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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Space allowance and the behaviour of captive southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons)
Author(s): Descovich, Kristin
Lisle, Allan
Johnston, Stephen
Phillips, Clive
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Keywords: Wombat
Issue Date: Aug-2012
Date Deposited: 22-Apr-2014
Citation: Descovich K, Lisle A, Johnston S & Phillips C (2012) Space allowance and the behaviour of captive southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 140 (1-2), pp. 92-98.
Abstract: Captive southern hairy-nosed wombats (Lasiorhinus latifrons) often display indicators of substandard welfare, including aggression and stereotypical pacing. To determine if space availability influences the welfare of wombats, the behaviour of three groups of L. latifrons (n = 3) was studied in three different sized enclosures: small (S) (75.5 m2; the minimum space requirement for three wombats in Queensland, Australia), medium (M) (151 m2, twice the minimum space) and large (L) (224 m2, three times the minimum space) in a Latin Square design. Compared to wombats in larger enclosures, those in the small enclosure were observed to display more biting (S: 1.96; M: 0.42; L: 0.28, SED ± 0.56 counts / day, P = 0.01), retreat from conspecifics (S: 15.0; M: 9.9; L: 7.1 SED ± 2.66 counts / day, P = 0.03), and visual scanning (S: 52.8; M: 33.9; L: 28.8, SED ± 4.62 counts / day, P < 0.001); they also spent more time fenceline digging, which may represent attempts to escape (S: 0.78; M: 0.16; L: 0.24, SED ± 0.07 min / m / day, P < 0.0001). Those in the largest enclosure showed less self-directed grooming behaviour than those in the two smaller enclosures (S: 23.80; M: 24.08; L: 14.42, SED ± 3.22 counts / day, P = 0.02). It is concluded that small 2 enclosure size had a negative impact on the behaviour of wombat, and as a consequence, current 30 minimum space requirements for wombats in captivity should be reassessed.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.applanim.2012.05.009
Rights: Published in Applied Animal Behaviour Science by Elsevier; Elsevier believes that individual authors should be able to distribute their accepted author manuscripts for their personal voluntary needs and interests, e.g. posting to their websites or their institution’s repository, e-mailing to colleagues. The Elsevier Policy is as follows: Authors retain the right to use the accepted author manuscript for personal use, internal institutional use and for permitted scholarly posting provided that these are not for purposes of commercial use or systematic distribution. An "accepted author manuscript" is the author’s version of the manuscript of an article that has been accepted for publication and which may include any author-incorporated changes suggested through the processes of submission processing, peer review, and editor-author communications.

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