Special Issue "Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare"

A special issue of Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens (ISSN 2673-5636).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 February 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Katherine A. Cronin
Guest Editor
Animal Welfare Science Program, Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL 60640, USA
Interests: animal welfare; animal behavior; animal cognition; quality of life; animal well-being; zoo, sanctuary; primate

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The science of zoo and aquarium animal welfare is fascinating and challenging. Fascinating because those of us working in the field must draw upon knowledge from several disciplines to creatively measure this hard-to-measure concept, and challenging for the same reason. The challenge is then exacerbated by our need to not only evaluate, but often enhance, the welfare of individual animals of hundreds of different species. This Special Issue is dedicated to recent advances in the science of zoo and aquarium animal welfare, broadly speaking. Scientific advances may be in the form of methodological growth, for example, in the validation of new animal welfare indicators or animal welfare assessment strategies, the application of technological approaches to monitoring or enhancing animal welfare, new methods to study animal affect, or the development or novel application of statistical approaches. Scientific advances could also be in the form of content knowledge that can be applied to enhance the welfare of animals in zoos and aquariums. For example, empirical work that advances our understanding of how animal welfare is impacted by human-animal relationships, the presence or behavior of visitors, ambassador programming, transportation, breeding restriction, enrichment or enclosure design is also welcome. Contributions that report on advances that can be readily and simply applied in zoos and aquariums to advance welfare are especially welcome.

Dr. Katherine A. Cronin
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • animal welfare
  • animal well-being
  • zoo
  • aquarium
  • welfare assessment
  • welfare indicators
  • animal affect
  • human-animal relationships
  • animal-visitor interactions
  • ambassador animals
  • visitor effects
  • enclosure design

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Seasonal and Daily Activity of Two Zoo-Housed Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos horribilis)
J. Zool. Bot. Gard. 2020, 1(1), 1-12; https://doi.org/10.3390/jzbg1010001 - 25 Aug 2020
Captive grizzly bears, like their wild counterparts, engage in considerable variability in their seasonal and daily activity. We documented the year-long activity of two grizzly bears located at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. We found that behaviors emerged in relation to [...] Read more.
Captive grizzly bears, like their wild counterparts, engage in considerable variability in their seasonal and daily activity. We documented the year-long activity of two grizzly bears located at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington. We found that behaviors emerged in relation to month-to-month, seasonal, and time of day (hour-to-hour) observations, and events that occurred on exhibit, such as daily feedings. Seventeen behaviors split into seven classes of behavior were observed during their on-exhibit time over a 13-month period. Inactivity was the most frequent class of responses recorded, with most inactive behaviors occurring during the winter months. Both stereotypic and non-stereotypic activity emerged during the spring and summer months, with stereotypic activity occurring most frequently in the morning and transitioning to non-stereotypic activity in the latter part of the day. Results are discussed with respect to how captive grizzly bear behaviors relate to their natural seasonal and daily activity, as well as how events, such as feeding times and enrichment deliveries, can be used to optimize overall captive bear welfare. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Science of Zoo and Aquarium Animal Welfare)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Peter Kidd & Paul RoseInfluences of rearing environment on behavior and welfare of captive Chilean flamingos: A case study on foster-reared and parent-reared birds

Alex Riley & Austin Leeds - Monitoring the social behavior of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) in relation to the presence and absence of zoo visitors

Lydia M. Hopper - Leveraging social learning to aid animal husbandry and training
Sarah Woody, Rachel M. Santymire & Katherine A. Cronin - Posture as a non-invasive indicator of arousal in American toads (Anaxyrus americanus)
Jocelyn M. Woods & Lance J. MillerAvian Welfare: Current Knowledge and Future Directions
Daan Laméris, Jonas Verspeek, Arno Depoortere, Lise Plessers & Marina SalasEffects of enclosure and environmental enrichment on the behavior of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta).
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