Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Reliably signalling a startling husbandry event improves welfare of zoo-housed capuchins (Sapajus apella)
Author(s): Rimpley, Kristina
Buchanan-Smith, Hannah M
Contact Email:
Keywords: Predictability
Issue Date: Jul-2013
Date Deposited: 12-Jun-2014
Citation: Rimpley K & Buchanan-Smith HM (2013) Reliably signalling a startling husbandry event improves welfare of zoo-housed capuchins (Sapajus apella). Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 147 (1-2), pp. 205-213.
Abstract: Animals kept in captivity are reliant on humans for their care and welfare. Enclosure design, and choice of group mates as well as routine husbandry events such as feeding, cleaning, and health care are in the hands of human keepers. It is therefore important to understand how external human-related husbandry events affect daily behaviour routines for animals, to help promote good welfare. Predictability (or lack thereof) of these routines can have profound effects on behaviours of captive animals. This study investigates whether providing a reliable predictable signal indicating entry into indoor brown capuchin (Sapajus apella) enclosures can increase welfare. All day focal follows of 12 zoo-housed capuchins were performed, recording behaviour in relation to husbandry events. The Baseline data show that unreliable sounds of door openings and closings outside the enclosure increase anxiety-related behaviours such as self-scratching, vigilance and jerky motions, and that the capuchins were startled by keepers entering the enclosure. A reliable signal (knocking) was subsequently introduced before enclosure entry and the monkeys given two weeks to associate the signal prior to Treatment condition data collection. The results indicate that the anxiety-related behaviours were reduced in the Treatment condition compared to Baseline frequencies. We conclude that making certain husbandry events reliable and predictable through the introduction of a unique signal can have a significant positive impact on the welfare of animals. Such an approach is not time consuming and costs nothing to implement, yet can result in significant advancements in animal welfare that can be implemented in a wide range of captive settings.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.04.017
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.

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Rimpley Buchanan-Smith for STORRE.pdfFulltext - Accepted Version642.68 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.