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Effects of Enclosure and Environmental Enrichment on the Behaviour of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)

1
Antwerp ZOO Centre for Research & Conservation (CRC), Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp (RZSA), 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
2
Behavioural Ecology and Ecophysiology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
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Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Katherine A. Cronin
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2(2), 164-173; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2020012
Received: 19 January 2021 / Revised: 12 March 2021 / Accepted: 22 March 2021 / Published: 1 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare)
Environmental enrichment is widely used to improve the quality of life of animals under human care. To successfully implement enrichment programs, it is important to evaluate their effect in different enclosure types since housing conditions may change depending on external factors, such as husbandry, management, or seasonal variation. This study investigates how ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) behaviour changes with the availability of enrichment items and the type of enclosure the animals are housed in. Through observations, we compared the behaviour of the lemurs in an indoor and outdoor enclosure, both without and with enrichment items. Although we observed enrichment effects, we found that enclosure type had a bigger effect on the lemurs’ behaviour. Additionally, behavioural changes induced by enrichment items differed between indoor and outdoor enclosures. These results indicate that the effectiveness of enrichment items may depend on the enclosure in which they are provided and consequently suggest that the impact of these programs should not be generalised over enclosure types. This highlights that the evaluation of environmental enrichment programs remains important when optimising zoo animal welfare. View Full-Text
Keywords: enclosure type; enrichment; primate; welfare; zoo-housed enclosure type; enrichment; primate; welfare; zoo-housed
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MDPI and ACS Style

Laméris, D.W.; Verspeek, J.; Depoortere, A.; Plessers, L.; Salas, M. Effects of Enclosure and Environmental Enrichment on the Behaviour of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta). J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2021, 2, 164-173. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2020012

AMA Style

Laméris DW, Verspeek J, Depoortere A, Plessers L, Salas M. Effects of Enclosure and Environmental Enrichment on the Behaviour of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta). Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens. 2021; 2(2):164-173. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2020012

Chicago/Turabian Style

Laméris, Daan W.; Verspeek, Jonas; Depoortere, Arno; Plessers, Lise; Salas, Marina. 2021. "Effects of Enclosure and Environmental Enrichment on the Behaviour of Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta)" J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2, no. 2: 164-173. https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg2020012

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