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Title: A multifactorial approach to improving captive primate welfare and enclosure usage
Author: Goh, C. L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6059 6053
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines factors affecting the welfare of captive primates from a multi- factorial perspective: positional and non-positional behaviour, anatomical adaptations and enclosure usage. Past studies have shown that the provision of naturalistic environments for primates reduces stereotypical behaviours, decreases inactivity (Honess and Marin 2005; Zaragoza et al. 2011), and encourages species- typical positional behaviour repertoires (Jensvold et al. 2001). This suggests that encouraging species-typical behaviour improves captive primate welfare. It was found that reduced occurrence of stereotypical behaviour was associated with enrichment encouraging tool-use, a high fibre diet, and increased social behaviour. Compared to wild gorillas, captive gorillas adopted similar feeding and resting postures but performed substantially less vertical climbing, likely arising from differences in habitat structure and food distribution. It was found that the genus Gorilla has a strong preference for < 20cm diameter and vertical/angled supports, but equally, gorillas have to some extent retained locomotor plasticity as suggested by Myatt et al. (2011) and Neufuss et al. (2014). Thus, from construction of a 3D musculoskeletal model of a hindlimb, it was found that bipedalism was associated with higher moment arms and torque around the hip, knee and ankle (except for extensor torque), than vertical climbing. This indicates that in terms of moment arms and torque, the ability to walk bipedally is not restricted by musculoskeletal adaptations to vertical climbing. It was also found that the gorilla foot had interossei that attached to distal phalanges, which may be important for fine flexion movements for grasping/manipulation of objects. These findings stress the importance of taking into account locomotor restrictions and plasticity when encouraging species-typical behaviour, which has not previously been emphasized. Further, accurate quantification of support availability and preference for enclosure design and positional behaviour studies has not been achieved before. Thus a novel method of studying enclosure usage was developed, via construction and analysis of a computer-aided design model of an enclosure. Besides successful accurate quantification of support preference and availability, the model permitted identification of specific favoured supports/areas and behaviour trends.
Supervisor: Crompton, R. ; Bates, K. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral