Influence of availability of perches on the behavioral well-being of captive, group-living mangabeys

Abstract : Environmental enrichment is expected to increase the well‐being of animals. Changes in well‐being can be measured by variations in behavioral patterns. This study reports on behavioral changes induced, in arboreal monkeys, by progressively increasing the number of perches, from none to five, in an “experimental cage.” A cage equipped with five perches was used as the control cage. The behaviors of a group of seven gray‐cheeked mangabeys in the control cage and in the “experimental” cage were compared. A total deprivation of perches yielded an increase in aggressive behaviors and locomotion, and a decrease in cohesiveness. Placing perches progressively in the experimental cage restored the level of all the variables to levels found in the control cage. This restoration to control levels actually occurred only when the number of perches in the experimental cage was close or equal to that in the control cage. Therefore perches constitute a necessary feature of an adequate environment for mangabeys. We suggest that this restoration is a consequence of providing appropriate structure of the utilizable space for the monkeys. This structure might increase the control and the predictability that monkeys should have over social events. © 1996 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
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Hélène Neveu, Bertrand Deputte. Influence of availability of perches on the behavioral well-being of captive, group-living mangabeys. American Journal of Primatology, Wiley, 1996, 38 (2), pp.175 - 185. ⟨10.1002/(SICI)1098-2345(1996)38:2<175::AID-AJP6>3.0.CO;2-W⟩. ⟨hal-01859042⟩

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