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Zoo-housed species stereotypical behaviour research

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by greenhamrolls, 24 Aug 2014.

  1. greenhamrolls

    greenhamrolls New Member

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    Nottinghamshire
    Hi everyone, I hope this is okay to post – if not please let me know and I will remove it

    I have a huge passion for animal training, behaviour and welfare and I would like to do a research project for my dissertation linked to these areas. I haven’t found a huge amount on whether PRT has an impact on the frequency of stereotypical behaviour although I have found a couple of articles that suggest that PRT can reduce the frequency of stereotypic behaviour. I want to look into this area more as I want to focus on how welfare may be able to be improved in zoos and how PRT may be able to do this in regard to stereotypical behaviour. I need about 6+ of the same species displaying some sort of stereotypical behaviour, they don’t all need to be displaying the same behaviour, and the idea is to record the time spent displaying stereotypical behaviour, do some target training and perhaps some medical/husbandry training (needs to be decided once I know the species available) and then after a certain period of time (undecided, perhaps 4 weeks?) I will go back and record the behaviour again to see whether there is any significant difference (obviously accounting for variables within this). Does anyone know of any Zoos that have some animals that may benefit from this research (ideally in England/UK) if not there may be potential to gather research abroad?

    Also, please feel free to ask any questions - please be aware that I am in the very early stages of planning this study at the moment as I need to know what species I am able to work with (if any).

    Thanks!
     
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like an interesting project, I think your best bet is to get in touch with local zoos, briefly explain the aim of your project and ask them if they would be willing to be involved. Possibly rescue/sanctuary places, like Monkey World, would be most useful, as they would be likely to have relatively high numbers of individuals of the same species displaying stereotypical behaviour I would imagine, but I don't know if there are any such places near you.

    What is PRT by the way?

    It does seem like it could become a fairly big project, how long do you have to work on it?
     
  3. greenhamrolls

    greenhamrolls New Member

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    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Hi there thank you for your reply. I have emailed local
    Zoos but not had much luck so far. I'm based in cambridgeshire/Norfolk area so it may be too far but I will definitely have a look to see if there is a way round it.

    PRT stands for Positive reinforcement training :)

    I'm hoping if I stick to what I have said above it shouldn't be too bad as I have 8000-10000 words and then hopefully it will provide ideas for further research that I can suggest :) I feel it's an area that could do with more research as it is limited and if it does have a significant effect on the behaviour then it may highlight it for other researchers (well, that's the dream anyway!) :)
     
  4. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Dorset, UK
    .....stereotypical behaviour...

    May I suggest you look at Fossas? Apparently happy individuals still stereotype, and the UK population is small enough for you to cover every animal.
     
  5. callorhinus

    callorhinus Well-Known Member

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    Izhevsk, Russia
    Have you read "Animal Training: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement" by Ken Ramirez? If no, I recommend this book to you. Some cases of reducing the frequency of stereotypic behaviour are described in this book though it was not main aim of training maybe.

    Recalling some articles I think most often mentioned species was chimpanzee, maybe gorilla. In marine mammals most works were made on dolphins.