a Feather Always Flock
           Together' Assessing Differences in Group and Individual Zoo Enclosure
           Usage by Comparing Commonly Available Methods

    • Authors: Heather McConnell, James Brereton, Tom Rice, Paul Rose
      First page: 71
      Abstract: Data on zoo enclosure usage provide meaningful evaluation of husbandry and welfare but for social species, group-level data may not capture individual occupancy preferences. Determining zone occupancy using group data may give an inaccurate assessment of enclosure suitability for each individual. We compared three formulae (traditional and modified Spread of Participation Index and Electivity Index) to determine how estimations of space usage compare between individuals and their group overall. Two flamingo flocks at two zoos were sampled with enclosures separated into discrete zones. Counts of where each bird in the flock was located at each minute of sampling were compared against the number of minutes that randomly selected individual flamingos spent in each zone. Overall, there was little difference in preferred zone occupancy when flock data were compared to individual data. Group data suggested that flamingos were more consistent in their enclosure usage, with individual data showing wider overall usage of enclosures. Individual Electivity Index (EI) values suggested zone underuse whereas group EI suggested zone overuse. As a proxy for welfare measurement, we recommend both group-level and individual monitoring of space use to provide a complete picture of how individuals within a social group occupy their space and choose where to be.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-02-23
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010007
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 89-101: Epidemiology of Traumatic Tusk Fractures of
           Managed Elephants in North America, South America, Europe, Asia and

    • Authors: Josephine B. Rose, Austin Leeds, Rachel LeMont, Linda M. Yang, Melissa A. Fayette, Jeffry S. Proudfoot, Michelle R. Bowman, Allison Woody, James Oosterhuis, David A. Fagan
      First page: 89
      Abstract: Elephant tusk fractures are a management and medical challenge that can escalate into life-threatening complications. Here, an international survey was sent to elephant managers to understand the risk factors associated with tusk fractures since 2009, identifying best practices for reducing the incidence. Out of 459 elephants included in the survey, 85 elephants incurred at least one fracture. Though not statistically significant, descriptive statistics identified a trend for both Asian and African elephant males to be more likely to incur a fracture than females. Additionally, the first reported fracture occurred in males of both species approximately ten years earlier in age than females. The most common causes of fractures were conspecific interactions (44.6%), caught tusk in an enclosure or enrichment item (28.4%), and a strike by the elephant of a tusk with an object (12.2%). For social causes, unstable hierarchy (45.5%) and specific agonistic interactions (36.4%) were the most frequently cited fracture causes. Steel gates were associated with 23.8% of fractures caused by enclosure elements. Management changes including tusk trimming, enrichment, training, and re-arranging social groups were found to be important in reducing subsequent fractures, with odds ratios showing that a second tusk fracture was 6.37 times more likely to occur if no management changes occurred after the first fracture. Our data suggests that targeted management strategies in herds with maturing males, unstable social dynamics, and/or high-risk enclosure elements could reduce the frequency of tusk fractures.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-03-03
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010008
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 102-112: Day Time Activity Budgets, Height Utilization
           and Husbandry of Two Zoo-Housed Goodfellow’s Tree Kangaroos
           (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi)

    • Authors: Katherine Finch, Amy Humphreys
      First page: 102
      Abstract: Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) are an endangered, arboreal macropod native to the lower, mid-montane rainforests of Papua New Guinea. Despite a number of holders keeping D. goodfellowi in zoos across the world, there is a lack of recent published work on this species. Here, we present daytime activity budgets, document height use and provide husbandry information for two Goodfellow’s tree kangaroos (Dendrolagus goodfellowi buergersi) housed at Chester Zoo, UK. Throughout the observation period, both individuals spent the majority of their time resting within the environment but also spent time engaging in vigilance, travel and feeding behaviour. Additionally, despite the age and sex differences of the study individuals, both animals used the highest height level in the indoor habitat most frequently. We aim to share our information and encourage knowledge transfer with other holders, to both increase understanding and promote evidence-based management of this species.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-03-04
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010009
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 113-130: Impacts of Socialization on Bull Asian
           Elephant (Elephas maximus) Stereotypical Behavior

    • Authors: Taylor S. Readyhough, Sharon Joseph, Maura Davis, Anneke Moresco, Amy L. Schreier
      First page: 113
      Abstract: There is a growing need for animal care institutions to house multiple bull elephants as the population increases due to transfers from private ownership and the births of male offspring in managed care. Elephants in North American, European, and Latin American zoos exhibit stereotypies—repetitive, fixed behaviors. Previous research demonstrated that housing Asian elephants alone increased stereotypic behavior. Therefore, for animals in managed care, social restriction can contribute to stereotypy and, by extension, reduce welfare. In this study, we examine how being alone affects stereotypic behavior by monitoring pacing and head-bobbing in individual bull Asian elephants at Denver Zoo when housed alone as well as with other bulls. Two young males arrived at Denver Zoo in September 2018 and joined an existing all-male group of three elephants that were previously socialized and housed together. From July 2018 to December 2019, we used instantaneous scan sampling to collect data on stereotypic behavior of focal bulls when they were housed alone and socially. The frequency of pacing and head-bobbing significantly decreased when the elephants were housed socially compared to when they were housed alone; these stereotypies were lower when elephants were housed with at least one other bull and were in close proximity to a conspecific. Additionally, pacing decreased as the proportion of affiliative behaviors increased, and the amount of agonistic behavior did not significantly affect stereotypic behavior. When housed alone, bulls in musth engaged in significantly more pacing behavior than when they were out of musth. Our results indicate that housing bull Asian elephants in all-male groups substantially improves their welfare by reducing stereotypies and provides a basis for future evidence-based management.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-03-12
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010010
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
  • JZBG, Vol. 3, Pages 131-146: Social Behavior Deficiencies in Captive
           American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)

    • Authors: Zane Cullinane Walsh, Hannah Olson, Miranda Clendening, Athena Rycyk
      First page: 131
      Abstract: Understanding how the behavior of captive American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) congregations compares to wild congregations is essential to assessing the welfare of alligators in captivity. Wild alligator congregations perform complex social behaviors, but it is unknown if such behaviors occur in captive congregations as frequently. We observed the behaviors of a captive and wild congregation of American alligators in Florida, USA in January 2021. Social behaviors were, on average, 827% more frequent in the wild congregation than the captive, and the wild congregation had a richer repertoire of social behaviors, with growling and HOTA (head oblique tail arched) behaviors being particularly common. High walking, a nonsocial behavior, dominated the behavioral repertoire of the captive congregation (94% of behaviors, excluding feeding) and may be a stereotypy that can be used as an indicator of welfare. Both congregations experienced human disturbance and displayed flushing as a species-specific defense reaction. Captive environments differ from the wild with respect to size, structure, stocking density, resource availability, and human presence. These differences translate into behavioral differences between wild and captive congregations. We identified important behavioral differences between wild and captive alligator congregations that can serve as a platform for more detailed investigations of alligator welfare in captivity.
      Citation: Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens
      PubDate: 2022-03-21
      DOI: 10.3390/jzbg3010011
      Issue No: Vol. 3, No. 1 (2022)
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