Impacts of enclosure design on the behaviour of captive animals: A study on two populations of the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus)

Danielle Sulikowski, Darren Burke, Nansi Ngahere Morgan Richards, Marie Herberstein

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Captive breeding and reintroduction programs are becoming an increasingly important part of endangered species conservation. Relatively poor success of such programs has been at least partially due to deficiencies of key adaptive behaviours in reintroduced individuals, resulting from inadequate captive environments. In an attempt to improve the potential for successful reintroduction of the captive rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus), a critically endangered Australian rodent, the behaviour of two captive breeding populations being held at Alice Springs Desert Park and Perth Zoo, respectively, were compared. Behavioural differences between the two locations were observed in activity levels, levels of exhibited sterotypy and ways in which the respective enclosures were used. Variatins in enclosure design may have played a causal role in the observed behaviorual differences. This study highlights the importance of considering enclosure design when keeping captive populations, particularly for the purposes of reintroduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages31-31
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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