Date of Award

8-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Anemone

Second Advisor

Dr. Jacqueline Eng

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Lombardo

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

Previous studies indicate that many factors influence the activity patterns of social animals. It has also been shown that the proportions of species-typical behavior of captive animals can be increased through enrichment programs, and that increases in species-typical behavior patterns influence the success of reintroduction efforts of endangered species. Captive research provides a unique opportunity to explore the influences of intrinsic and extrinsic variables on the behaviors of animals. A captive group of spider monkeys (Ateles fusciceps rufiventris) maintained in an indoor and an outdoor enclosure was studied to determine if significant differences in behavior patterns occur between the two environments. Comparisons were also made to patterns seen in wild populations. Significant differences in behavior patterns were shown among all groups, though the outdoor behaviors were more similar to those seen in the wild. This may be due to the structural differences in the enclosures, as well as the effects of temperature and novelty. However, the effects of sex and age must also be accounted for in order to more fully understand these influences. Additionally, suggestions of enrichment are made to promote the species-typical behavior of this critically endangered species.

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