Document Type

Honors Project

Comments

Advisor: Eric Wiertelak

Abstract

Historically, zoos rarely feature mixed taxa exhibits including multiple primate species; the Minnesota Zoo opened such a unique four-species exhibit featuring Rock hyraxes, Red River hogs, Colobus monkeys, and DeBrazza’s monkeys in May, 2010. Because of potential problems associated with territoriality and aggression, primates in mixed-taxa exhibits are generally non-breeding. However, the DeBrazza’s monkeys at the MN Zoo are a breeding pair with a juvenile offspring. The intent of this study was to design an ethogram with the purpose of calculating the effects of a mixed taxa exhibit on the behavior of this breeding group, and to compare their behavior before and after the birth of an infant. Pre-birth behavioral observations established activity budgets for the DeBrazza’s with the adult male spending 71% of his time resting and 14% of his time in food related activities. The adult female spent 85% of her time resting and only 4% in food related activities, and the juvenile spent 25% of her time resting and 35% of her time in food related activities. Post birth, the adult male spent 68% of his time resting, and 16% of his time with food, the adult female spent 85% of her time carrying the infant, and the juvenile spent 34% of her time resting and 28% of her time with food. Each animal also spent different amounts of time near the other animals. Significant differences in amount of time that the adult female and the juvenile spent near each other were found, as well as differences in the amount of time the adult male spent near the Colobus. These differences and the animals’ activity budgets illustrate how these species interact in this zoo exhibit as well as identify areas for future research with these populations.

 
 

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